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Happy Mondays
December 3, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Read on!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of the 30th Anniversary Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Jango Fett Clone Trooper Clone Commander

From left to right: Jango Fett, Clone Trooper, Clone Commander. Go to Galactic Hunter for the next update, with the 576th installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Playmobil 2008 (or to the USA, 2009)

PlaymobilNiceFor roughly 9 months out of the year, there's really nothing interesting going on with Playmobil-- but starting around December, there's news galore! This week, we've got a real doozy for you, a sneak peek at the 2008 sets which will be revealed at German Toy Fair soon! We were pointed to this link at the PlaymoDB, which has 20 new sets from the wedding theme, the deep sea theme, and the new specials. Which are meh, yowza, and ok respectively.

Highlights include a sperm whale, a shark cage that floats, and a big friggin' church. We're quite enamored with the undersea theme, as new items include deep sea divers, submersibles, and critters galore. (Stingrays, swordfish, etc.) Ironically, the specials of 2008 aren't all that special-- there's nothing mind-bendingly cool being introduced here. These won't be in the USA until 2009, but we'll be getting the dinosaurs, pirates, and other Germany 2007 sets soon. (And if the previous years are any indication, the Specials are released worldwide all at once-- although Target stores may get them earlier and cheaper.)

--AP

Transformers Movie Premium Figures Coming

TransformersNot Good"Premium figure" is usually slang for "iffy repaint at about 2.6 times the price," but a scan from the new issue of Lee's Toy Review magazine as posted on TheAllspark.com seems to indicate otherwise. Apparently the movie molds are getting tweaked and repainted to be more movie-like, and if we're going to be force fed repaints at least they can be decent for once. Although it might be more exciting were these not the third or fourth redeco of the same mold, but such is life. These should pop up next year, but we're not quite sure when, where, or for how much.

--AP

Raiden Fighters Aces for Xbox 360

Xbox 360SHOOT!We know there are some really big Raiden fans out there, so we figured we had to link to these pictures (and updates) on Raiden Fighter Aces, a new shooter compilation for Microsoft's Xbox 360. The compilation has three games and Xbox Live support for your high scores list.

--AP

Re-Revenge of DOH
December 4, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 576

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the 2007 Clone Trooper from Target's Felucia-themed Battle Pack earlier this year. It's a new and different enough figure to warrant your attention, but is it worth buying a whole set of figures to get? Read on!

--AP

G.I. Joe Comic Packs Wave 3 Confirmed

G.I. JoeYo Joe!Over at Entertainment Earth, they were given new word of the next four comic packs from Hasbro-- and they're good. Wave 3 has Battle-Damaged Storm Shadow & Snake Eyes, Tomax & Xamot, Crimson Guard & Commander, and Ace & Wild Weasel. In short, it's a strong wave that should delight and amuse. (And yeah, they're accepting pre-orders too.)

--AP

Wii Virtual Console This Week

WiiWhat?What does Nintendo have for you to choke on today? From the Genesis: Eternal Champions, a fighting game which people actually claimed to like almost 13 years ago. From the NES: Zanac, a top-down scrolling vertical shooter that we assume few of you will remember. From the TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM: The Dynastic Hero, which we'd by lying if we said we knew what it was.

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadeSaleIt's sale week at the Xbox Live Arcade. No new titles have been mentioned (yet) but Zuma, Lumines Live, Marble Blast Ultra, Small Arms, and Bankshot Billiards 2 are each getting a $5 (or 400 point) price drop. Wow. How uninteresting.

We suggest you spring for Asteroids from last week. Just be thankful that Rez HD is coming really soon.

--AP

Arkanoid is Coming This Week... to Japan

Nintendo DSC'mon!Why do you mock us, Taito? Why won't you announce Arkanoid DS, what with its fancy pants spinner controller, for the USA? Are you going to make us pay for the Japanese import, Taito? That isn't very cool of you.

If you've never played it, you might not care, but we hear mostly excellent things about this import remake of the classic 1980s arcade game. We used to play it a lot at a local bar when we were about 12. (Not at the bar, mind you, they wouldn't allow that.) It's a great Breakout clone, but we like all those take-the-ball-and-hit-a-block games, even Alleyway. This particular game works for us because, like in Gradius, you can upgrade your ship and that makes it very exciting.

--AP

Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride
December 7, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Guess what? Figure of the Day has been updated, and the Festival of Clones continues! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of the 30th Anniversary Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

5001st Legion Trooper Clone Sharptrooper AT-RT Driver

From left to right: 501st Legion Trooper, Clone Sharptrooper, AT-RT Driver. Go to Galactic Hunter for the next update, with the 580th installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Speed Racer Movie Toys

AnimeGo, Speed, Go!Let's start this off right: there are no pictures. There, the bad news is out of the way. The good news is that Mattel is making an extensive line of Speed Racer toy vehicles, figures, and other products in 2008, if you care for such things. These are going to be based on the new movie, which looks very faithful to the old animated series from what we've seen. There was an aborted attempt to relaunch the property a few years ago, but this seems to have some serious legs. Entertainment Earth put up a list of product coming soon, and it seems kinda neat-- well, from the descriptions at least.

--AP

MST3K: Giant Gila Monster Singles; UCB: ASSSSCAT!

DVDSaleAfter hearing the fan outcry, it seems Rhino is doing the smart thing and making some money by releasing The Giant Gila Monster all by its lonesome as well as part of the rerelease of the Volume 10 boxed set of Mystery Science Theater 3000. You can read all about it at the Satellite News web site on December 4. The actual disc's release date and price are presently unknown. (Thanks Erin for the tip.)

But wait, there's more! The Upright Citizens Brigade is going to put out a DVD of their "ASSSSCAT!" improv show-- so says TVShowsOnDVD.com. We very much dig the group and its shows, and there's some very talented people involved. It comes out in March.

--AP

Entertainment Earth Podcast
(Powered by 16bit.com)

Podcast #70: December 7, 2007

Star Wars 30th Anniversary Wave 7 Reviewed! Also: Back to the Future Flux Capacitor news, recently released exclusives, a possible G.I. Joe casting addition, loads of toy and game news, and probably some other stuff you might find interesting. Do give it a listen.

Click here to visit the Episode #70 page at Entertainment Earth.

--AP

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 search for "Adam Pawlus" under Podcasts in the iTunes music store, or just go to "Subscribe to Podcast" and paste in "http://www.entertainmentearth.com/podcasts/podcast.xml". And you should be all hooked up.

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

If you are using Safari: click here.

Business Hours Are Over, Baby
December 11, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Read on!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of the 30th Anniversary Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Clone Trooper Clone Trooper Clone Engineer Utapau Shadow Trooper

From left to right: Clone Trooper, another Clone Trooper, Clone Engineer, and Utapau Shadow Trooper. Go to Galactic Hunter for the next update, with the 584th installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

New Joe Comic Packs Revealed

G.I. JoeTres CoolLow expectations yield positive impressions. How else can you explain the battle-damaged Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow looking so good? Hasbro put up images of these two and more, so you can see "Scar," Tomax, Xamot, and a new Crimson Guard. We're pleased.

--AP

We Found Someone's Arkanoid DS Impressions

Nintendo DSNice?Apparently Arkanoid DS is easy but fun-- which so far makes us interested. I mean, we choked our way through much of Alleyway, so we were happy to read these impressions of Arkanoid DS from Wired's Game|Life Blog. We just wish the game were cheaper than $50 before shipping, as it will be pricey. (And the music apparently sucks, but such is life.)

--AP

Wii Virtual Console This Week

WiiWhat?What does Nintendo have for you to choke on today? From the NeoGeo: Baseball Stars 2, a game which involves neither Baseball nor stars. Well, stars anyway. From the NES: Ghosts & Goblins, a legendary grandpappy to a franchise of awesome horror arcade games known for their extreme level of difficulty. If you've never played any games from the series, you're probably better off playing one of the 16-bit sequels from the Genesis or Super NES, as this original didn't age nearly as well. Heck, get the PSP one, it's good. From the Nintendo 64: Pokemon Snap, which we have heard has been tweaked to allow for online photo sharing of your in-game photos.

Also, the release date for Dragon Quest Swords in the USA has been announced, and it's February 26, 2008. That's the good news. The bad news is that early reviews of the import aren't very kind.

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadeNew, finallyAfter a week of sale items and dashboard updates, there are two new games this week. Neither of which sound interesting but we've been wrong before, and often. Since Arkadian Warriors has a better name, we'll start there. Apparently you can change your shape or something. It's 800 points (US $10) and looks like it might be vaguely interesting, although we are not optimistic as the synopsis also sounds somewhat similar as that which may have been used to trick us into renting many an NES game nearly 20 years ago.

The second game on the menu is GripShift, yet another racing game. There's supposedly an emphasis on stuntwork and all sorts of traps, and the game is 800 points (US $10). Our hopes are not high.

--AP

Quincy Jones ain't gonna help you
December 13, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 584, 585

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the 2005 (and also 2007) Clone Trooper from the Clone Attack on Coruscant Battle Pack. It's grey... and it has feet. What more could you ask for? Read on!

We also examine the recently released exclusive ARC Trooper! Now that clones are black, will you ever go back? We investigate. Read on!

--AP

Another Joe Comic Packs Revealed; Ray Park is Snake Eyes

G.I. JoeYay!Finally, the rest of wave 3 has been revealed after endless days of waiting! The new figures are Ace and Wild Weasel, which amusingly sound like euphemisms for the back and front of you midsection, respectively. The G.I. Joe Club has shots of the two figures, some accessories, and the comic book for these sets which are expected early next year.

Also, Hasbro announced that Ray Park has been cast as Snake Eyes for certain, so there you go. Good times.

--AP

New for the Nintendo DS: Classic Game Training!

Nintendo DSIt seems to be legitWe're told by the youngsters that the games of the 1980s were too hard and too primitive to be fun. We disagree, but apparently Namco/Bandai is cranking this out to whip you whiny babies into shape. Our Video Game Exams tests you on dozens of classic games, so you can try your hand at WarioWare-esque morsels based on Galaga, Sky Kid, and other titles your grandparents enjoyed when they were dating.

--AP

Street Fighter IV Details Revealed

Video GamesCapcom Learns to Count to 4A lot of sites are reporting the news, but here's what you need to know first: 3D graphics, 2D fighting. Multiplatform. Takes place after II. Ryu, Ken, Dhalsim, and Chun-Li are present. Click for more at The Magic Box. The release date is still, much like Dhalsim, up in the air.

--AP

Entertainment Earth Podcast
(Powered by 16bit.com)

Podcast #71: December 14, 2007

Star Wars 30th Anniversary Wave 8 Reviewed! Also: Indiana Jones from Gentle Giant, new G.I. Joe pictures, and a whole mess of other stuff. Also: Namco-Bandai has taken the Brain Training concept to the next logical step in Japan, find out what it is in this thrilling show.

Click here to visit the Episode #71 page at Entertainment Earth.

--AP

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 search for "Adam Pawlus" under Podcasts in the iTunes music store, or just go to "Subscribe to Podcast" and paste in "http://www.entertainmentearth.com/podcasts/podcast.xml". And you should be all hooked up.

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

If you are using Safari: click here.

I Want To Live in a Van down by the River
December 17, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Read on!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of the 30th Anniversary Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Commander Cody Commander Bacara Clone Trooper BARC Trooper

From left to right: Commander Cody, Commander Bacara, Clone Trooper, and BARC Trooper. Go to Galactic Hunter for the next update, with the 584th installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Wave 1 Joe Comic Packs Released

G.I. JoeStart HuntingThe guys at HISSTank.com are reporting that wave 1 of the comic packs are hitting Toys "R" Us stores. These figures also have the first forms and stickers to mail-in for the exclusive Doc figure, so you might want to pick up one or more sets to prepare for that offer. They're $9.99 each. (We have not sighted them yet, so we'll probably let you know once we've confirmed them too.)

--AP

DS RPGs A-Plenty Coming to Japan

Nintendo DSJapan Gets More RPGs, World ShockedAccording to the Magic Box-- which has pictures-- two more Nintendo DS RPGs are on the way. One is a real time simulation RPG (we don't know what that really means) called Blue Dragon Plus, based on the Mistwalker Xbox franchise. If "real time simulation" is what the kids are calling "terrible 'tactics' game" we'll pass. Also coming is Dragon Quest V, a DS remake of an old Super NES game. Which is both sacrilege and tempting all at once, as those old-timey RPGs weren't all released stateside. It looks decent enough, and since DQIV is supposedly coming out in the USA we're sure sales will demand this one's eventual release (or not) as well. It's pretty sexy.

DQIV sold over a million copies in Japan, and it just came out. That's saying a lot.

--AP

Transformers Animated: Someone Saw It

TransformersImpressionsTransformers super-fan Ben Yee posted a whole mess of impressions of the premiere "movie" for Transformers Animated, which should air in the USA on December 26. It's largely positive and he said it's a great take on the show, very positive overall.

For what we could tell from watching fans online, lots of fans didn't all like Beast Wars when it started, and the early impressions of Beast Machines based on a very early Botcon sneak peek were quite positive. So who knows who this one will end up? Certainly not us.

Also, TFormers.com posted some shots of upcoming Robot Heroes figures. These are G1- and BW-based. We're pleased. We'll probably buy most or all of these. It's probably the most cartoon-accurate Blackarachnia we'll ever see.

--AP

There Is No Track On This Side
December 18, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 576

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the nifty online exclusive Sev from this year's shared exclusive Delta Squad gift set. The figure is an existing figure with minor tweaks, new paint, and some new parts. It comes in a gift set with other, similar figures. Could this set of figures from an Xbox game be just what your collection needs? Read on!

--AP

G.I. Joe Comic Packs Wave 4 Released

G.I. JoeYo Joe!Over the weekend we spotted a few of Wave 4-- the "reissue wave"-- at Wal-Mart. If you luck out, you'll see Cobra Commander, Destro, Cobra Air Trooper, Duke, Roadblock, Gung Ho, Scarlett, or Storm Shadow at your local store. These are supposedly the same as the boxed set figures, but may have been retooled to include a backpack hole-- we don't know as we do not plan on buying any since there are no significant changes from the figures we have. If you know, let us know-- otherwise, happy hunting!

--AP

US Crisis Core: March 25

PSPFinallyAfter selling hundreds of thousands of copies in Japan, it has been confirmed that Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core for the PSP (which we hear is actually pretty good) will be coming out next March. No word yet of any limited editions but odds are the game itself will be enough to excite some fans, as long as they still aren't feeling the sting from some other less-than-stellar spinoffs of the seventh Final Fantasy game.

--AP

Wii Virtual Console This Week

WiiNot so goodWhat does Nintendo have for you to hate now? From the Genesis: Alien Storm, a game with freaky monsters that most people had nice things to say about. From the Super NES: Cybernator, a robot game that we don't remember anyone saying to us "hey dude, you should totally try this one." From the TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM: Monster Lair, which we have never played.

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadeNewTwo games this week again-- yay! We're not sure if either is particularly thrilling though. Tempest will set you back 400 points, and is a remake of an Atari classic. It has both the original classic arcade game as well as a tarted-up remake. Gameplay is similar to the recently released Space Giraffe, except it's worth noting there are people who actually really like Tempest.

The other game is Sensible World of Soccer, which doesn't sound particularly fun but apparently is according to some people. It's 800 points and has online play, which is, of course, the main draw. Moreso than the "soccer" part.

--AP

Burning Bridges
December 20, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 591, 592

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the 2006 orange Utapau Clone Trooper from Revenge of the Sith. It's orange! It has loads of articulation! There's even a display stand! Aren't you like beyond excited by now? Read on!

We also examine the 2006 Elite Corps Clone Trooper! He's ready to rumble on the beach or the jungle planet of Kashyyyk-- and yeah, he's a repaint. Hey, sometimes you gotta take a shortcut, right? Read on!

--AP

Another Cast Member Has Been... Cast

G.I. JoeTwo, really.Two, really. According to Latino Review.com, Snake Eyes is Rachel Nichols, who we've never heard of but really does look the part. Storm Shadow will be played by Korean actor Byung-Hun Lee, who we're sure is going to be just great.

--AP

Cheapo (Half) Shooter Ship Sets Include Gradius

Video GamesWe got one comingGame importer NCS has some 3-piece sets of the Shooting Historica sets of mini-ships. What does this mean? $12.50 will get you the Gradius Vic Viper, the Gradius 2 Metarion, and the Darius Gaiden Silver Hawk. We'd have paid more for just the Vic Viper, so naturally we ordered the trio and will let you know how it is when it shows up.

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade Soccer Pulled

Xbox Live ArcadeNewRemember when we said that the Sensible World of Soccer was coming out this week? Well, it's been pulled with no new release date because the game is buggy and online play doesn't work properly. I guess it wasn't all that sensible to release it now after all, eh? Maybe next year.

--AP

Entertainment Earth Podcast
(Powered by 16bit.com)

Podcast #72: December 21, 2007

Star Wars 30th Anniversary Wave 9 Reviewed! Also: G.I. Joe casting news continued, positive buzz on Transformers: Animated, Japanese Nintendo DS RPG news, and other stuff which will probably interest your inner fanboy or fangirl. Oh, and continued happy holidays to you and/or yours.

Click here to visit the Episode #72 page at Entertainment Earth.

--AP

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 search for "Adam Pawlus" under Podcasts in the iTunes music store, or just go to "Subscribe to Podcast" and paste in "http://www.entertainmentearth.com/podcasts/podcast.xml". And you should be all hooked up.

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

If you are using Safari: click here.

Get Off My Yacht
December 25, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Clone TrooperGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column by yours truly. Read on!

Also, Figure of the Day has been updated! The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of the 30th Anniversary Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Clone Trooper Commander Omega Squad Communications Clone Trooper Clone Trooper (Fifth Fleet Battalion)

From left to right: They're all Clone Troopers. Go to Galactic Hunter for the next update, with the 599th installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Future Joe Comic Packs Revealed?

G.I. JoeMaybe neatOver at HISS Tank, they posted a list of 6 new comic packs for the G.I. Joe line. It's worth noting that these haven't been confirmed by Hasbro yet, but it seems pretty likely. The good news: the list includes figures like Copperhead, Tripwire, Red Star, and Falcon. The not so good news: you can expect another Cobra Commander, Firefly, Storm Shadow, and Duke in the mix. However, some new vac metal Cobra Commander test shots have surfaced so maybe they're looking to do something unique and interesting with the fourth or fifth reissue of the same mold.

--AP

Transformers Repaints Coming to Wal-Mart

TransformersBig DaddyThe fact that Wal-Mart will be getting more Transformers repaints really isn't a surprise. What is, though, is that at least one of them is quite compelling. The Allspark has put together a report showing that there are going to be many Cybertron repaints: Downshift will be Big Daddy, Landmine will be Grindcore, Thundercracker is Divebomb, and finally, Crosswise is Jolt.

And you can see them all on this auction page... if it's still available. Seeing as how Big Daddy is a nod to a fairly obscure Micromasters toy, we're probably going to be all over that action.

--AP

Wii Virtual Console This Week

WiiOK, I guessIt's Christmas... did Nintendo leave a lump of coal in your stocking? Sort of. From the NES: Blades of Steel, a game with no NHL teams, but lots of fighting. From the Super NES: Donkey Kong Country 3, the last "Country" game and supposedly fun-- but we stopped at #2. From the Sega Genesis: Rolling Thunder 2, which has even more thunder than ever before, and yes, it's rolling.

--AP

Xbox Live Arcade This Week

Xbox Live ArcadeBest Name EvarThis week, it's Spongebob Squarepants Underpants Slam, a mini-game collection with a delightful name which implies being slammed in the crotch. Really, isn't that what eveyrbody wants? We don't ordinarily like to prejudge games, but this $10 Xbox-exclusive collection of mini-games comes to you by way of THQ. Yeah, we thought so too.

--AP

Ad: Huge Holiday Blow Out Sale at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment EarthEntertainment EarthIt's time for the annual Entertainment Earth Blow Out Sale, and this year over 900 items have had their prices slashed but only for a limited time. Save on Warcraft, Star Wars, Star Trek, Baby Alive, My Little Pony, Transformers, and more.

Orders of $85 or more ship free (restrictions apply).

Prices are up to 95% off of previous retail prices. Prices valid through January 14, 2008 or while supplies last.

Star Wars Animated C-3PO with Jawa Maquette Stikfas Classic Delta Boy Extreme Marvel Universe Civil War Captain America Bust Transformers The Movie Unicron Statue

And as always, buying through these shameless plugs means we get a nickel or two, and we appreciate your shined nickels and loose change.

--AP

It's Just Not That Popular
December 26, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 576

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at the fancy Star Corps Clone Trooper from the 2005 Evolutions sets. It's not one of the troopers being reissued, but it's a good one-- the helmet comes off, he has pistols and a rifle, and he's nicely articulated. Does he have everything he needs to shoot a Jedi in the back? Read on!

--AP

Transformers Classics: Japanese Repaints

TransformersYo Joe!Back in 2006, some fans saw the Transformers Classics line (which we love) and said "they're pretty good, but I bet the Japanese releases will look even better." Well, 2007 came and went, and now we're getting a look at some of the figures making their way to Japan. It seems Megatron is getting a significant makeover, with reds, silvers, greys, and absolutely no purple or green (except the Decepticon markings). Check it out at TFW2005.

Also, if you haven't seen it, Bumblebee, Grimlock, and Optimus are getting the redeco treatment as well. Bumblebee loses his silver stripes on his roof, Optimus has Autobot symbols on both shoulders, and Grimlock is loaded with silver and other new details to make him look more G1-ish. TFormers.com has a gallery and so far it seems that the Autobots aren't really all that different. We guess the real question is if Starscream and Astrotrain will also get significant G1 makeovers, and what are the chances we might see other repaints like Thundercracker or Dirge in the Japanese line as time goes on?

--AP

Transformers Animated: On Cartoon Network Today!

TransformersTransform and Roll Out!The next phase of the robots in disguise starts on US TV tonight-- check your listings on Cartoon Network for times. The two-hour movie (or four episodes stitched together) premieres tonight and reruns again later in the week-- no toys will be available for months, but we guess you gotta start somewhere. Early buzz is good, but generally early buzz for the first few episodes of any Transformers cartoon tends to be pretty positive.

--AP

Final Fantasy IV: The After Details

Video GamesFinal Fantasy IVOver at The Magic Box, they posted some details on the most exciting news 1992 might have had to offer, were it 1992. A 2D game called Final Fantasy IV: The After is coming to Japanese cell phones and focuses on the son of Cecil and Rosa, named Cedore. (OK, whatever.) Cid, Cecil, Kain, Rydia, Edge, and Yang appear and it seems this might be an RPG-- read their site for additional details. No word of any US release but here's hoping for a DS/GBA port.

--AP

Playmobil You Can't Get

PlaymobiExpensiveWe heard about this, but have no idea how to get one easily. TUV Rheinland (in Germany) has an exclusive promotional set with two figures and some accessories. It's nothing especially special, although we are fond of clip boards. There are dozens of great promotional sets released only at Germany, be it for construction firms, airlines, seafood fast food eateries, or... whatever the Hell "TUV Rheinland" is.

--AP

Entertainment Earth Podcast
(Powered by 16bit.com)

Podcast #73: December 28, 2007

The Big Lebowski The Dude Figure Reviewed! Also: 2008 Star Wars and G.I. Joe news and rumors, what we thought of Transformers: Animated, some nifty plastic announcements, and some other stuff about video games and movies. Oh, and we are in the process of having a very large sale.

Click here to visit the Episode #73 page at Entertainment Earth.

--AP

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 search for "Adam Pawlus" under Podcasts in the iTunes music store, or just go to "Subscribe to Podcast" and paste in "http://www.entertainmentearth.com/podcasts/podcast.xml". And you should be all hooked up.

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

If you are using Safari: click here.

Too Much Funky
December 31, 2007
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Jet TrooperGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a bunch of Figure of the Day updates! Q&A will return next week.

The daily feature on figures you might have but might not-- either way, here's what you've been missing! Spanning from the original Power of the Force series of 1995 to the latest of the 30th Anniversary Collection, it's almost like a history lesson, but with less homework!

Clone Trooper Clone Trooper Clone Commander Clone Trooper (Fifth Fleet Battalion)

From left to right: They're all Clone Troopers. Go to Galactic Hunter for the next update, with the 604th installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

16bit.com's Arkanoid DS Impressions [Japan import]

Nintendo DSWe like itWe ordered Arkanoid DS the other week, with its paddle-tastic spinner controller, and we're pretty pleased so far. The game is easy to control and once you navigate the menus (which are, naturally, in Japanese) there are a fair amount of options. We just don't know how to make all of them work.

For long-time Arkanoid fans, we should note that so far we haven't seen any of the enemies from the earlier games. There don't seem to be any bosses or anything to interact with outside of the now square (formerly rectangle) bricks and power-ups. There are some new power-ups, and they act a little differently than in the past. One new one adds a barrier to the bottom of the screen-- but there's already a barrier at the bottom, you might have noticed. Rather than give you "lives" in the traditional sense, the game allows the ball to hit the barrier under you a limited number of times (which you can adjust) and when that happens, it's game over. In short, that means you have about three lives per stage, plus you can sometimes get a bonus one. This is somewhat lame.

After you play through stages on "CLEAR GAME" mode, you have the option to play the same stages again with various challenges on "QUEST MODE." For example, you might replay a level and be asked to destroy all the yellow bricks in 30 seconds. Some are very easy, and some are mostly easy. In short, we found ourselves winning more or less by accident. The reward for finishing these "quests" takes the form of points, which you can cash in for bonus items like new wallpaper, different music, new skins for your bricks or paddle, and so on. It's a really nice feature, although we found ourselves hoping for a classic Vaus (which we have yet to see if it's available) or rectangular bricks. Or, heaven forbid, the original arcade game. For all we know it's in there, but since we can't read a lick of Japanese we'll never know.

If you're a fan of Breakout/Arkanoid/Alleyway/whatever knock-off came with your cell phone, we can say that the game thus far is loads of fun. "CLEAR GAME" mode saves your progress every 5 stages so you don't have to start over, which is great because there are branching paths and at least 120 stages. There are versus modes and online modes but damned if we know how to make the most of them yet.

The paddle controller is pretty slick. As you no doubt guessed, it plugs into the GameBoy Advance port quite nicely. If you have the original DS (a.k.a. DS Phat) it fits in quite snuggly. If you have a DS Lite, it sticks out a little bit. With a solid feel, the controller has a nice heft to it and can be spun around-- it's not like the dial on the Xbox 360 joystick, if you give it a little spin, it's heavy enough to keep going. It's like a tiny arcade spinner and we just love that. Arkanoid DS was designed to be played with this and you can use multiple buttons to make the most of it-- for example, if you want to spin the dial with your right hand, you can push down on the d-pad in order to shoot lasers from the Vaus or "throw" the ball if you have the catch power-up. It's nice, but a little bulky and a bit awkward.

The box & what comes in itIt's worth noting it is not necessary for you to have the paddle controller to play the game-- you may also use the stylus or d-pad. But honestly, we've had the game for several days and as of the time we write this we haven't even bothered to try the other methods of control. Currently, the only other game we know will use the DS Spinner will be the Taito game Space Invaders Extreme, which looks pretty great. We're also hoping to see a classic Taito collection some day with the original Space Invaders and Arkanoid, but we are not optimists.

We're having lots of fun with it, but beware: it's expensive, and we have yet to hear of any plans to bring it to the USA. We paid about $53 for it, with the bonus controller which is packaged with the game. (Interestingly, the game itself is in regular shrinkwrapped packaging, and the white paddle controller is in a normal full retail box, and both items are in a larger box together-- so packaging freaks like us, rest assured you'll still have a full keep case for Arkanoid for your collection. As far as we can tell, the game always comes with the white controller if a controller is included, never pink/black/silver.

Our findings show the game with controller is about $50, the game alone is about $40, and the paddle controller is sold by itself in silver, pink, white, or black for $20-$25.

Also, please note we're still working our way through the game, as there's a lot of options to guess at and levels to try. So we might have more later.

--AP

Wii Virtual Console This Week

WiiBUB AND BOB IS DINO-MITE!It's Christmas... did Nintendo leave a lump of coal in your stocking? Sort of. From the NeoGeo: Top Hunter, a "classic" we've never heard of or played, so we can't tell you where to go here. From the NES: Bubble Bobble, a genuine classic from Taito (Arkanoid & Space Invaders fame) that you must have if you don't own it already. It involves dinosaurs and chewing gum. Trust us. From the Sega Genesis: Light Crusader , a Treasure game we've never heard of, so it's probably pretty decent.

--AP

Ad: Huge Holiday Blow Out Sale at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment EarthEntertainment EarthIt's time for the annual Entertainment Earth Blow Out Sale, and this year over 911 745 items have had their prices slashed but only for a limited time. Save on Warcraft, Star Wars, Star Trek, Baby Alive, My Little Pony, Transformers, and more.

Orders of $85 or more ship free (restrictions apply). And as always, buying through these shameless plugs means we get a nickel or two, and we appreciate your shined nickels and loose change.

--AP

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