At the time of this post, it's only 15 days until San Diego Comic Con. With time ticking down, you know that there'd be a ton of exclusive announcements and let me tell you, companies have definitely unleashed the floodgates....
Takara Tomy pulls another one out of the Transformers obscurity bag, but this time it's one a lot of fans have wanted. Quick history lesson: way back before Hasbro began the Transformers franchise, Takara was deep into the Di...
As Hasbro put it so simply, "the rumors are true". Some fans felt a little blindsided when Hasbro announced their Transformers Generations Combiners Wars series only to find Slingshot and Wildrider replaced by new members Alpha Bravo and Offroad respectively. There had been a rumor circulating that the pair would be returning to their associated teams later in the year, further supported by Takara Tomy's own announced release of the Aerialbots featuring a Slingshot figure for their Unite Warriors line.
Jump to last Friday and Takara Tomy announces their take on the Stunticons featuring a Wildrider figure and Hasbro seems to have decided to let the con out of the bag. Of course they weren't going to make the big reveal easy. First came a shadowy image of two figures in package on Facebook Tuesday afternoon with only the new names visible and the text quoted above. Then, only about an hour and half later they did a full reveal of the packages showing the exact figures we expected and the text "coming in May". They then topped off their reveal Wednesday with shots of the figures out of the package.
Like the Takara Tomy versions, Quickslinger is a remold of Firefly/Fireflight with a new head while Brake-Neck is based on the Dead End figure, also with a new head. The Takara Tomy versions will be heavily inspired by the cartoon, but the Hasbro take looks to be decidedly more on the IDW comic side like the rest of the team members.
I'm digging the cartoon accurate versions, but this might be a line of figures worth the occasional double dip.
We recently announced that Funko was re-releasing its Star Wars Pop! Slave Leia and Luke Skywalker in honor of the upcoming Star Wars sequel. The pair will apparently be joined by none other than everybody's favorite hapless Rodian bounty hunter, Greedo!
Pop! Greedo comes from a simpler time when Funko was starting to find its way with the Pop! line but he looks pretty good despite of his age. Sure, he's not the greatest Greedo that Funko has ever released (that might go to the Fabrikations version... although the Hikari mold is neat as well).
Funko's Pop! Greedo is slated for an April release. If you're a Greedo fan, you may want to shoot first or you'll be sorry later.
You know what's a fun movie about a war machine that takes on a life of its own with a child-like innocence? Short Circuit, not CHAPPiE. What CHAPPiE was is a fascinating movie about the moral dilemmas of creating artificial life and how we'll be responsible for how that life turns out. I loved the movie, but I really wish it had gone further to show how Chappie's life impacted society and what the reaction to his existence was. You get a glimps of that in the beginning, but it quickly falls to the wayside of the movie's present without much exploration. If you saw the movie then you know the moral questions it raised went well beyond just creating an artificial life, but I suppose there wasn't enough time to explore everything with a single movie. CHAPPiE 2 perhaps?
Whatever the case at least we're getting great looking figures.
Threezero is no stranger to super cool robot figures, though typically they're of the larger than life variety. Essentially their 1/6 scale, 12 inch tall Chappie figures aren't made any differently from their large scale figures, but it's nice to see that technology used in a human-sized figure for a change. In most cases you would want to hide the joints as much as possible, but for these guys the more exposed the better. I love the looks of the shoulders, the way the body bends and twists, the shifting of his hips, and are those articulated fingers? This is my idea of a beautiful figure! Plus he has LED lights for eyes just like in the movie that you can change the expression of.
The two figures feature some very distinct differences. First you've got the original Chappie with lots of battle damage and weathering. This was Chappie at his most child like in this developmental stage so I don't know if the included AKS-74 was a great fit. I'd rather he came with something a little more fitting like his black sheep book and doll. I wonder Threezero's designers had seen the movie before making this figure? More true to form is the "gangsta" Chappie we get from around the half way point of the story. This version features an orange arm, Die Antwoord graffiti, and lots of bling. The added gold makes me wish the standard Chappie came with the children's stuff all the more, but at least the gun now feels like a better fit.
Both versions will be available for preorder on March 16 at 9:00am HKT (effectively March 15 at 9:00pm EST). The regular Chappie will be available everywhere, but the gangsta version will only be available only at the Threezero store next week. Both are priced at US$230, but no release date has been given just yet. There's still something like three more uses they could get out of this body type going from the very beginning of the movie to the very end. Will they get to all of them? Time will tell. And what about the Moose, I can't believe Threezero wouldn't make one of those even if it were out of scale?
Check out the gallery because Threezero couldn't restrain themselves in taking pictures of these two!
Good and evil is a never-ending black & white struggle in Disney movies and, to apparently commemorate that struggle, Funko has a Mystery Minis series devoted to some of Disney's most iconic heroes and villains.
The series (which we saw at NY Toy Fair 2015) features Ursula and Ariel (The Little Mermaid), a snow monster Marshmallow and Anna (Frozen; which still need to see), Captain Hook and Peter Pan (Peter Pan), Jafar and Jasmine (Aladdin; why they couldn't just do Aladdin himself is beyond me), Hopper and Heimlich (A Bug's Life, which I saw but still needed to Google to remember who these guys were; I did think Antz was better, though), and finally Captain Gantu and Stitch (Lilo & Stitch, which I never saw).
The rivalries seen here are somewhat interesting. Ursula (being one of Disney's big 3 or 4 villains) and Ariel was something of a no-brainer. Jafar, of course, ranks right up there with Ursula (but I *STILL* don't understand picking Jasmine over Aladdin or even Genie). However, there's ALREADY a Frozen Mystery Minis series at retail now which makes those two a little redundant and I can't imagine A Bug's Life having the same prestige as a lot of other series (such a grown Simba vs Scar from The Lion King, for instance).
The figures themselves are... different. The sculpting is solid as usual, but each character has a slanted eye effect which I'm assuming is them giving their opponents the evil eye. Ariel, for whatever reason, breaks this trend because she's actually looking away (although I love her huffy expression).
For most of these characters, this is their first time in the Mystery Minis line. The exceptions are the Frozen characters (which, again, are STILL at retail right now. Yes, I know Frozen is popular, but this is overkill!), Ariel (who had 3 figures in the Hot Topic exclusive version of Disney series 2), and Stitch (who appeared in Disney series 1 which opted for a different style).
The figures are individually blind-boxed with an equal 1/12 rarity (and, with any luck, I'll get the Ursula and Ariel... and maybe also Jafar). The series is slated to release in April and I'm curious as to whether it may have a Hot Topic version as well.
Queen Grayskull is the wife of King Greyskull and was apparently the first Sorceress in the 2002 series (which makes her a character from the very distant past). I'm a little surprised at the way the figure was handled, as the torso joint lines up so nicely between the armored and body portions. A lot of the sculpting/deco looks surprisingly good as well, despite recycling a piece here and there. I'm not entirely fond of the wings but I assume it's accurate to the cartoon (which I have yet to see).
All things considered, the selection for this mini-club is starting to look cooler than some full-year clubs.
NECA recently released some official product images for its upcoming Gremlins 2: The New Batch video game Mohawk. The most amusing of this images puts the figure in the game itself.
Fans may recall that the 1990 video game was an okay cash-in on a beloved sequel. Unlike the Gameboy version, the NES game was actually fun. While I'm basically guaranteed to pick this figure up, I still wish that we were getting the Machine Gun Mohawk in his original colors because, as I mentioned in the Toy Fair coverage, this is a repaint of a figure that was never released.
That said, there's a certain amount of nostalgia involved for me with these one as I think I might even still own my original cartridge. It's especially relevant given the game-themed packaging which I imagine I would probably wind up saving.
NECA's Mohawk is slated for a July release and will run you around US$20.
Funko quietly released promotional images and information for its Game of Thrones Mystery Minis series 2 the other week. And, while I still haven't started watching the show, I've seen enough clips to be excited for this line-up which includes the Hound, Littlefinger, and more.
The selection seems to be based on the characters as of season 4 (at the latest) so, in some cases, this may be a little spoiler-y. Of the ones I recognize, the selection seems to include:
A warged Hodor
A battle-scarred Tyrion with a crossbow (perfect for shooting somebody while they're on a stone commode)
Jaime Lannister (with gold hand; "a hook would have been more practical")
The Hound (Sandor Clegane)
Peter "Littlefinger" Baelish
Sansa Stark (or Sansa Lannister now?)
Metallic Drogon (1/72)
In short, it's a pretty nice line-up. Most of the characters have a 1/12 rarity with the exception of the Hound, Oberyn, and Gregor at 1/24 (granted, the Hound *should* be 1/6, not 1/24). Drogon, Viserion, and the Wight are a rarer 1/36 while the metallic Drogon (which seems like a useless colorway) is 1/72.
My favorites of the set are probably Viserion and Baelish, although Hodor's expression is adorable and the Hound is hard to resist.
Just when you think Funko has done it all, the company surprises you with a sofubi for Gigantor, a '60s anime character who never enjoyed the enduring legacy of his peers like Speed Racer.
Gigantor (known for his iconic theme music which involves repeating his name again and again and again) was, as his name implies, a gigantic robot. He often saved the day with the help of his human master, a small child. It was a different time.
The Hikari "Original" Gigantor depicts the character in a color scheme I'm not familiar with (then again, I remember the series being in b&w), but it's a neat, campy look. The sculpting is both cute and does a great job in capturing the character's look.
Funko's Hikari Gigantor is slated to release in May for US$60. You can win one by going to Funko's Facebook page. And, if you're a Gigantor fan, Funko also has a Pop! on the way (see gallery). At around US$10, it's a bit more affordable.
The new Masters of the Universe film (title pending) is going to come out at some point (maybe!), but in the mean-time we may or may not have a concept image of the new Battle Cat. Apparently somebody connected to the film has tweeted out an image of what seems to be Battle Cat and a MOTU-starved universe has begun gobbling it up.
While I'm still doubtful that the new film will develop, things are a bit more promising in this Golden Age of Geekdom where live-action toy-based movies like the Transformers and G.I. films can (somehow!) succeed at the box office. (Then, of course, there's always the inevitable weirdness of having toylines based on movies based on toylines, which is exactly like a snake chomping down on its own tail... although, in the case of He-Man, it's more like a toyline based on a movie based on a toyline inspired by a movie that Mattel wasn't able to get a licensing deal for.)
If this is a concept image, it's certainly not bad. It's a sleeker design than the monstrous thing Battle Cat is usually depicted as wearing but it seems to capture the essentials.
It's been less than two weeks since we got our first look at Takara Tomy's Transformers Masterpiece Tracks and things appear to be moving along quickly. Already we're being treated to some full color images of the Ark's resident narcissist thanks to Kapow Toys and he's looking pretty great! He's a perfect package, far exceeding every Tracks figure that has come before. He has his compact robot mode, a super sleek Corvette Stingray mod, and can still take on a flight mode now featuring tail fins from the cartoon! I guess Tracks isn't the only one who thinks he looks beautiful.
And it's not just the figure you're getting, check out the accessories! Stingrays are pretty narrow little cars so they appear to be packing him with some cool stuff instead of dropping the price and I'm fine with that. We're getting a mini figure of Track's breakdancing pal Raoul (where are our Chip Chase and Carly figures?), a tiny, little (ghetto) Blaster, and a flight stand, something we've only ever seen come with the Seeker Jets.
No release dates or prices just yet, but I'm counting on him being one of the big late 2015 releases like Bumblebee and Wheeljack last year. Now that he's gotten this far hopefully we'll have pre-orders and better pictures soon enough!