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SDCC 2014: Mattel's WWE Panel photo
SDCC 2014: Mattel's WWE Panel
by Brian Szabelski

For four years now, I've made. I've learned that not only is it pretty informational, but there's almost always a surprise in store for the folks who attend. I just happened to get spoiled my first year during the Summer of Punk when CM Punk, with WWE Championship in tow, invaded the panel just after his surprising win at Money in the Bank 2011. I didn't quite know if I'd ever run into another panel surprise that would top that.

Well, somehow, this year turned out to be the best WWE-Mattel panel I've been to, for both the figures they showed off ... and the surprise at the end.

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SDCC 2014: That Tetsuya Nomura-designed Batman is as crazy as you'd think photo
SDCC 2014: That Tetsuya Nomura-designed Batman is as crazy as you'd think
by Brian Szabelski

The biggest buzz in the last 24 hours from SDCC is almost certainly Square Enix's latest Variant Play Arts Kai: Batman, as designed by Final Fantasy designer Tetsuya Nomura. I've checked around the Internet and seen some mixed reactions to the reveal, but getting to see it in person at Square Enix's booth leaves me looking for the right words to describe it.

Well, "gigantic" is one word that fits. There's little mistaking it for anything but Nomura's work, as it really resembles something you'd expect from the Final Fantasy series. And those wings are huge, taking up a considerable amount of case space. I think it has to be the largest Play Arts Kai figure I've seen to date, by a considerable margin. You could also perhaps use the word "sleek" due to the metallic black paint that coats an otherwise armored surface.

We'll have a little more info and some more detailed looks at Nomura's Batman and all the other Play Arts Kai figures a little later on in our San Diego Comic Con 2014 coverage. 

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Epic new 'Starscream' Optimus Prime is a Hot Toys figure in disguise photo
Epic new 'Starscream' Optimus Prime is a Hot Toys figure in disguise
by Scarecroodle

Hot Toys has just dropped an awesome bomb with the massive reveal of its upcoming Optimus Prime (Starscream version), which features the Autobot leader with Seeker-like wings and a limited edition Starscream head. It's a bizarre combination that I never knew I wanted!

While the 30-cm tall Hot Toys Optimus is non-transforming, it features LED light-up eyes, a removable LED light-up Matrix of Leadership (which can be stored in his chest), and what appear to be fully articulated fingers. In addition, he sports an awesome battle-worn paint job. However, the biggest selling point might be the optional Starscream-deco'd Seeker-like wings AND an exclusive Starscream head [UPDATE: Apparently the Starscream head isn't meant as an alternate head, which reduces much of my interest). The Starscream head is only available in a special edition which is listed as being for Ani-Com pre-orders and selected markets only.

The figure also features a set of wheels that can be mounted onto his back, a ground base/diorama, two Seeker-like Rifles that can be attached to his forearms or shoulders, and a cannon.

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SHF Mega Blaziken gets Mega Awesome preview gallery photo
SHF Mega Blaziken gets Mega Awesome preview gallery
by Scarecroodle

Bandai's upcoming S.H. Figuarts Mega Blaziken has received an absolutely amazing preview gallery which depicts the mega evolution fighting against previous (and upcoming) S.H. Figuarts Pokemon.

Highlights include a demonstration of the Tamashii "Burning Flame" effects (used against Venusaur *and* used as a power-up by Lucario and Mega Blaziken), a blurred "Quick Attack", that awesome moon silhouette, and more!

The gallery also seems to reveal what could be a special base for SHF Mega Blaziken, a black and silver version of the Pokeball-themed base seen with previous releases. See all the images in the gallery.

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Standby, here are your Gundam Build Fighters Season 2 Gunpla photo
Standby, here are your Gundam Build Fighters Season 2 Gunpla
by Andres Cerrato

Gundam Build Fighters was amazing. It didn't have a great plot, but it was at least enjoyable if just for all of the cameos. It certainly surpassed expectations in the west and now season 2, Gundam Build Fighters Try is on the horizon. With a new series based around Gunpla, there are of course new Gunpla for you to buy this upcoming October.

The main Gunpla of the series appears to be the Build Burning Gundam, which is unrelated to the God/Burning Gundam from G Gundam. Next is the Lightning Gundam, which is based off the Re-GZ. Lastly, there's the Winning Gundam, which is an original SD that features a combination gimmick to have different modes. In addition, there's the Powered GM Cardigan, which at this time has no other info about it except that it will come with a lot of weapons.

There's quite a bit to like here and I know that the series will have some more Gunpla that will have me buying them with no hesitation. Hopefully the show will be just as good as last time. After the jump, you'll find all of the pictures and release info.

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Starfire, Mera, and more among DCC's July solicits photo
Starfire, Mera, and more among DCC's July solicits
by Scarecroodle

DC Collectibles has released its monthly solicits. These items are mostly slated to release in either January or February and should be available for pre-order in the coming days (if not already).

Highlights include the DC Cover Girls Starfire, figures based on the Justice League: Throne of Atlantis animated movie (including Mera), as well as a few items seen in DCC's recent big unveil (such as the Bombshells Hawkgirl, some of the Designer Series figures, the new Arrow figures, etc).

While I haven't been a fan of DC Collectibles' decision to do a lower-articulation animated film line, a few of them (like Mera and Aquaman) seem to be turning out pretty well. Still, given the drop in detail and articulation, I would expect the lines' MSRPs would have more than just a meager US$5 difference.

Otherwise I'm just surprised that the Scribblenauts Unmasked line is picking up momentum so quickly. DC Collectibles is just plowing ahead at full steam, having shown six series/waves now (five of which have been made available for pre-order/order with two at retail). Should the line continue to prove a success I would imagine that DCC may try its hand at other blind-boxed series.

Be sure to check out all the images in the gallery.

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HUGE list of DC Collectibles reveals photo
HUGE list of DC Collectibles reveals
by Scarecroodle

With SDCC only a couple of weeks away, DC Collectibles has chosen to dump a whole list of reveals on MTV News all at once. Basically everything you could imagine is here from the Bombshells series to Batman: Arkham Knight merch to the DC Designer Series to... ugh, it's just not fair having this much revealed at once!

Details after the jump.

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What Scarecroodle Is Up To: The Growing Terror of Parallax photo
What Scarecroodle Is Up To: The Growing Terror of Parallax
by Scarecroodle

Toy companies can do some odd things when it comes to movie spoilers. In the case of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, for instance, Kenner revealed the villain's secret identity when it left the figure unmasked in the packaging (you know that movie you were going to see in theaters later this week, kids? Wham, spoiled!). The film and toy industries have gotten a lot better in that regard, sometimes because the films will hold off providing character specs to these kinds avoid spoilers.

As such, the Collect-n-Connect for Mattel's Green Lantern line managed to stay reasonably under wraps. The first wave of three figures (GL Hal Jordan, Tomar-Re, and Rot Lop Fan) depicted a mostly darkened out version of Parallax and the three pieces, each an identical tendril, didn't really give much away. When two images finally showed up, I had naturally hoped for the second, cooler-looking version (not caring that he didn't really look like that). Of course, the one we actually got was a lot closer to the first one. I had already picked up a bunch of figures from the wave by this point. What was I to do?

Hit the jump to see how I made the best of a bad situation.

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Anime Expo 2014: Banpresto photo
Anime Expo 2014: Banpresto
by Scarecroodle

Banpresto's booth featured an assortment of One Piece, Dragon Ball, and other anime figures, some of which were recent or upcoming with some older items as well (that cool-looking Shirahoshi, for instance, was released around last Summer).

I recognize a few items that I had hoped to pick up but couldn't find a place in my budget (or shelves) for them (and while I may not have picked up that Shirahoshi, or Megahouse's P.O.P. version, I at least bought the *other* Banpresto Shirahoshi). Highlights include a seated Number 18, a child Chichi on the Flying Nimbus, the chibi Sailor Moon figures, and, well, a ton of cool One Piece items.

Be sure to check out the gallery.

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What Kristina Is Up To: Getting musical photo
What Kristina Is Up To: Getting musical
by Kristina Pino

Oh hey, I'm back! And the weather is still pretty much gloomy and rainy in Japan, even though we're in July. The humidity is up, which is nice - my skin is amazing right now. But my students are getting frustrated because we're only a couple of weeks away from the end of the term, and they're just plain uncomfortable.

My schedule has been kind of hectic this school year, a big difference from last year's easy going, perfectly evened-out roster. So I've been getting home more mentally exhausted than anything else, and my usual downtime activity (reading) hasn't been relaxing me all that much during the on hours.

The solution? I turned to music.

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Upcoming Walgreens-exclusive Boba Fett looks all-white photo
Upcoming Walgreens-exclusive Boba Fett looks all-white
by Scarecroodle

Walgreens is surprisingly getting yet another exclusive figure, this time in the form of a 6-inch Star Wars Black Series Prototype (white) Boba Fett.

While I'm still baffled by the fact that companies are giving Walgreens all of these exclusives (which includes a Marvel Legends Agent Venom and Funko's Game of Thrones Legacy Collection Tyrion in his Hand of the King outfit), at least I've stopped thinking that these announcements are typos. Given that Boba Fett is the most sought-after figure in Hasbro's Star Wars Black Series figures *and* the outfit is a simple repaint, it's a logical exclusive.

The figure is based on the original concept for Boba Fett which would have made him a super trooper (ie, on the Imperial payroll) rather than the bounty hunter (ie, outside contractor) that we've come to know and love. The design has received a lot of attention in recent years, going from a design that most fans have never even heard of to something at least a few of them own between the 1/6-scale Sideshow Collectibles version of the character and Hasbro's mail-order Vintage series one.

There's no word when he'll be released, but StarWars.com reported something about pre-orders opening at SDCC. I haven't managed to grab the normal Star Wars Black Series Boba Fett yet, but I imagine I'll be keeping an eye out for this version.

[ via Toyark ]

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SDCC-exclusive ArtFX+ Hulk is more than good, it's GREY-T!! photo
SDCC-exclusive ArtFX+ Hulk is more than good, it's GREY-T!!
by Scarecroodle

Kotobuikya may have a few good exclusives going to SDCC, but only one is so good that he's grey-t: the ArtFX+ Grey Hulk! This Grey-test of exclusives will be sold at the Treasure Island Sports booth (#5030) during the con. Can't make it? The company seems to have at least a few available for pre-order on its site (unless it's an order online, pick up in person deal).

The ArtFX+ Grey Hulk is a redeco of Kotobukiya's Marvel Now! Hulk, the first figure in the ArtFX+ Marvel Now Avengers line (which one of our community members reviewed). It was a pretty neat sculpt although not everybody was pleased with the shade of green used for the paint. As such, the Grey Hulk might appease any naysayers.

This 1/10-th scale figure is limited to 2,000 pieces and will sell for US$75.

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