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5:00 PM on 04.15.2014

BeeFy & Co.'s WonderCon exclusives have a spiritual side

WonderCon-exclusive toys continue to be announced, this time coming from BeeFy & Co.'s artist, Menh Voong. At BeeFy & Co.'s booth #1043, there will be two con-exclusvies. The first is the Jade Bad Bad Buddha - Sp...

Natalie Kipper


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WeLoveFine's Dota 2 Shagbark plush unlocks a digital version photo
WeLoveFine's Dota 2 Shagbark plush unlocks a digital version
by Natalie Kipper

WeLoveFine is quickly becoming a company to watch for in the world of plush toys. They are now branching beyond their recently-released Talking Puppycat and several Catbug plushes into the realm of Valve's Dota 2 with the all-new Shagbark plush. Made in collaboration with Matthew Bailey (also known as Cyborgmatt), the original creator of the Shagbark character, this adorable critter is currently available on WeLoveFine's online store for the price of US$45. 

Shagbark is 11 inches-tall and 7 inches-long. He features two removable plush owls that rest on his antlers (they re-attact by magnets), a poseable tongue, removable sunglasses, and a faux leather belt with a plush pouch and blanket roll. The plush will ship with a coupon code that nabs you your own "Genuine Shagbark the Plush" in Dota 2. Between the unlock code and the lovely toy itself, I would say this is a package that many gamers will find hard to pass up.

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Get a closer look at Furry Feline Creatives' WonderCon exclusives photo
Get a closer look at Furry Feline Creatives' WonderCon exclusives
by Natalie Kipper

Earlier this month, Alvin and Cheri Ong of Furry Feline Creatives teased fans with a short video hinting at their exclusive plushes which will be available for purchase at this week's WonderCon in Anaheim, California. The four plushes featured in their con-exclusive "Walking like Dead" line include the two cats, Purridge and Ringo, along with Chef Tako the octopus and Piga the pig. The teaser video portrayed the characters as drooling, dirty and disheveled but viewers, at the time, were not given the whole story nor a good look at the plushes.

However, the time has come to reveal those secrets. I would sum up these backstories for you but I couldn't do a better job then the provided press release:

  • Purridge needs her coffee fix...RIGHT NOW.  There's a  lot of work to be done. Must work... Must finish work.
  • Chef Tako was so busy preparing at the kitchen, he got thirsty and mistakenly took the red bottle instead of the bottled water.
  • Ringo has been playing video games, all day, all night, non stop.
  • Piga was very tired, slept with a mudpack on and totally forgot to remove it the next day.

The Purridge, Chef Tako, and Ringo plushes come with removable accessories (a plush coffee cup, plush red hot sauce bottle, and plush controller, respectively). Each of the characters will be limited to eight pieces, costing US$50. All of these plushes measure 12 inches-tall and are handmade by Cheri. They are made of fleece and felt and feature signed and numbered hangtags. Attendees can purchase them over at Furry Feline Creative's booth #1161 at WonderCon. 

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Convention Exclusive announces variants of Supernatural Pop! figures photo
Convention Exclusive announces variants of Supernatural Pop! figures
by Vanessa Cubillo

It still amazes me that after being on TV for 10 years, Supernatural doesn’t have more toys. They certainly have a huge fan base! That’s why when Funko finally announced that they were making Pop! figures from the show, fans were very responsive.

So now thanks to Convention Exclusive, there will be variant Supernatural figures of Sam and Dean. Released as sets, there will be two variant versions; Blood Splatter and Metallic Blood Splatter. Convention Exclusive will debut their Supernatural figures at Chicago’s C2E2, but they will also be available on their website.

Starting on April 14, you can pre-order these Pop! figures for US$19.99 for the Blood Splatter version and US$34.95 for the Metallic Blood Splatter version. The Metallic Blood Splatter version will be limited to 500 pieces. 

[via Nerd Fu]

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Optimus Prime and Grimlock TF4 Platinum Edition figures are underwhelming photo
Optimus Prime and Grimlock TF4 Platinum Edition figures are underwhelming
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

This is how toy companies 'phone it in'. Back in February Hasbro laid many of their planned figures for the the fourth live-action movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, out on display at New York International Toy Fair 2014 for all to see. That included Voyager class Invasion Mode Optimus Prime and Grimlock. Thanks to The Ragin Nation on Facebook  we're getting our first look at these same two figures in a Platinum Edition two-pack. The problem? Chrome, and lots of it. 

There's a few layers to the problem here. The chrome on Optimus is extremely random and used in all the wrong places. You would think that a Prime done in the G1 style would have the chrome in the same exact places: Stacks, grill, bumper, upper legs, wheels, and tanks. For some reason Hasbro decided to put the chrome on PE Prime in almost exactly the opposite places: Upper arms, hands, crotch, knees, and behind the wheels. Even the shiny silver plastic, which would have matched the chrome nicely, was swapped out for light gray. I just can't wrap my brain around how this is supposed to be good. And Grimlock isn't much better, removing all of the silver paint and randomly choosing formerly painted and bare gray plastic parts to chrome.

Worst part is they totally missed the opportunity to give fans movie-accurate versions of the figures. In the movie when Optimus is seen in this form it's as a rusty white truck with flames, not G1 red and blue. Grimlock is a mostly black and tarnished silver t-rex, no bronze at all. This would have been the ideal Platinum Edition and there's no telling if Hasbro will ever get around to these characters in movie colors. Black and white figures in a box would have looked cool I think.

So how would I have done the chrome if it was a must? Let me just say that I think the best use of chrome was in Beast Wars Transmetals figures. The reason why they worked so well was because they would pick one color and then chrome every use of it. Cheetor had all of his robotic yellow pieces chromed, Megatron had all of his purple pieces chromed, and so on. For me it's a figure sin to pair silver chrome with gray plastic and gold chrome with gold-ish plastic. Either chrome it all or none at all. What I would have liked to have seen is either the red or blue on Prime chromed and the bronze on Grimlock chromed. in their respective colors. Chrome does have a tendency of chipping on joints, but it can be done. 

It's unfortunate that this is Hasbro's idea of a collector's grade box set. It looks lazy and feels like it was made for kids. Back towards the end of the first movie's toy run in 2008 Hasbro did Premium Series editions of many series one figures using metallic paint and better painted details. If they could do it at retail then they can do it as an exclusive now. I know some people do like the way this set turned out, and that's fine, but it really isn't for me. 

[via Seibertron]

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Homura beats the stuffing out of Kyubey in this figure photo
Homura beats the stuffing out of Kyubey in this figure
by Natalie Kipper

It's about time someone taught that albino talking squirrel-thing a thing or two! In Aniplex+'s latest 1/7-scale figure, Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Homura Akemi definitely looks determined (and dare I say, more than a little hardcore). With wisps of her time-traveling magic captured beautifully at the base combined with Homura's hair and outfit frozen in motion, the figure does an excellent job of capturing the magical girl's grace as she steps out into a battle. For those of you who don't dig girl-on-Incubator violence, it appears as though Kyubey can be removed from the figure. I kind of like that its there, though.

This figure unfortunately seems like it is exclusive to the Japanese Aniplex+ online store, where it costs ¥9,999 to pre-order. It is tentatively listed to ship in October of this year. So those wishing to purchase it have two choices: use a proxy service or hope that it will eventually come to the newly-launched USA store. Whatever you do, don't make a contract to get the figure. It isn't worth it; trust me.

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Good Smile Company to attend Sakura-Con photo
Good Smile Company to attend Sakura-Con
by Natalie Kipper

Those of you planning on attending Seattle's Sakura-Con should be excited to hear that Good Smile Company will have a presence there. They will be sharing booths #423 and #332 with Ultra Tokyo Connection. Attendees will have the chance to purchase some of Good Smile Company's and Max Factory's harder to find figures, including Nendoroid Snow Miku - Magical Snow Version, figma Snow Mikufigma Armin Arlert, Nendoroid Mami Tomoe - School Uniform Version, and Nendoroid Asuna Titiania Version. All of these toys will be in limited supply so hurry over to Good Smile Company's booth if you fancy them.

[via Good Smile Company's tumblr]

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BotCon 2014 goes all out with Headmaster Scorponok photo
BotCon 2014 goes all out with Headmaster Scorponok
by Jeremy Emerje Crocker

BotCon 2014 is right around the corner and they're lining up one of the best convention exclusive box sets ever. Using the them of Pirates versus Knights they started with announcing Cannonball, a predictable figure based on Transformers: Prime Ratchet. They then announced Pirate Ferak with Targetmaster Tornado based on Universe Cyclonus and Nightstick which represent a super obscure Marvel Comics character and almost as obscure IDW Comics character. The third announcement was for Devcon, a character that made only one appearance in the original cartoon and instantly became a fan favorite. This Autobot Knight will be Devcon's first figure ever despite appearing multiple times in BotCon fiction and uses Generations Scourge for a base with a new head. . 

So the set starts to look kinda bland with only one true fan favorite out of three obscure choice. And then comes Scorponok! Out of nowhere they reveal perhaps the best BotCon exclusive ever. They went well above just repainting Energon Scorponok (like they did for BotCon 2010's Double Punch) with a new head. This head is nothing less than a remold of Encore Fortress Maximus' Spike Witwicky Headmaster with a cartoon-accurate Scorponok face. Of course the Scorponok body has been remolded to accept the Headmaster head. 

Story-wise the new Headmaster is named Olin Zarak, the son of the original Scorponok Headmaster Lord Zarak. Rather than take over the rule of the Nebulan Hive, Olin appears to have chosen to take on the life of a pirate, presumably as the captain. In one figure BotCon has both made a great homage to the original figure and forever raised the bar on what people will expect from BotCon. They said the figures would barely fit in the standard box used for the five-figure sets and it's obvious why. They have one more figure to announce and it's anyone's guess who they'll choose as the second Autobot Knight. 

BotCon runs from June 19 to 22 and just like in past years the box set will be available for both con-goers and non-attendees. Prices for 2014 haven't been announced yet, but both went for US$365 for Transformers Club members and US$450 for non-members in 2013. Wasn't all that interested before, but for Scorponok it's pretty tempting. 

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WonderCon has Furry Feline Creatives 'Walking like Dead' photo
WonderCon has Furry Feline Creatives 'Walking like Dead'
by Natalie Kipper

This coming WonderCon, Alvin and Cheri Ong of Furry Feline Creatives will place four of their cuddly critters into gritty scenarios for our amusement. All told, staying up all night playing video games or oversleeping with a mudpack on isn't exactly on par with a zombie infestation but that is the premise for their con-exclusive "Walking like Dead" line. In the teaser video, we can spot familiar faces like the cats, Purridge and Ringo along with their buddies, Piga the pig and Chef Tako the octopus but they don't quite look their happy, sunny selves. Something's off. One has eye bags. Another is drooling. And well, poor Piga seems to be stuck with that mudpack. Maybe a hug will make them feel better?

WonderCon attendees will be able to rescue these plushes at Furry Feline Creatives' booth #1161. Prices and edition sizes haven't been revealed yet. But expect these to be very limited edition. Each one is handmade by Cheri Ong.

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Aniplex USA launches their own Aniplex + Store photo
Aniplex USA launches their own Aniplex + Store
by Martin Siggers

Exclusive items are the bane of overseas collectors, forcing us through expensive and inconvenient proxies just to get the figures we want. But from today, those buyers after Aniplex's exclusive Aniplex+ figures won't have to suffer through all of that. That's because Aniplex of America have just opened up their own version of the Aniplex+ store.

This is no half-assed gesture either, as they've kicked off with pre-orders for both of Aniplex's current figures - the lovely Homura Akemi kimono version and the sultry dress shirt Saber, who only went up on the Japanese store a few weeks ago. Both are pretty keenly priced, coming in close to their Japanese value - $109.98/¥11,880 for Homura and $89.98/¥9,500 for Saber. It's not just America who benefits either - international shipping is available and the company says they'll ship to North America, Central America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Orders are being fulfilled by RightStuf, with international (non-USA) orders costing a bit more due to the additional shipping.

Needless to say this is a big boon for figure fans. I'm a huge advocate of anything which makes figures more available for everyone, and this does exactly that. It's not just a toy thing of course (for example, the store is also currently selling an insanely expensive box of the third Madoka Magica movie) but as Aniplex seems to be committing to being a figure maker, it's bound to prove useful. Homura is available until May 7th, while Saber closes up a little earlier on the 22nd of April. Anyone who's been on the fence about them, does this help sway you?

[ Pre-order at Aniplex USA ]

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House of Darkly announces WonderCon 2014 exclusive plush photo
House of Darkly announces WonderCon 2014 exclusive plush
by Natalie Kipper

WonderCon in Anaheim, California is coming up in less than a month and one of the burning questions on attendees' minds is, "what about the exclusives?" Thankfully, House of Darkly has given us the heads-up in regards to her con-exclusive. Say hello to Wonder-Kale, the Caped Superfood. Limited to five plushes, this veggie hero features a wired cape and movable arms, allowing for all sorts of dramatic poses. Each 10-inch tall piece is made from Minky fabric with felt details and a polyester cape. Wonder-Kale will cost US$50 and be available at House of Darkly's booth #1155.

And if you are attending Emerald City Comic Con this weekend, you will definitely want to head over to booth #1304 where House of Darkly's con-exclusive Hug-a-Mug plushes will be available for purchase. Out of the five piece edition, two will be in Electric Green and the other three will be in Emerald Green. Both will have "creamer art" appliquéd on their tops and stand six-inches tall. Each Hug-a-Mug will cost US$60. 

You can get a better look at the Wonder-Kale and Hug-a-Mug plushes in the gallery.

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Funko introduces their new DIY Pop! figures photo
Funko introduces their new DIY Pop! figures
by Vanessa Cubillo

Funko has a pretty simple formula for making their Pop! figures. They are able to take dozens of characters based on movie, TV, and video game characters, apply it to their formulaic toy design, and come out with cute figures. Alright, sometimes they don’t work out, but for the most part they do.

So now they’re taking their standard design and giving it to the fans. Funko will be releasing Do-it-yourself Pop! figures so you can make every character you’ve been wishing for. Finally I can have a Sailor Moon Pop!

These will be available in a male or female body type, and your first chance to get them will be at Emerald City Comicon. Also at their booth will be exclusive Emerald Green versions of these DIY figures. They will be limited to 300, and only 100 will be available each day.

So if you’ll be at Emerald City Comicon this weekend you can be the first one to get one of these at Funko’s booth #117. For the rest of us, we’ll have to wait until these DIY Pop! figures come out in May. 

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