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Hello Kitty hits controversy over not actually being a cat photo
Hello Kitty hits controversy over not actually being a cat
by Scarecroodle

Hello Kitty and Sanrio recently made headlines with the "revelation" that Kitty White (the eponymous Hello Kitty) was not, in fact, a cat. The news predictably evoked some pretty extreme reactions ("Hello Kitty is not a cat, Everything is a lie.") as well as a few mocking responses.

The LA Times reports that Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii, was preparing her written texts for the exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum when she was corrected after referring to Kitty as a cat

"I was corrected — very firmly," Yano says. "That's one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty."

This bizarre distinction was widely taken to mean that Kitty White was a human, something that was allegedly disputed by a Sanrio PR rep who clarified: “We never said she was a human.” The rep is described as going on to explain that 'Hello Kitty is a personification or anthropomorphization, basically just like Micky Mouse. No one would mistake the Disney character for a human–but at the same time he’s not quite a mouse. Just like Hello Kitty isn’t a human, she’s not quite a cat either.'

The whole bizarre affair might be chalked up to something lost in translation. The Sanrio reps who spoke with Yano might have felt that the word "cat" was too literal or there may have been some other aspect that was misunderstood. The one thing that should be understood, however, is that all the "Hello Human" jokes fall flat because the "Kitty" in "Hello Kitty" refers to the character's name rather than her species.

For my own part, I'm still going to refer to her as a cat. I'd also like to point out that Disney never tries to claim that Mickey Mouse isn't a mouse.

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League of Legends finally gets a licensed figure in Nendoroid Ahri  photo
League of Legends finally gets a licensed figure in Nendoroid Ahri
by Brian Szabelski

Somehow, Riot Games' League of Legends has had very little in the way of merchandise — especially figures — which is weird, considering its popularity. That's all changed, however, as it looks like Riot and Good Smile Company have come together to produce Nendoroid Ahri.

The popular mid-lane champion is going to be available at the 2014 World Championships in Seoul, South Korea, per the ticket page on Interpark for the event's semifinals. Ahri should be available at the onsite shop, which will be open during the semifinals at Seoul's Olymic Gymnastics Arena on Oct. 11 and 12.

We'll let you know if she becomes available anywhere besides 2014 Worlds, but given GSC's track record of bundling Nendos with limited edition game packages ... I don't have high hopes yet.

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Howard the Duck to join Funko's Pop! line photo
Howard the Duck to join Funko's Pop! line
by Scarecroodle

Marvel's quirky off-beat Howard the Duck, star of the 1986 movie of the same name (as well as his own self-titled comic book), will soon join Funko's Pop! line. The figure is based on the character's recent appearance in the smash Summer-hit Guardians of the Galaxy where the Master of Quack-Fu had a minor yet memorable cameo.

The cameo and figure has once again given hope that fans may someday see a non-terrible Howard the Duck movie (or, at least, a bigger role in another Marvel movie).

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Your beverage's resistance to the Borg Ice Cube is futile, and other awesome new DST listings photo
Your beverage's resistance to the Borg Ice Cube is futile, and other awesome new DST listings
by Scarecroodle

In space, nobody can hear you scream about Diamond Select Toys' awesome new items in the latest issue of Previews. The selection includes a Borg Ice Cube make, a Rarity vinyl bank, Godzilla Minimates series 2, Buck Rogers Minimates, more Aliens merch, new Kill Bill Minimates, and, well, more.

The coolest selection of the bunch is obviously the Borg Ice Cube silicon tray although, sadly, the Borg Ice Cubes it creates will be assimilated into your drink as they melt instead of being added to the Borg Ice Cube Collective. It won't be a total loss, though, as they should convert your beverage's temperature by some degrees in the process.

The Godzilla Minimates line continues with a second boxset featuring Atomic Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, Jet Jaguar, and Hedorah the Smog Monster. The tiny Mechagodzilla is especially adorable. Of course, it's not the only Minimates box set this month as there's the Buck Rogers set (featuring Captain Buck Rogers, Colonel Wilma Deering, Princess Ardala and Tigerman) and the "Masters of Death" Kill Bill 4-pack (featuring Master Pai Mei, Hattori Hanzo and Bill). The Kill Bill set is possibly worth it for Pai Mei alone. I'm just wondering if he'll come with an alternate hand with a torn-out eye.

Other neat items include the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Rarity vinyl bank (the cutest bank seen thus far), an Adam West-series Batmobile bottle opener (designed for your batfridge rather than your utility keychain), and a hatched Xenomorph egg vinyl bank. Other items include a b&w version of the Metaluna Mutant vinyl bank bust, Marvel Retro Captain America Limited Edition Action Figure Box Set, and the Alien Facehugger Metal Bottle Opener.

All of the figures appear to be slated for a March release.

[ Pre-order Godzilla Minimates Series 2 | Rarity vinyl bank | Borg Ice Cube tray | Batmobile Bottle Opener | Alien Egg bank at Entertainment Earth ]

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Massive 22-inch Smaug figure to invade your shelves soon, displacing whatever dwarf figures you own photo
Massive 22-inch Smaug figure to invade your shelves soon, displacing whatever dwarf figures you own
by Scarecroodle

Huge news, everyone! The Bridge Direct will be a making a huge Smaug figure (The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies). The figure, which sports a 22-inch wingspan and is apparently 21-inches tall (although I'm no sure how), won't be anywhere near to scale with Bridge Direct's previous offerings but it'll still be a humongous figure.

Smaug will unfortunately only feature a paltry ten points of articulation; the joints seem to be at his knees, hips, mid-section of wings, base of neck, and mid-section of neck. The remaining joints might be the shoulders or at his head and base of the tail, but it's hard to tell. The wings and tail appear feature a "wire core" which is listed as allowing for additional poses (meaning bendy?). Granted, I suppose the major selling point here is the size since Smaug should tower over much your collection.

The figure is billed as coming with an as-yet-unrevealed 1.5-inch figure and accessory, which a poster over at Toyark believes to be Bard and a black arrow (although a Bilbo Baggins probably wouldn't be a bad guess, either). Regardless of who that mystery character is, the figure still probably won't be scale with the massive movie version of the dragon. Did I mention that this Smaug is going to be big?

The Bridge Direct's Smaug will be limited to 3,000 pieces which each box featuring an individually numbered sticker. He can be pre-ordered for US$70 and is slated for a December release. You know, because nothing says Christmas like a dragon.

[ Pre-order at the Warner Bros Shop or its Hobbit Shop imprint ]

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Tomopop Review: AmiAmi's Shinonono Houki photo
Tomopop Review: AmiAmi's Shinonono Houki
by Chris Seto

It has always bemused me why <IS> Infinite Stratos hasn't really seen many figures of the girls in their actual <IS> suits. We've had them in their school uniform, swimsuits, pilot suits and even the girls wearing animal ears which was only shown in one episode of the (awful) second season of the anime! 

When it comes to the <IS> figures, we've had the AGP line but that's about it... until now! Rather than getting an established company taking in the challenge, instead we have a newcomer in the shape of AmiAmi, in their first major figure release, to give us the first figure of the <IS> suit and who we get is Shinonono Houki in Akatsubaki! There's been a bit of history with this figure. She was first shown two years ago with pre-orders opening soon after. She was initially meant to be released in late 2013 but delays meant that she only got a release recently and her initial price was... severe. However, it was lowered when she was finally released but the price is still somewhat on the high side. 

So, we have a figure which has been beset with delays (making Bayonetta seem punctual), with a high pricetag and by a manufacturer with little history. Not exactly a recipe for instant success! But, not only did AmiAmi rise up to the challenge but they also laid the gauntlet down to all the big figure makers with their first release!

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Tomopop Unboxes: August 2014 Anime Bento photo
Tomopop Unboxes: August 2014 Anime Bento
by Natalie Kipper

Anime Bento is a cool new subscription service that delivers hand-picked Japanese toys, accessories, and tasty treats right to your door. For this unboxing video, I open up their first box and examine its innards. Fun stuff. You can find out more about subscribing to Anime Bento here.

[a big thank-you to Anime Bento for supplying me with this sample!]

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Bow down to the White Queen: Sideshow's Premium Format Emma Frost up for pre-order photo
Bow down to the White Queen: Sideshow's Premium Format Emma Frost up for pre-order
by Scarecroodle

Sideshow's 1/4-scale Emma Frost Premium Format Figure is now available for pre-order. The figure features two interchangeable heads (or just hair parts?): one for the modern long-haired Emma Frost and another for the classic villainous Hellfire Club original White Queen.

The Premium Format Emma Frost looks great and I love the fact that Sideshow thought to include a variation of the older, shorter hairstyle.The pose, sculpting, and mix of materials all look great, leaving me to wonder why they waited so long to do something this cool. Sure, it's no Sentinel Maquette, but it's still easily among Sideshow's nicest X-Men collectibles.

Sideshow's 1/4-scale Emma Frost Premium Format Figure can be pre-ordered for US$370 and is slated for an April release.

[ Pre-order at Sideshow Collectibles ]

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Wonder Festival 2014 Summer: Kaiyodo - Revoltech Star Wars photo
Wonder Festival 2014 Summer: Kaiyodo - Revoltech Star Wars
by Scarecroodle

Not wanting to be left off the Lucas gravy train, Kaiyodo has apparently added Star Wars characters to its Revoltech line. Unpainted prototypes for Darth Vader, a Storm Trooper, C-3PO, R2-D2 and a Mouse Droid were on display at WonFes alongside placards which displayed the silhouettes of Boba Fett, the Millennium Falcon, and an X-Wing.

The news that Kaiyodo is handling the license is somewhat diminished by the glut of Star Wars merchandise these days. For years, Star Wars collectibles were primarily being produced in the 3.75-inch scale by Hasbro (and Kenner before that). However, that's changed almost overnight with Hasbro moving into the 6-inch scale, Medicom's decision to add Star Wars to its MEDICOM line, Bandai of Japan apparently planning to produce samurai Star Wars figures, and Star Wars even appearing in the Nendoroid line. That's not counting the 1/6-scale figures (which have been around for a while) and Kotobukiya's Star Wars offerings.

That's not to say that these figures don't look cool. The sculpting looks to be pretty decent and Vader will apparently feature an articulated cape (unlike Hasbro's and MEDICOM's decision to use a fabric cape). The Storm Trooper (who was on display next to a Clone Trooper helmet for some reason) will provide fans with an opportunity to army build although, given that Revoltechs have been running ¥3,000+ lately, it would make for an expensive army.

I'm also surprised that one of the items Kaiyodo will be leading with is a Mouse Droid. Sure, he's just going to be an accessory (for C-3PO?), but it's still such a seemingly random choice. I'm also curious as to whether Kaiyodo will offer a ton of R2 variants, something that Hasbro has yet to do in its 6-inch Star Wars Black Series (despite having done heavily in its smaller scale line). Will we see a R2-Q2? Only time will tell.

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SDCC 2014: Mattel - Masters of the Universe photo
SDCC 2014: Mattel - Masters of the Universe
by Scarecroodle

For those expecting some cool Masters of the Universe stuff at SDCC, Matty Collector apparently didn't disappoint. There were a lot of new reveals (a few of which were shown early) between the Club Eternia and Etheria selections for the rest of this year and the start of next year, a 2015 Mini MOTU series which features a Mini Snake Mountain, giant Masters figures, and more.

There's an absurd amount of stuff to discuss, but I'll try to hit some of the highlights after the jump.

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SDCC 2014: Hasbro - Marvel Legends photo
SDCC 2014: Hasbro - Marvel Legends
by Scarecroodle

We have seen the future and it is (Marvel) Legendary! Hasbro's Marvel Legends SDCC display included an unveil of the first wave of 2015. Consisting of a few orphans from earlier or planned waves (such as Sentry, the proposed running change for Hyperion in the Hit Monkey wave), it's a fairly stellar assortment topped off with a brand-new Odin BAF.

Allegedly dubbed "Avengers Legends", the line-up features a long-overdue new Scarlet Witch (legend has it that the original was so bad that Toy Biz originally didn't dare to sell it in the US until fans demanded it), a Marvel NOW! Thor,  Sentry, Machine Man (who I literally learned about today), and the new Captain Marvel (which features an alternate head) with Odin as the BAF. Supposedly the wave is slated to release in February and -- I can't confirm the following -- but I've been told that it might also include a Hawkeye. I believe that may refer to the Hawkeye we saw at NYCC 2012 which I thought was going to be a running change for the Rocket Raccoon-wave Hawkeye but, again, speculation.

Also on display was the upcoming Toys "R" Us exclusive Jubilee wave (a revision I still dislike) along with The Guardians of the Galaxy wave which should be at retail now, some of the SDCC exclusive ones, a few figures we've seen before that I believe are still orphans, and then a lot of stuff that's been out for a while. However, the big news is that there will be another Spidey Legends wave to be announced later today (Friday). Can it top an Odin BAF? Probably not, but I'm still looking forward to it.

Otherwise I'm just happy that we're finally getting a fairly decent-looking ML Scarlet Witch, which justifies my decision to pass on the MU version.

Be sure to check out the gallery.

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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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