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Cyber Monday: Not That Sexy
December 1, 2008
Star Wars Q&A, Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column this week! Be sure to click through and read up on the latest!

Figure of the Day has updated once again! 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 Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Stormtrooper Commander Fode & Beed Rebel Vanguard Trooper Holographic Yoda

From left to right: Stormtrooper Commander, Foe & Beed, Rebel Vanguard Trooper, Holographic Yoda. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

Also, take note that Target's exclusive Ultimate Battle Packs for 2008 have hit. The Battle of Christophsis and The Battle at the Sarlacc are each in stores now, if you're lucky. Prices vary from location to location, which is downright unusual for this sort of item. Prices reported (and confirmed) so far are $62.99, $69.99, and $72.99. Odds are you don't need us to tell you this, but try to be cheap on these. They're certainly not worth $73.

--AP

G.I. Joe Resolute Leaking

G.I. JoeResolute!The guys at Hisstank.com have obtained and reviewed a G.I. Joe Resolute Cobra Trooper. Neat! Check out the pictures, and keep your eyes peeled as these are supposedly hitting as you read this.

--AP

Transformers News Round-Up

TransformersThat Was FastA few weeks ago we emailed the Reprolabels people wondering if we might get a shot at some upgrade stickers for the recently released Transformers Universe Jazz, mostly because we felt it'd be nice to have colored windows. Turns out they were on the case and put out a set, along with several other for the size class. The bad news is that they're $3 per set, but the good news is that they look excellent.

Wal-Mart posted some new "bumper battlers" toys-- which would be great if we saw these colors applied to the normal toys. Check out Workzone Bulkhead and Ninja Jazz.

There was absolutely no sign of the Universe (or Revenge of the Fallen) Superion Maximus or Bruticus Maximus in our journeys-- as such, we're banking on the items hitting in January. If you made us pick a date, we're going to say around the Superbowl. But that's a guess. DPCI and pricing are not presently available.

We picked up samples of Prowl and Sideswipe over the weekend, after much searching for toys that weren't fairly scratched up. Both are excellent, the head on Sideswipe looks better in person than it does in any of the official photography we've seen so far. The white accents really make it look awesome, it's almost a pity Sunstreaker has so much grey.

--AP

Spider Arms
December 4, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! 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 Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Jango Fett Kesin Ommis Barquin D'an

From left to right: Jango Fett, Kesin Ommis, Barquin D'an. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Full-Color Masterpiece Grimlock

TransformersGrimJapanese online store e-Hobby has pictures-- yes, plural-- of TakaraTomy's new Masterpiece Grimlock toy, which is of course rumored to be coming to the USA as well next year. This roughly $130 toy is big, has an apron and a crown, and even sports a light-up sword. If you don't like what you see here, you're a godless commie.

--AP

Ad: Holiday Gift Rush Sale Whatever at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment EarthGrimBecause we have bills to pay: Save on over 400 items, and nearly 50 Star Wars items! Save $100 on the McQuarrie Kotobukiya statue. Save on action figure cases. Get the Holiday Jawas for $7.70! Save 50% on select Gentle Giant items!

(And don't forget, the Indiana Jones Exclusive Short Round and Sallah Mighty Muggs are in stock today! 'Tis the season to buy stuff.)

Star Wars McQuarrie Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader Statue Dukes of Hazzard General Lee Radio Control Car Transformers Bumblebee Bust EE Exclusive Star Wars Holiday Edition Jawas Action Figures

Thanks for your repeated purchases! (We get a chunk of the sale, you see.)

--AP

Xbox 360 Downloads This (and last) Week

Xbox Live ArcadeBanjooooooooThis week's new entry is the 1200 point ($15) Banjo Kazooie, a special edition of the Nintendo 64 game with more extras and barely improved graphics. This ties in to the new game in the series, which is $39.99.

Last week brought us the long-delayed Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD, which has a great score on Metacritic, yet all our friends say it sucks. We haven't tried it yet. It's also 1200 points/$15.

--AP

Indiana Jones Sallah, Short Round Mighty Muggs Released

Indiana JonesIndyThis basically means it's all over-- the Entertainment Earth Exclusive Indiana Jones Short Round & Sallah Mighty Muggs are the final (for the foreseeable future) Hasbro Indiana Jones releases. That's right-- this is it. The set is available to ship right now and $33.99 for the pair, and we hear it's a limited edition item. (We hear this because we may or may not have something to do with who sells it.) So enjoy the last hurrah, Indy fans! Here's hoping more goodies come out somehow, someday...

--AP

Wii Downloads This Week

WiiMetal SlugWii Ware this week has Space Invaders Get Even and Pit Crew Panic!, for $5 and $8 respectively. And no, it's not your imagination-- there was a different Space Invaders game on Virtual Console last week.

Virtual Console fans, someone is throwing you a bone with Metal Slug 2. Nevermind the fact you might have the game on a much better priced compilation, at least this $9 Neo-Geo game doesn't suck.

--AP

Step Brothers = No
December 8, 2008
Star Wars Q&A, Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column this week! Be sure to click through and read up on the latest!

Figure of the Day has updated once again! 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 Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Watto Clone Trooper Coruscant Security

From left to right: Watto, Clone Trooper Coruscant Security. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

DC Metropolis Battle Set Released

DC ComicsShazam!We spotted this massive 8-pack at Toys "R" Us yesterday. For $49.99, you get Shazam/Captain Marvel/The Big Cheese, Superman, Captain Atom, Lex Luthor, and four Luthor Troopers. According to readers, what this means is you get to pay $50 for Captain Atom and you get some extra figures in the box. Happy hunting if you're so inclined, and our condolences for those not wanting the whole box of toys. As Star Wars collectors, believe us, we feel your pain.

--AP

G.I. Joe Mighty Muggs Available Now

G.I. JoeMuggs!We were out and about all weekend (see below) and our travels took us to an Urban Outfitters in Simi Valley here in California. Turns out they had all the first four G.I. Joe Mighty Muggs-- Duke, Storm Shadow, Snake Eyes, and Cobra Commander-- for $22.00 each. Expensive, yes. Worth it? We're going to say no.

--AP

Transformers News Round-Up

TransformersNEWWith a new season of the Transformers cartoon around the corner (plus comic page leaks), Derrik Wyatt revealed his designs for Wheeljack and Perceptor. Purty. Some other characters are rumored as well.

Fan sites across the board are reporting Universe Wave 4 is hitting. We've hit nearly a dozen Target stores and have not seen signs of them. These toys include Deluxe class Cheetor, Starscream, Cyclonus, and Hound as well as Legends class Bumblebee, Beachcomber, Animated Starscream, and Brawn. While we have been looking we haven't seen any, and the lack of them on eBay says you haven't seen them either.

The days of fakes are not over, as this site reveals. A new knock-off Prowl in very authentic looking packaging is surfacing, so if you collect vintage toys we suggest you brush up on your bootleg know-how.

Some dude on eBay has what may be a legit Scorponok test shot from Generation 1. It's expensive, but neat to see.

Hasbro PR fired off hi-res images of upcoming Target exclusives sets last week, but we're just going to link to them as we're busy. Check out Sunstorm, which comes with Activators Ratchet, and Shockwave, now in purple and with Activators Bumblebee.

--AP

We Could Have Crack
December 15, 2008
Star Wars Q&A 2008 Finale, Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Q&A by Adam PawlusGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsGalactic Hunter has posted a Q&A column this week! Be sure to click through and read up on the latest!

Figure of the Day has updated once again! 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 Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Probe Droid Breha Organa Mas Amedda
Klaatu Commander Faie

From left to right: Probe Droid (2008), Breha Organa, Mas Amedda, Klaatu, Commander Faie. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

The IT Crowd Coming to US DVD

DVDYay?If you didn't completely burn out on British sitcoms ages ago, you'll be very happy to hear that The IT Crowd is coming to the USA in 2009. Currently airing in the USA on the IFC network, the show was created by the same people who brought you Father Ted, which is also pretty entertaining and also goofy. Check the link for more details on the show which has desks covered in toys, cannibals, and bras that burst into flames.

--AP

Transformers Q&A with Hasbro: Round 2

Transformers9Continuing the series, Hasbro answered 5 more questions! They sent them along last week, but we've been going through some technical problems. Anyway, here's what you wanted to know!

1. Since the introduction of the Mini-Cons, we've seen little in the way of new factions. In the 1990s and 2000s, we had Maximals, Mutants, Predacons, and Vehicons. While it's great to see Autobots and Decepticons after a few lean years, do you guys have any plans to introduce new groups in the coming years?

We are happy with how Mini-cons were received by kids and fans. When new factions are created they need to serve a purpose and fit into a story. Currently we are trying to find ways to bring older factions back into the main Autobot vs Decepticon battle. To that end you have seen Targetmasters, mini-cons, triple-changers, and constructicons across the recent TRANSFORMERS product line. But you never know if a new faction could come into the lore if it adds to the story.

2. At some Hasbro convention appearance a few years ago, I vaguely recall hearing about a proposed "Fan's Choice" voting thing (it wasn't specified) similar to what we've seen in Star Wars and G.I. Joe. Since it's been ages, is it safe to assume this has been shelved-- and if so, what are the chances of some sort of a vote-on-a-repaint or similar sort of thing to give fans a shot to directly pick another toy in the line?

We haven't done an actual "fan's choice" character promotion/contest for some time, but we always like to hear suggestions at conventions and on the boards for characters that people would like to see. A lot of this feedback was incorporated into the upcoming Spring 2009 Universe assortments.

3. With the recent Special Team Leaders exclusive boxed set at Target, we're positively giddy to have new versions of Razorclaw and Hun-Gurr. We're also very pleased to see the giant boxed sets of Energon combiner repaints. Since it seems most available combiner molds have been recently repainted, what are the chances of seeing a boxed "team" using various modern molds in a non-combining fashion? (i.e., 5 toys as Predacons, 5 toys as Technobots, various construction vehicles in Constructicon colors as a set, etc.)

It would be great to be able to release new sets of the many Special Teams after all these years, but sets of 5 or 6 figures would be expensive unless they were in the smaller size classes like Legends or Scouts, and then it becomes difficult to find enough molds to fit each character appropriately. Since one of the main appeals of the original Special Teams was their ability to combine into a larger robot, it would be preferable to retain that feature in some way in any future releases of those teams.

4. With the first movie, we saw Classics (and pretty much all non-movie toys) come to an end, only to come back this year as Universe. Will Universe be going away next year with the new film? If so, can we expect a Universe/Classics 3.0 in the distant future?

Universe and Animated may continue on a limited basis in 2009, but Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie product will clearly be the focal point of the Fall line. Based on the positive response we have received on Classics and Universe over the past 2 years, we anticipate that these style expressions will continue at some point in the future although we cannot say definitively at this time.

5. It's really awesome to see little "bonus" toys in Universe like Ravage, Nightstick, and Jolt. (ESPECIALLY Ravage.) Is this something we can expect to see more of in the near-future of Transformers or was this, like the Mini-Cons of Armada, more or less a special event?

We want to celebrate a larger variety of eras for the 25th Anniversary of Transformers. Adding Minicons, cassettes, Powermasters, etc. were great ways to add more characters from our fantastic library. I would hope that we can continue to offer "bonus" characters in the line moving forward but cannot say definitively.

BONUS. And this is a general one-- we ask it because we don't necessarily NEED an answer, but does Hasbro have a policy, stance, or comment on al the reproduction and/or original fan created pieces? Namely, the City Commander "Ultra Magnus" armor, the various reproduction heads, and so forth.

Hasbro vigorously protects its trademarks and copyrights. While I won't comment on specific examples, I will say that we are extremely appreciative of the passion of our fans as long as there is no infringement or a blatant attempt to create a business off of our brand.

Well, there you go. If you have a question you want answered, just go ahead and send it in. If we like it, we'll ask!

--AP

Based Loosely on The Hulk
December 17, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! 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 Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Snowtrooper Naboo Royal Guard

From left to right: Snowtrooper, Naboo Royal Guard. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Masters of the Universe Classics Available

Masters of the UniverseHe-ManOver at MattyCollector.com, you can now order He-Man and Beast Man. Shipping in the USA is $8 for one figure, or for two-- so you're probably best served getting them both at once or, if you're feeling risky, waiting to order several figures at a time.

--AP

Big Joe Vehicles at Target: 2009 Edition

G.I. JoeTiger ForceIf you have a good mold, repaint it! In 2009, Target will be receiving new versions of its currently available larger vehicles. For the good guys, it's the Tiger Rat with Wild Bill. For Cobra, it's the Python Patrol Conquest X-30 with a new Viper. These are likely to be $25 a whack when they hit, presumably in the spring.

--AP

Transformers News Round-Up

TransformersDarkwing, sans Duck!It's that time again! So much news is coming in, we're going to have to post a bunch of updates.

TF08.net has a few shots of an as-of-yet unannounced toy tentatively called Darkwing. Based on Universe Silverbolt, the toy is expected to be a Toys "R" Us exclusive.

Not only that, they've also posted a gallery of Animated Waspinator, Samurai Prowl, and Universe Countdown or Perceptor. The latter, of course, is unconfirmed and may be an exclusive. Finally, there are new shots of Wreck-Gar who is certainly good for more than just garbage.

New Robot Heroes-- in package-- are up at TFW2005. These include Beast Machines Jetstorm and Optimus Primal as well as (wowie zowie) Victory characters Victory Saber and the oddly englishisized Dessarus.

Finally, a Chinese auction site has shots of Universe Overload. Meh.

--AP

Ghost Now In New Machine
December 22, 2008
Star Wars Q&A On Hiatus, Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! 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 Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Keyan Farlander Yarna d'al' Gargan Red ARC Trooper Commander

From left to right: Keyan Farlander, Yarna d'al' Gargan, ARC Trooper Commander. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Movie Joe Toys Leaking

DVDYay?In case you missed it, Hisstank.com posted shots of Breaker and Baroness on their web site.

--AP

Kay-Bee To Leave New Hole In Malls

Kay-Bee ToysYay?A few weeks ago, the Kay-Bee Toy Store chain announced it was going to give it up for good. One of the top 5 toy accounts in the USA, it's more than a little sad to see the hallmark of mall toy stores go the way of the dodo. The chain is currently offering 40-60% off, although in our case they made you wait in a line out front for 5-10 minutes before going in, despite the store having few customers and fewer products. Either way, we suggest you give it one last look as it won't be there in a few months.

--AP

Final Fantasy Dissidia Sales Figures, Action Figures

PSPFIGHT!Square-Enix released its new fighting game, Final Fantasy Dissidia, in Japan recently. Boasting 40 hours of gameplay, which we assume is maybe not a lie, this game is selling quite well-- 350,000 copies sold through on the first day. But that's Japan, and you can read more on The Magic Box.

Not one to miss a good licensed product, Square-Enix' merchandising division is going to crank out a few action figures based on the game. Each is just under $20, and yes, they are coming to the USA later in 2009. Specifically, August. At least you'll have time to save if you want new toys of Squall, Zidane, Cloud, or Tidus.

--AP

Transformers 25th Anniversary Toys: Impressions-A-Plenty

Transformers9As you may or may not know, Hasbro has added a "25th Anniversary" imprint to its line of Transformers Universe toys. This means new Robot Heroes and transforming robots are now going to ship with a silver marking on the top corner of the package, indicating these are, for all intents and purposes, the "new" stuff. We got a bunch of them last week.



Legends Toys ($3.99-$5.99)

This batch of Legends (Wave 4, or the first wave of 25th) includes Starscream (Animated), Brawn (Generation 1), Bumblebee (Generation 1), and Beachcomber (Generation 1). Starscream looks and feels cheap-- larger versions are available for $9 and $20, give or take, and this one tends to fall apart easily. There's very little paint on him, and on our sample, the joints were a little loose. It's slightly different than the one in the Target exclusive deluxe-plus-legends gift packs, and I'd say it's superior. But not very much so.

Thankfully, the other three are all pretty great. Much like the 1980s originals, each of the Autobots transform in like four seconds flat. It's simple, it works nicely, and there's a little bit of articulation on each one. Bumblebee's head looks very much like the animation model on the old cartoon as does Beachcomber's. Brawn has a head that really doesn't look a thing like the cartoon, but it does vaguely resemble the colors of the original toy. We have little doubt the Japanese release will be a bit more cartoon-friendly. Each figure has, at the very least, articulation at the shoulders and hips. So by and large, it's a pretty decent deal.

Brawn's vehicle mode is very much like his original toy's, and Bumblebee seems to be a hybrid of multiple vehicles the character has turned in to over the years. Beachcomber appears to be the Warthog from Halo, complete with a machine gun on the back. Not that we're complaining-- the robot mode looks very much like a toy out of the 1980s. So overall, it's a great batch and we'd say go with the G1 dudes, and buy Starscream only if you're a sucker for Animated or perhaps Legends. And we are.



Deluxe Toys ($9.99-$10.99)

Also a Wave 4 of Universe, this first batch of 25th Anniversary-branded deluxe toys includes Cheetor (Beast Wars), Hound with Ravage (Generation 1), Cyclonus with Nightstick (Generation 1), and Starscream (Generation 1). Starscream is a repaint of an existing mold, but the others are entirely new toys-- and pretty decent, I must say.

Sadly, Cheetor is a bit of a turkey. It's entirely possible someone will tell you he's fantastic, and while he does have multiple exciting features and gimmicks, he's still a bit of a disappointment. His arms are too short, he has a massive gut (which becomes a backpack in robot mode), and his legs are funky. However, his robot mode feet are pretty spiffy, his throwing stars stow nicely in his legs in either mode, and the robot head is quite nice. Sadly, there are lots of panels and pieces hanging off and his "tail club" is hardly a substitute for the dual blasters which came on the original toy back in 1996. We will say that we give points for the nifty cheetah eye gimmick-- you push a button and his eyes go from red to green and his mouth opens, too. It works in both robot and beast mode. As the Beast Wars animated series and toy line were both fairly fantastic, it's really unfortunate that this toy had to be less than wonderful. Thankfully, the rest of the wave more than makes up for it.

For those that got the original, Starscream is pretty much what you'd expect. The Classics version from 2006 was based on the original cartoon and toy, but took some liberties with the coloring. This Universe release combines the stripes and style of the original Generation 1 model with the crazy bright red you may have seen on the Generation 2 toy. In other words, it's wonderful. The face is now a darker silver paint color, and (on our sample) the joints were fairly tight and nothing seemed loose. We like it, although we do confess it is a redundant addition to our ever-growing toy archives.

Those who love the original toys (the pre-movie ones) will adore Hound and Ravage. Ravage changes from a jaguar to a tiny tape, just slightly bigger than the original 1984 toy. It won't fit in a normal original Soundwave chest, but we're told it will fit in the 2007 Hasbro reissue or a Soundblaster. He's fairly posable, and you can plug in many standard sized weapons into his holes like the original. It's a little wonky in terms of its head, but it's cute enough we think you'll enjoy it. Likewise, Hound changes into a military vehicle similar to the G.I. Joe Vamp. It's light, and it's green. The weapon can plug into his shoulder, into his vehicle mode seat, or into his fist-- so you've got options. He has a nice squarish face with a silver mug, plus blue eyes. He is smaller than other recent Autobots in the line, more in line with Bumblebee from 2006 than the full-size Autobot cars of 2008. Still, we think you're going to like it if you're the kind of person who enjoys new versions of classic toys.

Rounding out this assortment is Cyclonus, which we consider to be the finest example of Hasbro's design efforts in modern Transformers. He includes a Targetmaster partner, Nightstick, just like the original toy (eventually) did. The vehicle mode Cyclonus comes packaged in basically mimics his original design as seen in the cartoon, comic, and toy line. It's not quite as solid, as the emphasis of its design was clearly placed on the robot over the alt mode. Hasbro/Takara/Tomy engineered the robot to look like an action figure-- this isn't a robot made up of chunks of vehicle, this seems to be a rock-solid (in appearance) robot that just happens to turn into a starfighter of some description. We'd go on about it, but it really is as close to perfection as we've seen in a $10 toy in quite some time. His partner, Nightstick, is pretty impressive. The robot has jointed toes and elbows in addition to arms and legs, and turns into a pretty solid little gun. It's larger than the original Nightstick toy, and gushing aside there are a couple of minor gripes. One, Cyclonus' chest logo is all silver-- not purple like it was in the old days. Second, his face is this awful grey plastic which tends to mute the detail. It isn't a deal-breaker, but it's obvious a different kind of grey plastic or a little paint would have gone a long way to making this toy incredibly perfect instead of merely great. Or greatest. It's just worth having, let's leave it at that.



Voyager Toys ($19.99-$24.99)

Not to be left out, Wave 4 of Voyager comes with Inferno (Generation 2) and Vector Prime (Cybertron). Inferno is an all-new mold, and Vector Prime is a repaint from the Cybertron toy from 2005. We passed on VP for now.

Because we dug the original G1 toy, we had to get Inferno. He's quite tall-- taller than Classics Optimus Prime. He's loaded with articulation, just like Cyclonus and Cheetor, and fairly blocky. The fire engine mode is nice and solid, although we did note some stress marks under the front wheels which we assume are normal and not the sign of a crumbling toy. He's "generation 2" because he sports a water-themed projectile, which the original 1984 toy did not have. Other than that, he's basically a G1 toy. Certain elements from the original have been tweaked to fit on this new toy, and a few nifty things-- like the ladder-- are gone. We didn't like the toy as much as we thought we would, but it's still quite nice and one of Hasbro's more nicely articulated toys. There are tons of panels involved in the transformation and it's basically wonderful-- but seeing as it's twice as expensive as a Deluxe toy, we'd hope it to be twice as good. It isn't. It's plenty good but $20 can buy you a lot more fun in the smaller scales.

--AP

Time For Slacking
December 24, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! 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 Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Sio Bibble Obi-Wan Kenobi

From left to right: Sio Bibble, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

New Marvel from Hasbro in 2009

MarvelMarvelOnline store EntertainmentEarth.com listed three new cases from Hasbro. For Mighty Muggs, Wave 6 features Sabretooth, Phoenix, Logan, and Cyclops. Wave 2 and Wave 2 Revision 1 of the new 3 3/4-inch line include Hulk, Ronin, Ultimate Captain America, Iron Fist, Green Goblin, and other new figures. Pictures don't seem to be up yet but will likely be up shortly, so feel free to take a gander whenever.

--AP

G.I. Joe 2009 5-Packs Up Close

G.I. JoeTiger ForceThe guys at Hisstank.com posted some unpackaged shots of the upcoming 5-packs. Figures range from obvious upgrades to dubious improvements. Flint looks better, Baroness looks better, Zartan... well, he's included.

Oh, and Combat Heroes Wave 3 is being cancelled by online stores. If history is any indication it's possible that these will show up under a new SKU later next year, but it's the second Joe assortment cancelled in as many months, so maybe it's just plain not going to happen.

--AP

Transformers News Round-Up

TransformersNixon's the OneJust because everybody is phoning it in doesn't mean reports aren't being filed with the latest robots in disguise. Color us surprised, as we're lazy and we'd just as soon take off.

Digital Toys has the first shots of the Japanese Henkei series Smokescreen and Red Alert. Particularly interesting is Red Alert, as Hasbro has yet to announce the character for any US release as of yet. We're not saying get ready to import... but you might want to get ready to import. The same link features news on minibot sets and upcoming Encore reissue tapes.

Over at ACToys.net are some leaked but final packaged toys for the new Transformers movie. We don't particularly care for them, we just post them here to fill space.

If you're looking for news on Masterpiece Grimlock or Alternity Megatron, the TFW2005 forums have new pictures. Grimlock is still awesome, and Megatron is still unpainted. These came from the fantastic Dengeki Hobby magazine.

Is your Metroplex a fake? Turns out some very authentic looking Encore Metroplex reissues have been making the rounds. Famitoy.com has details on how to avoid being swindled.

--AP

Time For Even More Slacking
December 26, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! 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 Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

MB-RA-7 R3-Y2

From left to right: MB-RA-7, R3-Y2. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

Masters of the Universe Classics Faker Revealed

Masters of the UniverseHe-ManMattel seems to be on the Facebook! Click here to see a gallery featuring Faker, a New York (and later Internet) exclusive action figure. If you're like us and not on Facebook, go to He-Man.org for mirrored pictures.

--AP

NOW WITH PICTURES: Marvel from Hasbro in 2009

MarvelMarvelOnline store EntertainmentEarth.com added new pictures for these nifty items. For Mighty Muggs, Wave 6 features Sabretooth, Phoenix, Logan, and Cyclops. Phoenix didn't turn out as well as expected, but man, Logan is fantastic! Wave 2 and Wave 2 Revision 1 of the new 3 3/4-inch line include Hulk, Ronin, Ultimate Captain America, Iron Fist, Green Goblin, and other new figures.

--AP

G.I. Joe News Round-Up

G.I. JoeTiger ForceFirst up: HISStank.com has shots of the new Resolute BAT. It's fancy.

Target's exclusive Ultimate Battle Pack is still available in abundance, or so we saw. No markdown as of December 24 in our runs, but your mileage may vary-- this is a large item and, apparently, a slow seller.

--AP

Transformers News Round-Up

TransformersDon't Hound MeHow the heck could this much news come up over the Christmas holiday? It's crazy, is what it is.

The Higekuma Toy Blog posted updates with new Henkei toys. Of note, Hound and Ravage shows that it can carry even a G1 tape, and Cheetor still basically sucks. Check 'em out.

TF08.net posted new galleries of Animated Waspinator, Samurai Prowl, and Wreck-Gar. They really do bring out the best of these toys, so check them out only if you are looking for an excuse to buy them all early next year.

Target stores marked down their movie scout assortments earlier this month, and checking a few stores on the 24th, they're all gone-- way before hitting a meaningful markdown. As such, if you see any, consider yourself lucky. Also, Target stores are marking down some of their exclusive sets. It appears the Legends 5-packs are down about 30% at some stores.

Botcon 2009 is coming to Pasadena, California, so says the Botcon web site. Despite our general lack of interest in conventions, we're likely to go. As our great interest in getting exclusives for a non-unreasonable price tends to outweigh all other bodily functions. Yes, even more than dropping a Count Dooku.

--AP

Ad: Winter Blowout Sale at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment EarthCheepnisBecause we have bills to pay: Save on over 800 items! 150 Star Wars items! 171 books, comics, statues, and figures from Dark Horse! Over 130 action figures!

Get a Spider-Spud for under $4. Save on action figure cases. Get 6 Corpse Bride figures for only $19.72! Save 60% on select Hasbro items! Anime girls for under $20! Truly, these prices our insane.

SIF EX Kashimashi Hazumu Statue Friday the 13th Jason Voorhees Animated Maquette Futurama Gender Bender Tin Toy Stikfas Generation 2 Chinese Warrior Monk

Thanks for your repeated purchases! (We get a chunk of the sale, you see.)

--AP

My Germ Is Big
December 29, 2008
Star Wars Q&A Still On Hiatus, Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Keyan FarlanderGalactic Hunter Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! 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 Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Today, it's the McQuarrie Concept Darth Vader! Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series! And also, Q&A will be back next week. The column has already been written, it's just not going up until next week.

--AP

G.I. Joe News Round-Up

G.I. JoeNone More BlackFirst up: HISStank.com has shots of a black repaint of Scrap Iron. No word yet on when it's coming out or in what set, but there it is.

The same site also got a Rock Slide vehicle, and a lot of pictures. As snowmobiles go, you could do worse.

The 2009 G.I. Joe convention will be in Kansas City, MO this August. We're sorry to hear that.

Target's exclusive Ultimate Battle Pack is still available in abundance, and after all the stores we checked, we didn't see a one at a lower price. We saw several with full-price clearance stickers, though.

--AP

Playmobil Clearances Abound

PlaymobilPlaymobilTarget and Wal-Mart are both marking down some of their Playmobil product in a post-Xmas Xpulsion. Wal-Marts seem to have stuff down about 25%-- and they're marking everything down as far as we can tell. Meanwhile, Target marked down just a few items, and from the look of things they may already have blown through those. Happy hunting!

--AP

Henkei Cyclonus, Universe Countdown Galleries

TransformersPurple bunny!Fan site HK-TF seems to have got their hands on Cyclonus from the Japanese Henkei line of Transformers. It's a lighter purple, features a silver painted face, and has chrome on his wings. Take a look! If you want to save some money, the US version is about half the price and we just saw one at Target yesterday. We're just saying, is all.

The same site also has shots of the Toys "R" Us Exclusive Countdown both in and out of his package. As repaints of Cybertron Defense Red Alert go, it's pretty sweet. No release date yet but we'd bet on Spring.

--AP

LEGO 2009 Making the Rounds

LEGOPlaymobil2009 LEGO products continue to roll out. Keep your peepers peeled for new Star Wars, Power Miners, Pirates, and others. These started hitting in November but far more sets seem to be out now, with more coming in the next few weeks.

--AP

Most Essential Collector Toys in 2008

16bit.comWarning/Guarantee: Rambling blog-style nonsense awaits you.

2008 is almost over, and it was a heck of a year. DC Universe, Transformers Universe, Masters of the Universe, and other lines without "Universe" in them reestablished themselves as a strong collector brand of action figures. G.I. Joe started losing favor with collectors and/or producing too much product, Star Wars released not one but two giant ships, and we received a short flash-in-the-pan line for Indiana Jones. Oh, and there were dozens of Mighty Muggs. So what, if anything, was impressive enough to warrant your attention this past year?

Most Excellent Use of Existing Gimmick
Both Hasbro and Mattel got religion this year in the form of the Build-A-Figure. After being the hallmark of Toy Biz' Marvel Legends line, it was introduced in Beast Wars and, this year, rolled out in Hasbro's Star Wars and Mattel's DC Universe line. Each new assortment of figures would include parts to build a small droid, or a gigantic super-powered figure. While Mattel seems to have managed to create more impressive and imaginative toys with the concept, it's also doing wonders for Hasbro's Star Wars sales and droid fans everywhere are now buying figures they might not want just for the droid bits. That's marketing for you.

Most Adorable
Marvel Legends under Hasbro didn't do too much new and exciting, and this year was, as expected, weak. They continued to develop Superhero Squad and Mighty Muggs, which is where we'd like to start. For the collector who doesn't collect everything, the Muggs range has quickly gone from a widely disliked concept to a warm, fuzzy line which best works on your desk. We snagged a Movie Iron Man, a Comic-Con exclusive, and that's our favorite of the year. Arguably, the comic Iron Man and Spider-Man have stronger (and simpler) designs, but hey, we are who we is. These are about $10 each and from the look of things, will indeed continue into 2008.

Most Oversized
Hasbro's giant Millennium Falcon and less giant AT-TE seem to stand as monuments to the Star Wars success these past 14 years. There's no way either should exist, yet here they are. As shrines to your consumerism, they're quite impressive, although neither is a genuinely amazing toy. The Falcon, a.k.a., BMF, is loaded with electronic lights and sounds from the movie which provide minutes of entertainment. Numerous compartments, doors, seats, storage bins, beds, and other features soup this playset up to ridiculous levels, but sadly it's too big to fly around the house, effectively grounding what could have been the most fun vehicle ever. The AT-TE had questionable leg issues, and tons of storage space for your clone armies. Between the two, the AT-TE is arguably more essential as it's a new vehicle and provides ample storage for the collector with a vast army of white clone troopers. Which is actually a lot of fans, if the last few years are any indication. For purely toy and cost reasons, the AT-TE is probably the better of two. But Han Solo flies the Falcon, and Han is cool-- so if you can get either, you're in the right direction.

Most Surprising
After the horror that was the 2002 Masters of the Universe revival, Mattel gave it another shot with Masters of the Universe Classics starting last July. While it's not yet sure if it will be a shining beacon of collector love or another turkey in the making, this revival of $20-$30 figures measures about 7-inches tall and the three released so far (King Grayskull, He-Man, Beast Man) are surprisingly wonderful. The standard line packaging seems flimsy from the samples making it to the web, but the figures are amazing-- given that he last line more or less tanked within a year, it's amazing to see a huge company like Mattel throw its ample weight behind what is no doubt a money-losing or barely break-even-ing action figure line. You should absolutely buy one or more of these figures just to see what they're like, although you might want to wait a month or two for Skeletor to come out too. Kudos, Mattel.

Most Fanboy Friendly
In the post-1980s toy market, a lot of toys are created solely for adult fans. Toys like Yarna d'al' Gargan, or "Fat Dancer" from Return of the Jedi. As part of this year's Legacy Collection, the figure is loaded with articulation, and warts. The fact that this figure exists and you, the consumer, have the ability to buy one speaks volumes about the toy industry's desire to keep older fans happy, even when faced with a toy that would probably make any child burst into tears.

Most Better Than It Should Be
Aside from the odd repaint, very few transforming figures have been made based off the classic 1986 Transformers: The Movie in recent years. Those we got were a little blocky, repaints of other toys, or largely emphasized a vehicle mode over the robot form. Considering the movie's cult following and incredible designs, it's amazing this Transformers Universe Cyclonus turned out so well. It seems Hasbro started with the robot and worked backward, for stunning results. While the vehicle mode suffers slightly, the robot figure is one of Hasbro's absolutely best creations. The amount of articulation is downright unusual for this line in any size, especially the $10 price point. What's more, his gun turns into a robot. We went on about it last week and we're still crazy about it.

Most Wrong, but Oh So Right
Star Wars Galactic Heroes Princess Leia in Slave Outfit. That's all we have to say about that. Next year we're hoping for Oola.

Most Deserving of its Early End
After years of fan begging, Hasbro came to market with its Indiana Jones toy range. Since Galoob's tiny line in the late 1990s and a few theme park exclusives, it's been pretty sparse. This year, Hasbro cranked out 12-inch figures, 3 3/4-inch figures, Mighty Muggs, Adventure Heroes, playsets, Die-Cast Vehicles, and more, all based on the four movies. Basically, one assortment of figures was based on each film, and after the chilly reception to this year's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the low-quality figures from the initial release, it seems fans really weren't all that interested. All evidence points to the line being over right now, with the final releases trickling out in small numbers until Hasbro gets them out of their warehouses.

After looking at clearance racks, cancellations, and message boards, it seems there's one thing toy manufacturers can take away from this year, and that's to be extremely careful which fan wishes you cater to. Some items will do well because of a massive surge in popularity, like anything with a Transformers logo on it. Other items won't do well because the property skews too old, like Indiana Jones. And, apparently, everybody loves DC Comics heroes, so there should be a lot more of those, and also video game figures. NECA really did a bang-up job snapping up licenses, and it seems the toy market is remaining interesting despite a down economy.

--AP

There's So Much We Could Do
December 31, 2008
Star Wars Figure of the Day Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter & Star Wars NewsFigure of the Day has updated once again! 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 Legacy Collection, it's almost like a history lesson!

Super Battle Droid TC-14

From left to right: Super Battle Droid, TC-14. Go to Figure of the Day for the next update, with the latest installment in our ongoing series!

--AP

New LEGO 10193 Medieval Market Available

LEGOLEGOOnline store LEGO.com has its exclusive market set up for grabs. It's $99.99. but fairly stunning. It has 1,601 bricks including lots of unique food and animal pieces, lots of figures, and some buildings. LEGO fans seem taken with it, so if you can swing it you might want to go ahead and get one.

--AP

Super-Expensive Star Trek Captain Kirk Chair Replica

Star TrekSitThe most expensive-- and arguably impressive-- Star Trek collectible in some time is up for grabs. Diamond Select Toys is making 1,701 of this Star Trek Classic Captain Kirk Chair Replica and it's about $2,300. We don't know who the lady is in the picture, but we assume it'll be one of the few times you'll see a woman near this collectible. It has lights and sounds and from the prototypes we've seen, is super-cool. But man, it's pricey.

--AP

G.I. Joe Movie MARS Trooper Packaging

G.I. JoeBlackThe guys at Hisstank.com posted some boxed shots of the MARS Trooper set. You get three figures in a pretty slick box. It's quite elegant, although it isn't particularly, erm, engaging. Still, it's neat.

--AP

Transformers News Round-Up

TransformersDon't Hound MeThe year is ending, and more stuff is making the rounds. Go figure. Ah well, read about some robot toys.

The Allspark has scans from the Henkei manga for Hound and Cheetas. Or to the non-fanboys, go here to see Japanese comics that were packaged with the Japanese versions of Universe Cheetor and Hound. It has nice art.

Over at TF08.net you can see packaged shots of Revenge of the Fallen Rollbar. As few packaged toys have been seen, this is pretty exciting. Of particular note is that it's packaged in robot mode.

New and old versions of Wheelie can be spied on at HK-TF. It turns out they're pretty much the same size.

See you in the new year. May it suck less than the last one.

--AP

Click Here For News From November!


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