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16bit.com Podcast
December 1 2005

16bit.com Podcast: December 1, 2005

We're still getting the hang of the studio, so we still more or less consider this a beta. Does the Zathura board game suck? And what other stupid crap do I have to share with you? Find out, below!

--AP

Contents

This is a short show with few segments. They are:

0:00 - Introduction
0:42 - News
5:26 - Star Wars Q&A
8:41 - Toy of the Week: Zathura, the Board Game
11:15 - 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.

DIY Pirate Radio
December 2 2005
Square-Enix Hates You (If you're Japanese)

Hot on the heels of the Japanese release of Dragon Quest VIII costing too much, the Japanese release of Final Fantasy XII will be in markup-land, so says GameSpot. Japanese retail is going to start at about $80. This won't happen in the USA, but should serve as a fine reminder of what happens when four million kids will skip school to spend mommy and daddy's money on a game. (It'll happen with toys. Look at Target's exclusive Star Wars if you don't believe me. Hey-- don't look at me like that. DON'T TURN AWAY!)

--AP

Cybertron Mini-Con Wave 2 Bios & Transformers News-A-Plenty, Again

First up: Remy got General Grievous, the Star Wars Transformers version. It's NICE. Take a look at the complete gallery and weep or rejoice or whatever it is you people do with things like this.

Word around the web has it that the next overpriced Japan-only (?) DVD repaint will be of Noisemaze, aka Cybertron Sideways. He'll be in "mass production colors" and close to $100. Check your favorite importers for pricing or wait to see if Hasbro puts it out here for a sensible price.

E-Hobby's next exclusive has been more or less completely revealed. It's Twincast with Flipsides, and the latter is an original character. We dig it. Not sure we'll get one but it's purty.

Finally, rumor has it that Toy's Dream Project's next redeco may be a black Soundwave from Galaxy Force. Which you heard a few months ago, but then it was supposedly for Toys "R" Us. We're not holding our breath.

Oh, and we have Wave 2 Mini-Con bios for you today. Love us. Or Hasbro, as they wrote these. All are available as a preorder from Entertainment Earth and if you enjoy seeing sneak peeks as this, give us a big ol' hug and order them from a sponsor. (We get a nickel, you know.)

There are legends on the Moon among human colonists of ghost vehicles autos and aircraft without drivers that sometimes charge in from the barren, lunar desert to destroy a settlement or a vital terraforming project. The vicious ghosts then disappear into the depths of the lunar night, leaving few survivors. SCATTORBRAIN for his part relishes his status as a legend, and plays up the ghost angle at every opportunity, appearing for a few moments on the horizon near a human outpost, and then disappearing before he can be identified; occasionally attacking smaller outposts to wreak a little havoc and keep the rumors going.

MONOCLE could be considered one of the mysterious ghost vehicles, but for a different reason. He and his companions on the Exploration Team stayed on the Moon after most of the other MINI-CON robots left because they wanted solitude and quiet contemplation. They spend most of their time on the dark side of the Moon, where few humans go, and are occasionally spotted by explorers driving across the empty landscape, or meditating on the floor of an old crater. Their peace is disturbed only by the disruptive aggression of SCATTORBRAIN and the other members of the Lunar Assault Team.

Amazing SCATTORBRAIN and MONOCLE figures change from vehicles to fearsome robot figures!

You'd expect anyone as big and tough as PAYLOAD to be pretty dumb, or at least used to relying on his natural strength and endurance to get him through life. Many have made the same mistake, but you underestimate the intelligence of this MINI-CON at your peril. PAYLOAD would much rather outwit his opposition than destroy them in a straight fight. He therefore spends his time setting traps and pitfalls for ASCENTOR, who -- while smart -- is often distracted by his own thoughts.

Unlike MONOCLE and LANDSLIDE, ASCENTOR maintained contact with the MINI-CON robots that returned to CYBERTRON after the Armada Battles. Over the years, he has developed a philosophical give-and-take with the MINI-CON Council of Sages. This ongoing discussion occupies much of his core processor time, causing him to be distracted, and vulnerable to the traps set by PAYLOAD. However, his years of deep thought have also caused his sensory and motor-control systems to rewrite themselves, giving him what appears to nearly be a sixth sense when it comes to avoiding pitfalls and sneak attacks.

Amazing PAYLOAD and ASCENTOR figures change from vehicles to fearsome robot figures!

During the long years of relative solitude before and since their discovery on the Moon by the larger TRANSFORMERS, KOBUSHI came to the conclusion that personal perfection could be attained through challenging combat. Every enemy destroyed, he believes, adds to his own power as a warrior. He has devoted his life to improving his martial skill, adapting the ancient art of Metallikato to most effectively use his diamond-tipped drill arm. LANDSLIDE, the toughest individual on the Exploration Team, has been his frequent opponent, and KOBUSHI challenges him at every opportunity.

LANDSLIDE is at peace always. His long contemplation has taught him the path to inner stillness. He has let go of the physical world, and embraced the world beyond. Recently, he has discovered how to project his core programming out of his robotic body for a limited time and into astral space. There, he has encountered other, powerful beings, and learned many truths. Though KOBUSHI attempts to interrupt his meditation at every opportunity with petty challenges, LANDSLIDE has yet to fall before the aggressive robot's attacks, using his inner strength and passive nature to create the ultimate martial defense.

Amazing KOBUSHI and LANDSLIDE figures change from vehicles to fearsome robot figures!

--AP

Sigma 6 "Soldier" Assortment Spotted

Reader and all around groovy cat Walky wrote in (well, not directly) to let us know him and his pal spotted Sea Ops Duke at a Toys "R" Us. Happy hunting, it's time to fight over the Ninja B.A.T.s!

--AP, thanks to Walky

Do you care?
December 5 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. This week we ask the big questions-- like why is the Utapau Shadow Trooper a bit off? We also ask the big question-- "Why do we care?" For the carded variation collector, 2006 might bring you over $3,000 in potential purchases. If having every carded figure variation in your collection is important to you, this is one Q&A you won't want to miss.

--AP

Xtreme Ghouls n' Ghosts... for PSP

A specially redesigned Goku Makaimura (or Ghouls n' Ghosts is up at The Magic Box for previewing. Like other ports, it seems to be a massive 2D face lift to a classic, although this one doesn't look especially easy on the eyes. Do check it out.

--AP

Cybertron New Releases & Prototypes

First up: TFW2005 has a big thread of goodies, including Transformers Attacktix and a brand new previously unseen PACKAGED duo of Mini-Cons. Fancy. Go see them. We're more or less pleased, although Scythe the Mini-Con looks a lot like a toy we already have.

Word around the web has it that wave 4 of Cybertron deluxes are now out-- this includes Crosswise (Autovolt), Thunderblast (Chromia), and Brimstone (Terrashaver). The assortment is rounded out, or so we hear, with Snarl and Sideways, with no current sign of more of Buzzsaw, Blurr, Runamuck, or Longrack. Yet, anyway. So go buy those when you see them as two are superb, one is pretty good, and one is good enough if you like the character.

--AP

Microman Shining Coat Edition & Gamera Edition

Try and tell us that ain't gorgeous. Microman Forever has the scoop on this 5-piece set from Japan. Natch, it's exclusive to Toys "R" Us over there, but it's pretty-- it has the Material Force body in metallic green, bronze, silver, "zinc," and gold. Wow, this'd make a nice holiday gift.

Tom's Micro News Report from the same site also has news on some nifty 2006 items, including Gamera! (He is made of turtle meat, you know.) Read on for the sweaty, sordid details.

--AP

G.I. Joe DTC Wave 3 Detail Stuff

Over at Yo Joe, there's numerous shots and detail images of the latest wave of Internet-only Joes, and some new Sigma 6 guys. Check it out, or something.

--AP

Snow
December 6 2005
Astrotrain Out in the USA, Sorta

After many delays, HasbroToyShop.com has Astrotrain, the G1 reissue Transformers toy, for $24.99. It's a pretty good deal as it's different from the original US release and pretty much the same as the Japanese reissue except for the box-- and the price is pretty darned good. Do check it out.

--AP

Podcast Update: Ask SOTA Toys

SOTA Toys agreed to sit down with us and answer some questions on Wednesday, so if you got 'em, send 'em in to the address below. Or it'll all be questions from me, and who wants that? Don't be shy if you got a question, odds are it'll get asked if you send it in. We're recording Wednesday afternoon so hurry and send 'em in if you're so inclined.

--AP

Free Man or Astro-Man Concert MP3s that are decent enough

We saw this over the weekend, and wow, are we happy. Archive.org has posted buttloads of live concerts for streaming or downloading. Not entirely sure of how legal these are or aren't, but there's a ton of shows from (shock) the Grateful Dead and (happy happy) Man or Astro-Man. We advise you snag the MOAM show they did for John Peel as it doesn't sound like crap. Not a ton of the bands listed here get us excited, but hey-- we have unique tastes, and assume you do as well. So do go check it out.

--AP

Filler: Rumble Roses XX Images

When items of interest are lacking, items of novelty can do nicely. The Magic Box has images of the Xbox 360 title Rumble Roses XX on display and they're pretty high res and pretty impressive. It's another girl-on-girl brawler ala Dead or Alive and looks quite striking as far as textures go and all. Plus, you know, the ladies. The word for today, by the way, is gratuitous.

--AP

Trek Phaser, Xevoz Almost Gone & Other Stuff

Oh, the fun. Plugging. So at work we were checking our stock levels on some stuff and with the sales going the way they are, Entertainment Earth will be completely out of the Star Trek Classic Phaser this week. It's $24.99 and according to Diamond, this is it-- no more runs. Sure, it could change, but it might be a year or two before another run. So keep your eyes peeled at other online stores for this one in a week or so because they're just going away quickly.

Also, a lot of the Xevoz items are running low. A few cancelled credit cards have resulted in some items showing up, but basically anything that isn't a Wave 4 figure is in very low supply. (Single digits on the Xevoz Battle Attack Transporter with Unnatural Iron Spectre.) Since supplies are drying up everywhere but maybe eBay, if you want this stuff, now's a good time to get buying.

Finally, we have it on good authority that both Wedge Antilles and the 18-Inch Electronic Interactive R2-D2 are both arriving THIS WEEK. So if you want them for the holidays, there ya go. Get those orders in, offer expires while you wait, etc.

--AP

It Can't Happen Here
December 7 2005
Galvatron Out in the USA, Sorta & Housekeeping

Word on the street has it that Galvatron from Cybertron is out at some online stores. While we haven't seen it yet, we fully expect it to be all over soon-- now's a good a time as any, especially with Wal-Mart blowing out Optimus and Megatron for pennies over $33.

Also, we're updating our various Transformers checklists, as we are lazy, lazy people and saw someone cite them as a reference source. The least we can do is pretend they're up to date, so pretend we will. For your information, here's the ones we looked over and/or revised:
Cybertron

...ok, so it was just one.

--AP

New Sigma 6 Figure, "Ask Cobra Commander" Too!

What a scoop! Check out Sigma 6 Central for the first shots we've ever seen of (we assume) Commando Assortment Duke with a Jet Pack. He's scruffy!

Also, Hasbro's Ask Cobra Commander has been updated with actual questions and answers. We're more or less pleased. We were hoping for more dastardly answers or some reference to stealing Duke's birthday cake but this will do nicely for now. The best news: Hasbro says to hang on to your G.I. Joe FLAG and Battle points. (Hasbro told SW fans to screw when it came to their Jedi Master Points.)

--AP

New Chasing Amy Figure Preview Wallpaper

News Askew received some preview images in the form of wallpaper for the new Graphitti Designs Chasing Amy inaction figures. There seems to be a pretty good selection, the finest of which appears to the left. Five new figures, click on through to their December 5 update for more.

--AP

Animal Crossing: Wild World Out

While we're nowhere near as excited as we were (and still are) for Mario Kart DS, the new Animal Crossing title with internet play is now available. As there's no NES ports, we're passing. But we do think it looks like it has massive amounts of potential for the younger sect of gamers and if and when we win the lottery we'll be spending lots of time trying it out.

--AP

16bit.com Podcast
December 8 2005

16bit.com Podcast: December 8, 2005

Today, we've got a lot. We ended up splitting this one up and the second part will be posted over the weekend. Today, though, we've got Mezco Toyz' 2006 lineup (more Family Guy, Zombies, and more), a toy of the week, and a buttload of news.

--AP

Contents

This week's segments:

0:00 - Introduction
0:35 - News
6:37 - Star Wars Q&A
9:26 - Toy of the Week: Star Wars Separation of the Twins
11:00 - 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.

Overrated
December 9 2005
Optimus Prime's Head Pre-Order, Sky Shadow, Wing Saber

Now available for preorder, ending the speculation on price, is the Optimus Prime Head Replica, which, for example, Entertainment Earth is selling for $249.99. It's going to stand about 14-inches tall and is about as off-model as you can imagine. Still, worth a gander, we'd wager. We don't plan to buy one, only 1,000 are being made.

And there's these guys. Meet Sky Shadow and Wing Saber.

--AP

New Zoids for Xbox 360

The Magic Box received word of Zoids Infinity EX Neo for Xbox 360 which, we believe, has the most add-on words of any game title in recent memory. Due in Spring, it's playable online and there's no word yet of a bonus toy. See more at The Magic Box.

--AP

Entertainment Earth: Weekend Product Placement Fest

A large container of plastic goodies came in at Entertainment Earth today, from Wedge Antilles to a large R2-D2 Astromech Droid that can respond to your voice! Read on to see what's in stock now. Since we work there, we're going to tell you about it a little with this shameless array of product placement and/or filler. (As that's part of our day job.) Please note that all orders need to be placed by about December 14 for guaranteed holiday delivery. As always, buy through these links and we get like a quarter in kickbacks.

HP22619, Santa Claus Mr. Potato Head, $7.99
He's good for goodness' sake! Create lots of fun holiday adventures with this very special and limited edition Santa Claus / Christmas Mr. Potato Head! Use the funny face pieces and your imagination to create a silly Santa! Includes mix and match potato parts.

HS85893, Star Wars R2-D2 Interactive Astromech Droid, $109.99
He's back! 15-inch R2-D2 Electronic Voice Command Astromech Droid. A limited quantity is available this year-- more are coming in 2006, but for the holidays, this is it. It's big and does lots of fancy things. You know you want it.

HS87058, Star Wars Internet Exclusive Wedge Antilles Action Figure, $12.99
This item will not be available at the "major" big-box stores. Wedge Antilles is a hero to the Rebel forces and a pilot that survived every major battle of the original Star Wars Trilogy. The 3 3/4-inch Wedge figure comes packaged on an Original Trilogy style blister card.

HT80289B, Transformers Cybertron Leader Wave 2, $99.99
Transformers Cybertron Leader Wave 2. Includes 2 individually packaged Transformers: 1x Galvatron, 1x Optimus Prime. (Subject to change).

--AP

16bit.com Podcast
December 11 2005

16bit.com Podcast: December 11, 2005

Special installment: the barely-can-speak Adam Pawlus has a brief Q&A session with SOTA Toys' own Jeff Howard, who is quite eloquent. Will Adam come off as a functional illiterate? You decide.

--AP

Contents

This week's segments:

0:00 - The whole thing as that's all we did.

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.

Sega's Back?
December 12 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

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

--AP

New Dreamcast Game?!?

Over the past few years, the final Sega system has had a few import titles released for it, far and few between. But the most shocking thing was a story at The Magic Box that, well, reads as follows. (And we apologize for lifting this for emphasis, so please go there and click some banners or something.)

Dreamcast still lives! MileStone announced they will release a Dreamcast shooter Radilgy in Japan on February 16, 2006, for 10000 yen. The game will be sold at the Sega Direct online store in Japan.

All we can say is, wow. The system came out in September 1999, was pronounced dead on arrival by the electronic press, and was hacked and bootlegged and downloaded like crazy as the "far superior" next generation of games followed it. So we must say we're somewhat shocked to see a new title for it.

--AP

"Beginning of the End" MST3K DVD Woes

According to the December 9 update of the MST3K Info Site, this DVD is being yanked due to "rights issues." What those are, we don't know. We do know that most if not all online stores no longer stock this release, nor do most stores we visited over the weekend to find a copy. We did eventually snag one at Borders, so if you're in the market for it, you may wish to do that.

--AP

Coca Cola Blak

In the short list of things we can't make up, there's this story on the newest member of the Coke family, Coca-Cola Blak. It's an "adult" beverage, which we assume means the can has nipples. There's no can image yet, as far as I can tell, so there ya go. Another Coke. We expect Pepsi to have something new shortly.

--AP

Cybertron Mini-Cons Wave 3 & Transformers Universe Checklist Update

Non-news: our Transformers Universe Checklist has been updated with a few corrections, tweaks, and updates. Nothing you probably don't know here, but still, if you enjoy reading documents and making corrections, please feel free to read this and send us an email.

Also, we posted Wave 3 of the Cybertron Mini-Cons at Entertainment Earth. That's the good news. The bad news is we have no images or bios. We do have the assortment, though:
Transformers Cybertron Mini-Con 2-Packs Wave 3. They're more than meets the eye-- and they're tiny! Transformers Cybertron Mini-Con 2-Packs are here to grow your armies of these robots in disguise, and each figure has rolling wheels, firing projectiles, grabbing claws, working winches, Autobot or Decepticon logos, and the ability to power up some other Transformers toys (not included.) With all this added firepower, you can help save Cybertron-- or destroy it!Transformers Cybertron Mini-Con 2-Packs Wave 3 includes 12 individually packaged Mini-Con 2-packs for a grand total of 24 Transformers: 1x Shockwave vs. Tankor, 1x Sky Lynx vs. Thunderblast, 1x Razorclaw vs. Steamhammer, 1x Scattorbrain vs. Monocle, 1x Payload vs. Ascentor, 1x Kobushi vs. Landslide, 2x Anti-Blaze vs. Thrust, 2x Scythe vs. Ramjet, 2x Checkpoint vs. Sunstorm. (Subject to change.)

--AP

Playmobil 2006 & Others

The major Playmobil sites didn't do much updating, but it seems the official German Playmobil site is quite busy. As such, if you'd like a sneak peek at future sets with annoying comments by yours truly, read on. We originally posted this elsewhere and as such, it's pretty freeform and rambling, so with that in mind...

Tree Surgeon Green suited man, two potted trees... and a CHAINSAW. Put me down for one.

Rose Gardener Boring function, boring accessories, amusing gloves, funny moustache. Facial hair may warrant a purchase.

Garden Shed Boooooooring. Wait, I guess you can stuff some bodies in it. OK, it has potential.

Royal Treasury Easily the best set of accessories I've ever seen. Had I a pirate ship-- especially the ghost pirate ship-- I'd buy this. Gotta give something to the ghosts for them to haunt. There's some interesting idols and pots and gold crap in here so I could see getting this if the price is right, which I do not expect it to be.

Fairytale Castle Kitchen Obviously, I am not the target market. (OK, moreso than usual.) Has a very interesting selection of accessories and a serving wench. However, my old lady already got me the Playmobil Saloon which has what I can only assume is a woman of ill-repute, and that's hard to top. (Even if this new one is supposed to be a lusty serving wench.) It doesn't pass the hobo test, which is basically "so what kind of cool crap can I do with this and the hobo?"

Bathroom for the fairytale castle I see no fairy tale TP, I am not intrigued.

Baby Room Blah.

Royal Horse Carriage Thing ...Blah, continued.

Princess/Queen Bedroom ...keep going...

King with Throne Yes. Wacky moustache king. A Panther chained to the throne. The throne itself is carved with weird designs, including many Owls. There's candles, a rug (on which the hobo can pee), and a quill and a book. Holy crap. Put me down for one of these.

King's Children I was going to just say something snotty but then I saw there was a little dragon on the fountain. So while it's still overall boring, points for the dragon.

Big Stupid Castle ...yeah.

Some Vacation sets...

Giant Motorboat I am intrigued. It's not the kind of thing I go for but it looks like a hell of a toy..

Family Motorhome Highly intricate design with lots of play features. Although it doesn't look fun unless I have the hobo hijack it. Or maybe the Ninja.

Police Quad Score one for an easy miss!

Play Boat Thing I can't translate the name. It's a motorboat with a water slide on the back. It seems to really float and I do believe it has a weiner dog. (Which, for the record, usually has a sculpted weiner.) Also has a cooler. This is a maybe.

Beach Stand Sand toys, toy sailboat, seating, camcorder, sea gull, scuba crap, SEASHELLS!!!!, I like it. Looks good.

Sea/Beach Set Plastic beach. Floating jetski. Dolphin. Pelican. Lifeguard. I could see getting one.

Here's a bunch of longshoremen sets. Lots of dockworker toys, forklifts, all that crap. I could see buying a few of these.

New Forest/Farm sets. I am most tempted by this family of raccoons. Disgustingly cute and I could see them trying to steal the hobo's booze in some amusing photos. There's also this set with Badgers, Foxes, Hedgehogs, and a rat, loggers, man-eating dogs and sausages, and some other stuff.

Moles. Yes. Score.

Dentist. Hm. Odd.

"Felsentempel." I... yeah. Dunno what it is but it looks like a hobo hallucination. Potential's there.

Ghost with Candelabra YES.

Father with grill YES.

Ocean Liner Captain Neat enough!

There's snowboarders and other crap here but I think the BBQ Dad and the Ghost are the high points. (No new pirates. Booo.)

Concrete pipes Hmmmm.

--AP

Scars
December 13 2005
New Dreamcast Game: Again

So, that Dreamcast game? Our favorite importers NCS indicate that it's both coming by itself for 5800 yen (about $53 or so), and as a mega bundle with the Dreamcast console itself. Which is a shocker on many levels, and we think explains the pricing. NCS also has images and we must say... we're quite curious. And will be digging our Dreamcast out of the mothballs to try this out, we think, maybe. Or not.

Also notable: Gamespot has news on Midway Arcade Treasures for PSP, which will include the first three Mortal Kombats, Defender, and a bunch of other crap. It sounds like an awesome mix and were it available on a big console in this configuration we'd probably buy it. Joust, Gauntlet, Rampage, it's a darned good compilation.

--AP

"Action" DVD

Oh, DVD. You rescue good TV from the abyss. Today, you can read about Action, a Fox show that got dumped on and dumped out after 13 episodes. It featured a number of great talents, starring Jay Mohr and Buddy Hackett. It's an awesome show and you can read all about it over at TVShowsOnDVD.com. Oh, there's artwork too.

--AP

Masters of the (Defunct) Universe

Like He-Man? He-Man.org has a series of new questions and non-answers (I kid, I kid) from Mattel on Masters of the Universe which is, big shock, on hiatus. Lots of interesting tidbits which will probably more likely infuriate than educate, but as official answers from a toy company are hard to get, you owe it to yourself to read it if you're interested in such things.

--AP

Beep Beep
December 14 2005
New Mini-Cons Wave 3: More Images

Today at Entertainment Earth, the new assortment of Mini-Cons has been updated with images and all that jazz-- but some didn't fit. So we have them here. (Blah blah blah preorder today.) Each image also has a look at the full sword, whose name and bio is presently not available to us.

Image 1: Ramjet & Scythe
Image 2: Thrust & Anti-Blaze
Image 3: Sunstorm & Checkpoint

As an added bonus today, new images for wave 2 of Star Wars Transformers were revealed too. You can see/preorder them here. (Tis the season for shamelessness.) New releases include Boba Fett/Slave I, Anakin/Jedi Starfighter, and Darth Maul/Sith Infiltrator. And Vader's gonna keep shipping in wave 2. Good news, Maul looks especially nice.

--AP

Final Fantasy IV In Stores! (We think.)

We hear that Square Enix' port of Final Fantasy IV is in stores today. Although we can't find anyone selling it yet, and several stores don't even have it on their site or in their ads. So we're going to go hunting for that this week, as should you. If you're frustrated and want to hang out with Cecil and Kain and need a snack before the main course, GameSpot has a review and it sounds about as good as we're hoping for.

We also hear the Xbox 360 launch totally jumped the shark. You can hear it too, in this GameSpot article or at NCS. Too bad so far, but the good news is apparently the games have no territorial lockout, so if you want an Xbox 360, consider a Japanese unit.

--AP

Wave 3 DTC Joe Plugging or news, we're not sure

In the Entertainment Earth Warehouses yesterday, shipments of the Wave 3 figures and the newest comic packs-- the ones with "Vietnam" Tommy, Lonzo, and "Classified," and all that good stuff is there. Should be in stock in the next 24 hours, so if you backorder, odds are you'll get them within a week. (If you do fast shipping as it sucks this time of year.)

--AP

Let the Wookiee Win
December 15 2005
Star Wars: Vote Savrip in '06

Some people are no doubt hard at work stuffing the ballot box over at Wizard for the ToyFare/Hasbro Fan's Choice poll. ANY fan can submit ANY character. Wow. We know a lot of fans are asking for Quinlan Vos... but we have our own designs. See that picture? That's a Mantellian Savrip, one of the "chess" (or Dejarik to those in the know) monsters from the original Star Wars. The Savrip was also a boss in the (wait for it) 16bit game, Super Star Wars on the Super NES. Vote Savrip!

--AP

Katamari Damacy: The Shirt

Our friends at #wiigii! pointed us to this page which sells several shirts based on the Namco game series Katamari Damacy. That's all you need to know, so click.

We also scored Final Fantasy IV for GBA at Target, $26 and change. Circuit City has it for $24.99, if they actually have it. Most stores still have yet to put the game on shelves, but we have it, and we're currently trying to find out if the bard is still spoony or not-- there's a new translation here. (Or at least new since the Super NES port.)

--AP, thanks to #wiigii!

My eye!
December 16 2005
Star Wars: Statues & Busts

First up: here's something you likely won't see for sale. Gentle Giant Studios sends out a little holiday package every year and for some reason we were beloved enough to get this little polystone hug. It's a Salacious Crumb, in a Santa hat, covered in lights, picking apart C-3PO. Limited to 200 pieces, it does not appear these will be sold on the retail market, nor the wholesale one. And ours? Not for sale. We're just sharing as nobody has seen one yet at press time.

Also new and notable (and a word from our sponsor), is the Darth Vader Cinemascape Statue. The news here is that it was going to be Wal-Mart's exclusive, Wal-Mart changed their mind, and a limited number (the number which we can't figure out) are seeing production. Entertainment Earth is asking $109.99, so far we haven't seen them for sale elsewhere. So if you like super-expensive Hasbro items, this resin statue is for you.

--AP

Transformers Cybertron: Wave 5 Bios, Assortment

At work today, we were hard getting some new information to sell crap. As such, it also happens to be news-- wrapped in an ad. So for the news purists out there, this is obviously tainted meat. Downshift and Cybertron Defense Hot Shot bios, release dates, and images can all be found here.

--AP

16bit.com Podcast
December 17 2005

16bit.com Podcast: December 17, 2005

Phoning it in: Adam puts together a slapdash Podcast in record time! Lots of rambling and annoying ambient sounds! It's truly a thing of wonderment.

--AP

Contents

This week's segments:

0:00 - The whole thing as that's all we did.
0:36 - News [ Ultra Magnus Link ]
5:56 - Final Fantasy IV for GBA Overview
7:55 - Toy of the Week: Star Wars R2-D2 Wrestling Buddy
9:27 - 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.

Q&A Season Finale!
December 19 2005
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Enjoy! That's it for 2006, and we look at clones, droids, playsets, and all the usual crap we love so much. Oh, and we hate on Quinlan Vos some.

--AP

More on PSP Katamari Damacy

Take a look at a gallery at The Magic Box with four new pages of galleries of the portable Katamari offering! It has a rollercoaster with penguins-- what's not to like? Also be sure to check out the four images at GameSpot showing the bonus 2D, 8bit-styled Katamari bonus game!

--AP

Beast Wars is Back

So we got some reports around the country that the first 3 reissues-- Cheetor, Rhinox, and Waspinator-- are hitting Wal-Marts. Along with the 2006 Alternators of Tracks, Sunstreaker, Prowl, and Skids. Oh, and Cybertron Swerve and Swindle. It's a busy hunting season, especially seeing as many fans have yet to see other recent releases still!

Also, check out Laser Ultra Magnus, a "new" G2 toy coming in Japan. This E-Hobby exclusive is the old Laser Optimus Prime toy recolored as, you guessed it, Mr. "I don't have time for that now!"

--AP

Newsradio! Bowie! Swindle!
December 20 2005
DVD: Newsradio Season 3

Oh, joyous day! TVShowsOnDVD.com posted that the third season is coming to DVD in February, a long with a list of extras, a release date, and more. You need to read it.

As to your next question, "Super Karate Monkey Death Car" was season 4, unfortunately.

--AP

Cybertron Swerve, Swindle at Toys "R" Us

Last night at an LA area Toys "R" Us we were shocked to find both Swindle and Swerve, and both were also on sale 25% off. (With the $10 gift certificate from the 'rents, the two cost us a full $1 and change.) Swerve is quite nifty and Swindle is still in package at press time.

Also, online stores now have the second wave of Mini-Cons. You can find them at Entertainment Earth and elsewhere.

--AP

Microman Optom

Ever wonder what would happen if a Microman figure had a suit of armor that looks like an octopus? Takara's finest aquatic beast toy since the Takotank is up for viewing (and reviewing) at Microman Forever, and we think it's one fine looking toy. Take a look, kids!

--AP

Labyrinth Goblin King Images, Preorders

Pictures have been revealed of David Bowie as the Goblin King, the action figure from Palisades. Images should be up at this Entertainment Earth listing shortly and can be found in the new issue of Previews. (Which looks much better than the one Palisades sent us at work on Monday, we must say.) With rooted hair, three balls (tee-hee), and a chase version with a purple coat, we expect this to be a hot item. The likeness is pretty good from the shots we've seen, not perfect, but very good. We've shown it around to who we believe to be the most appropriate customers for this item and she approves lustfully. (We're feeling unloved, but we digress.)

...Sesame Street Big Bird is making the rounds too. Again, the image should be up shortly, and it was also shown in Previews.

--AP

More Beasties!
December 21 2005
Beast Wars 10th, Wave 2

Coming around February: Dinobot, Rattrap, and "Predacon Tarantulas." Each figure includles a DVD and accessories, and we're happy to show them all to you here:

You can order these now at Entertainment Earth or see them in stores as they arrive. Nifty!

--AP

Zoids Event Kits

While searching eBay, we found these kits from a Japanese Dinosaur Expo. There are at least four specially colored kits, including a particularly awesome Red Horn, and you may wish to check them out. The prices are all over the place, though, so a little patience can net you these for a good price, but if nothing else you may just want to check them out.

--AP

More Beasties!
December 22 2005
Beast Wars Comic Preview

Want to see 12 pages of the first Beast Wars comic with full lettering and all that crap? Well, click here and you can. It's looking pretty neat with lots and lots of interesting character models and an introduction with promise.

--AP

New Seiken Densetsu 4 Images

Want to see something strange and mystical? The Magic Box has many new pictures of Seiken Densetsu 4. It's a new "Secret of Mana" game for those who don't follow the series, as our "Secret of Mana" was actually Seiken Densetsu 2. (The first Seiken Densetsu was Final Fantasy Adventure on the GameBoy, and #3 never came out in the USA.) #4 is coming to PS2 in 2006. In Japan. No idea about us foreigners yet.

--AP

Markdown on Xevoz Runeslayer vs. Firedrake

There's a big sale going on at Entertainment Earth, such as the one on this Xevoz Runeslayer vs. Firedrake. $9.90, we daresay that's the best price you'll see any time soon. More items are being marked down but since that's like half off we figured you may want to know.

--AP

16bit.com Podcast
December 23 2005

16bit.com Podcast: December 23, 2005

Is this the last show of 2005? We don't know. But we do look at Transformers Cybertron Swindle, GameBoy Advance Castlevania, tons of news and all that crap. Sure, it could be better, but then it might be good, which, at best, it isn't just yet.

--AP

Contents

This week's segments:

0:00 - The whole thing as that's all we did.
0:39 - News
7:16 - Castlevania NES Classics for GBA Overview
9:46 - Toy of the Week: Star Wars R2-D2 Wrestling Buddy
12:50 - 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.

Merry Jesusmas
December 24 2005
Entertainment Earth Winter Blowout Sale!

Happy plugging. Over 700 products are on sale for up to 90% off right now-- it's a pre-post-Christmas sale at Entertainment Earth! Simpsons for $1.90 for 2 figures, Simpsons playsets, Max Rebo for $5.90, Star Wars figures under $3, statues, busts, shirts, and so much more. And a lot of it is junk-- but with 700 items, and even Sock Monkey stuff, you may find something to amuse you enough to buy as you browse at work. If not... well, sorry to waste your time then.

Oh, there's also Miss Fear: Luscious Asian Spy Variant, on sale for $62.50. The regular Miss Fear: Luscious Asian Spy, is down to $60.00. Either way, that's a lot more Luscious Asian Spies than I'm used to.

--AP

New Cybertron BOGO Packs & Pepsi Convoy Bio

If you dare brave Wal-Mart's aisles, you may find a good deal. Early wave deluxe Transformers Cybertron figures (up through Snarl/Sideways) are appearing in random configurations of buy one, get one free packs at Wal-Mart. These are just standard packaged figures, in a larger cardboard sleeve, much like previous packs of this nature. For ten bucks, it's hard to go wrong.

Also, if you haven't seen it, Monzo turned us on to this link in which you can see the bio (in "English") for the recently released Pepsi Convoy, a new toy based on the concept that gave birth to the original Pepsi Optimus Prime.

--AP, special thanks to Monzo

New New Rainbow Islands 4 Images

Want to see small boys and rainbows? No? Well, too bad. The Magic Box has many new pictures of New Rainbow Islands,a Nintendo DS game in the "Bubble Bobble" series. It's colorful and cute and odds are your wife or significant other will find it adorable. It looks good, we're tempted to import it, so take a look.

--AP

The Future of Joe?

Who doesn't love a good round of gossip? Cobra Island posted tons of Q&A on their forums with "ViperSteve" on the future of the small Joe line. We have no idea who his sources are, but it does tie in to a lot of what we've heard. We feel we'd be doing you a disservice by NOT letting you know about it, although we can't vouch for all of it-- but most of it sounds right on the money. A worthy read, to say the least.

--AP

Target Clearances Begin

Target stores are already marking down old product on Christmas Eve, and we saw lots of items about 30% off. Highlights include all red boxed Transformers Alternators, Cybertron Starscream, virtually all Revenge of the Sith merchandise, lots of Playmobil, tons of LEGO, and much more. If you still have time, we advise you go hunting now. If not, well, December 26, baby.

--AP

Happy Whatever

So, we're off for a few days. Happy holidays! In the meantime, have fun, check out some of the Transformers checklists we updated in the toy archive. We'll be back soon enough, though, so happy clearancing at retail and elsewhere!

--AP

Back, Again
December 29 2005
New Transformers Sightings A-Plenty

It is somewhat commonly known that the week after Christmas is one of the best times to scope out new toys-- not because of returns, nor because of back room finds. But because desperate stores put out whatever they can to fill shelves, and as such, we, the bottom-feeders, find neat stuff.

Alternators: We personally spotted and bought Autobot Skids while in Phoenix at the Wal-Mart nearest the house in which we grew up. (Ergo: Sunstreaker, Tracks, and Prowl are out in the new boxes too.) $19.76 a pop, we'll be a-hunting for Sunstreaker now.

Beast Wars: We also spotted Rhinox in a... somewhere in California on the way back Wal-Mart. $14 and change, DVD, bonus parts, etc. Happy fun times.

Cybertron: Nothing new yet. We hear of many sightings of the Thunderblast wave but we do not yet see them anywhere. (We also have yet to find new Universe items. Big shock.)

And we found more stuff to see:
Gallery of Cybertron Downshift, The Allspark
Gallery of Alternators Ricochet at Remy's World
More images of "G2" Laser Ultra Magnus

--AP

New "Anime" LEGO Exo Force Sets, Wave 2 Images, AND Clearance Brick Buckets

You care, you just don't know that you do. Have you ever wanted Anime style hair for LEGO figures? Well, you're in luck. We spotted several (and bought one) of the new Exoforce kits from LEGO. Basically, they're mechs from $4.76 on up with figures with wild hair and multiple facial expressions-- which is the selling point, if you're an adult fanboy. If you're a kid, it's a giant awesome robot. The villains are some sort of robots in big suits. (Admittedly, we ignored them in favor of the crazy hair humans.) We just popped open one set to examine the figure and we are PLEASED. We wish to see more hair in various colors in parts packs and/or licensed characters. Pretty please.

To see what's out now, click here for LEGO.com's page. For Wave 2, click here for Brickshelf's scan of some German catalog.

Finally, some Fry's Electronics (not to be confused with the grocery stores) have a 700-brick LEGO bucket (no figures, just plain bricks in various colors including orange and green) marked down 50% to $9.99. It's a good deal for those needing more bricks.

--AP

New Animal Crossing Gashapon @ NCS

As we know some of you are hardcore Animal Crossing fans: NCS has a seven-figure set from Yujin up for grabs. 7 animals per set, $16 per set, aaaand we don't know the names well enough to tell you what it is we're looking at. But they're neat for fans of Nintendo's alterna-world game and the designs are quite nice.

--AP

Kersmash! Eye, My
December 30 2005
More Transformers Online A-Plenty

At Entertainment Earth, we got a bundle of new items in the warehouses-- some of which are presold out of this shipment, but hey, one more place is getting hit with new wares: Alternators Sunstreaker, Skids, Prowl, Tracks
Cybertron Swerve, Swindle, etc.
Cybertron Thunderblast, Brimstone, Crosswise, etc.
Cybertron Mini-Cons Wave 2

We just opened the Skids from the other day and we're more or less pleased with the tubby 'bot.

So for those of you who hate shopping on the Cyberweb, there you go-- you can probably expect to see those soon if you aren't seeing them already. We didn't have any new brick-and-mortar findings today, look as we may.

--AP

Playmobil Clearances at Target, Continued

We've never been more agitated at a clearance item. One of Target's fairy tale castle sets-- obviously, not meant for men of our gender-- were being blown out for under $2 at our local Target, formerly selling for over $8. There were zero parts worth buying the set for, dadgummit. It seems Target's clearances this season are quite erratic, with stores seemingly marking things down willy-nilly across all brands. So as you hit Target, if you see something you like, scan it and verify the price.

No Pirate clearances yet, it seems. Although the "Pals" were blown out quite handily, which is good because it shows you people have taste.

--AP

Game Stuff: Square-Enix Edition

News-a-plenty. The Magic Box posted Dirge of Cerebus: Finaly Fantasy VII news and images. Apparently there's some sort of monthly fee, which vexes us and may make us pass on it depending on what it means. There's also 8 new pages of images.

Also at the Magic Box, five colorful image pages of Seiken Densetsu 4 which look really slick.

--AP

Sponsor Plugging/Filler

Looking to waste some time? Well, Entertainment Earth's Winter Blowout Sale is on and a couple hundred items already sold out-- but hundreds of other items of questionable value remain. Do you need a $9.90 Xevoz Runeslayer vs. Firedrake? Well, we think so. But not so much this Planet of the Apes 12-inch Attar Figure for $1.90, this $250 SW Episode III Darth Sidious Lightsaber Replica, nor this genuinely rotten Life of Brian: Mandy 12-inch Figure from Sideshow for $7.90. But if you need a gag gift, there's plenty. (And some neat items worth picking up, of course. But there's some great gag items.)

There's also some new arrivals in stock now.
Titanium Star Wars Vehicles Wave 2, Rev. 1
iDog Musical Robot Dog
Marie Antoinette Action Figure
Battle Vixens - Sonsaku in School Uniform

--AP

Self-Congratulations

It was pointed out to me that I rarely celebrate milestones. I just discovered that I'm more or less at my 300th Star Wars Q&A column-- or will be before Toy Fair. Huzzah. Go me, I rokk. (Two "k"s for extra rokking.) We're working on plans for the next podcast which may or may not be a New Year's Day thing. (We don't have the studio and are working on figuring out what it is we want to do. We discovered that it's more difficult to reach new levels of unprofessionalism in one's own home than it is in someone's studio.)

Now go read up on the greatness that is the hobo and go have a happy New Year. Unless you're Chinese, in which case have a happy New Year in a month and change. (Or have both. This one's on me.) Now I will go back and listened to my ill-gotten Rondelles CD.

--AP

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