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4:11 AM on 11.19.2012

Because Ewoks are wussies.

Presented for the collective amusement of the Tomopopulus, here's a gallery of buddies George and Lenny from NECA's recently released revamped-ish Gremlins line



"Derrrrrrr, what about the rabbits, George?"

Forget about the rabbits, Lenny, where are your companions?! Rather unfortunately, George, Lenny, and a normal Gizmo (who I didn't fucking buy because, well, it kinda sucked and I'm getting the combat version anyway) are the front-runners for this wave. What does that mean exactly? Well, while those three are available at retailers like TRU unfortunately my main squeeze (because he's cuddly, you pervs!) Mohawk, comic relief Daffy, and thinly-veiled Rambo parody "Combat" Gizmo aren't available just quite yet. Or maybe it's a problem exclusive to TRU who currently don't have the other three in the system. Bleagh.

At any rate, here's the incredibly bland packaging:



Like ughsville, right? I mean, can it be any more... HELLO!

No, but seriously, fucking uninspired. You can't see it but the inner portion has an image of a Gremlin's shadow which is completely infuckingvisible from the front of the package. The back of the box features the same white backdrop as well as the shadow, which is obscured by the character selection and pictoral explanation of the eye-roller system. Yeah, that's right, they can roll their eyes.



"Derrrrrrrrrr, it wasn't me, George!"

(fyi, the names George and Lenny were supposedly an homage to the characters from John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. There, I just injected a little culture into your lives and reminded you of nap time during second period English =p)

In case you're wondering why I make fun of the Ewoks (who helped take a crap on the original trilogy), although Ewoks were larger and had spears and stuff they were still wimpy ass teddy bears. They never smoked, drank, gambled... errr, well, technically the mogwais did that more when they were "all gwowed up". And speaking of that, they're (kind of) to scale with their post-pubescent previously released counterparts:



For those unfamiliar with the Gremlins franchise, the cute childish mogwai undergo a horrific transformation into ravenous, destructive monsters --- you know, much like when human children undergo puberty =p Except with a bit more bloodshed because they lack strong parental supervision.

The sort of kicker here is that the previous Gremlins stuff retails for $10 (dreamboat Mohawk there is about 8" tall, fyi) while the new, significantly shorter figures go for $12 (both are TRU prices). Although you might not be able to complain about the scaling issues, there is a feeling of paying more for less. The only big saving grace here are those eye rollers. Oh yeah, plus articulate ears!



The ears are one a kind of ball & socket joint. Ditto for the shoulders, forearms (where the fur tufts change on the arms), and hands. The legs have a similar joint but you won't get much movement there due to the body sculpt. Also, the joint itself has a tendency to expose depending on the angle (by which I just mean it's visible). The heads have a generous ball joint and are connected to the head by a rod which accommodates posing. The eye rollers are controlled by a ball on the back and are seemingly supposed to sync although they can kinda get off track from one another at times. Oh yeah, plus the ones on George are nigh useless given his epic squint.

I *think* their body type is basically the same and Lenny got an extra piece to bulk out his height but I can't be sure. I should also mention that bodies are sculped in such a way that the arms can sit fairly flat against the side of their bodies (but it makes for weird-looking armpits!)

Would I recommend these? Hell yeah. $12 is really a pittance for something like this. Sure, I'll bitch about the price in comparison to what the stuff used to be and generally want things cheaper but, at the end of the day, this is really the sort of stuff that I've wanted ever since I was a little kid watching the Gremlins movies for the first time. The only major aggravation is some potential QC issues (because it's NECA!) regarding paint and Mohawk not coming out right away. Supposedly we'll even be getting gremlin versions of George and Lenny in the near future!

Oh, plus supposedly we'll even be getting gremlin versions of George and Lenny in the near future! (saw photos for it, looks cool). This calls for a mogwai hi-five!

  read


3:17 PM on 10.30.2012

Without power, missing you all

Currently without power, no clue for how long. Just wanted you all to know that I (barely) survived "Franken-storm"

Last storm was 8 days without my house having power. Kinda curious if they can beat that record, which might be possibly given all the downed trees that make just getting into town hard.   read


5:10 PM on 07.11.2012

My SDCC hopes list

(DISCLAIMER: My hopes don't necessarily reflect the hopes of Tomopop.com =p)

Can you feel the hype in the air? Fans fervently wishing for certain collectibles, waiting to see if their dreams will be answered or what crazy surprises toy makers have in store (and will have in stores) for them.

Here are a few of the (realistic...) items I'm hoping to see.



Iron Patriot (Marvel Legends) ~ Norman Osborne's "heroic" alter-ego. While the Dark Reign storyline may be over, the fan demand for this figure isn't. Not to mention that we still don't have a complete Dark Avengers on either the 3.75-inch or 6-inch scales. Plus he'd be an easy build, given that he would mostly use an Iron Man body type. The only thing holding him back? Dark Reign being over =(

Jubilee (Marvel Legends) ~ Wolverine's sometimes sidekick and the eternal "stand-in" character (for Shadowcat, Dazzler, etc). Jubilee has been shafted repeatedly over the years. She never got a figure in the original X-Men: TAS line and if you wanted a decent figure of her you'd always need to custom it... up until last year when Hasbro announced they were doing a MU Jubilee. I think this opens the door for a ML Jubilee down the line.

Magik (Marvel Legends) ~ Colossus's little sis. Given both her previous status and current activity in the comics she almost seems a shoo-in, especially since Moonstar is getting a figure.

Ares (Marvel Universe) ~ The Greek God of War, occasional villain and currently more of an anti-hero. Remember when I said we don't have a complete Dark Avengers on either scale? Well, Ares is one of the guys holding us back on the 3.75-inch. Plus he would look GREAT on the smaller scale if Hercules, Thor, and WW Hulk are any indication.

A new Killer Croc (DCU) ~ A deranged, deformed Batman villain (are there any other kind?) possibly best-known for his recent Arkham Asylum appearance. Mattel hasn't released a 6-inch Killer Croc figure since the DCSH line and BOTH of those sucked. Now that Mattel has pledged to release oversized figures online (to make up for no CNCs), I imagine that we'll probably see the character in some form or another within the next few years... just hopefully not as a club exclusive.

Ra's Al Ghul (DCU/BU) ~ Yet another of Batman's supposed Moriarities (seriously, how many can you have?), the eternal Ras Al Ghul has cheated death for centuries thanks to his Lazarus Pits. Another Batman rogue for whom there's no relatively modern Mattel figure. However, given his profile in Batman Arkham City and the films as well as the fact that Black Mask is being made it really just seems like a matter of time.

Trickster (DCU) ~ An iconic Flash rogue and the groundwork for Mark Hamill's Joker. There really is no compelling reason to believe that he'll receive a figure in the near future, iirc, but Mattel's online move has opened possibilities for characters like him.

Got a bunch more, plus I should probably add images for all of them.   read


6:48 PM on 07.06.2012

Damaged decisions





SDCC07 She-Hulk arrived with, well, indecent exposure. Looks like she slipped in package (half wonder if the seller displayed on shelf then repackaged to claim it's new, not placing it properly) and her nipple (well, where her nipple would be if Hasbro sculpted nipples which I don't think they ever will) scraped against the window, subsequently killing a good chunk of paint.

So basically I sent the seller a "what the hell, man?", just mentioning and showing photos of the damage.

The seller responded this:
"oh wow....no, i keep everything stored in air conditioned smoke free home, on a shelf. You can send it bak to me and I will refund your money or I can offer you 10% purchase price.....or if there is anything else you are looking for i can do free shipping? "

While I'd probably prefer to just keep the thing (because returns are a hassle), I'm not sure if it's something I can repair easily myself. The 10% off offer really isn't much, it would basically save me four bucks if he took it off the total price (including shipping). The third option is free shipping which I guess wouldn't be bad if one of his other auctions closes low. I might mention delaying a decision until I see how one of those auctions turns out.

Thoughts?   read


11:45 PM on 06.13.2012

Has anybody seen the 6" modern Tygra in stores?



The Lion-o, Panthro, and Cheetara were all really iffy but Tygra actually looks decent. Supposedly he's one of the later ones in the line so he won't even be hitting all areas. It's starting to seem like the revamp may be dead.   read


12:48 PM on 06.01.2012

Don't forget to exercise your civic duty...

...and vote for which minimates you want to see:
http://marvel.com/news/story/18697/update_marvel_minimates_10th_anniversary_fan_polls

Was going to post this last week but figured Tomopop would probably mention it anyway. As such, the poll is already into week 2 but that doesn't matter because get a load of this: you can still vote on the week one stuff! (and if Werewolf Captain America isn't one of your two votes you're doing it wrong).

So far the choices haven't been anything earth-shattering, but every week you can pick 2 characters from a selection with distinct themes to vote on:

[i]Over the next four weeks, Marvel.com will present a series of four polls, each representing one group of characters.
Poll #1 will be the Main Assault Team, showcasing the Marvel Universe's star players with updated or distinctly different looks.
Poll #2 will be the Support Team, giving some love to the unsung heroes who have backed up the all-stars over the years.
Poll #3 will be the Primary Targets, villain characters who we've never gotten their own Minimates or who need a re-do.
Poll #4 will be the Cannon Fodder, army-builder characters who you may want to buy more than one of.[/i]

Week 1 featured little of interest other than a Werewolf Captain America (because how do you go wrong with that?). Week 2 has had Songbird (as much as I like Songbird, the minimate format doesn't treat the girls right), Banshee, Winter Soldier (why do they need to put him a poll? It's unfair to the other selections since no matter what they'll make one), a modern Luke Cage, Black Knight II (ie, the one ON the Avengers as opposed to the one fighting them), modern Falcon, Commander Steve Rogers (again, not sure why they have him in the poll since he seems like somebody they would just make), and Gladiator (best remembered for flicking the Juggernaut off into the distance in X-Men TAS)

Given that week 1 is still open, I'm not sure when the polls actually close. At any rate, villain week is next and I would be more excited for that if they didn't mention some of the choices will be re-dos on previously released villains. The most interesting week will be fodder week, although I doubt they'll do configurations with 2 copies of the same fodder character.

While minimates have always been very hit or miss for me, I'm still intrigued by the possibilities.   read


1:11 PM on 05.23.2012

ToyArk reports that NECA's Lightning Gremlin will be TRU exclusive

http://www.toyark.com/news/general-toy-news-49/neca-lightning-gremlin-a-toys-r-us-exclusive-5808/

Yeah, because this things are already sold in sooooooooo many other places >_>

There are so many things wrong with this picture, starting with the fact that he shouldn't be sold separately in the first place given that he's a static piece of translucent blue plastic meaning his production costs should be a fraction of the others in the line. Of course, the exclusivity makes some sense in this regard if they're predicting him to be a poor seller because of it.

While I doubt that I'll bother to pick him up, the Lightning Gremlin still looks pretty neat. The link shows how closely it mirrors an in-movie shot, an effect mildly bungled by how the base was incorporated into the figure. I can't help but feel had they placed a little more of his torso above that the effect would be the better for it. The use of what looks to be layering sheets of plastic is an interesting touch which will likely make him the most artistic or creative figure in the line.

Given that TRU exclusives are notoriously hard to find in a TRU (or, at least, in the ones in my metro) your best bet might be waiting for him to be listed on their website or paying a mark-up elsewhere. While I can't say that I'll be in a rush to get this one myself, it's something I could still see myself caving on because it's Gremlins (damn you nostalgia!)

In other completely unrelated news, ToyArk also posted a sighting for some of the Mattel Movie Masters Dark Knight Rising stuff including Alfred:
http://www.toyark.com/news/dc-toy-news-5/dark-knight-rises-movie-masters-sighted-5798/

This I'm a bit more stoked for, considering that Mattel is likely to never do a comic version of the character although I guess we'll always have the DC Direct Hush version as well (which technically is the better fit).   read


6:40 PM on 05.18.2012

Marvel Legends wave 3 to release in September

http://www.toyark.com/news/marvel-toy-news-4/marvel-legends-series-3-releasing-in-september-5795/

Just a quick heads-up. Apparently Marvel released the date over their twitter feed. ToyArk ran the story, including the revealed cards for Punisher & Blade (a running change) as well as an X-Force Deadpool which I wasn't aware of. Hoping they do a standard color variant as I missed the limited 2pack release.   read


5:44 PM on 05.17.2012

Did yours stay "Puft"? Matty offers refund on its Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

Apparently open flames aren't the only thing capable of changing the color of MattyCollector's giant 20" Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (based on the iconic last-second character from the original Ghostbusters movie) as at least figures are purportedly turning yellow with age.

As I'm personally unaffected (because I can put a price on this piece of nostalgia and said price is a lot less than the $70+ that Mattel wanted), I was completely unaware of this mildly humorous (but likely aggravating) issue. At the same time it's one of those weird stories that just needs to be shared.

Mattel's explanation is for Yellow Marshmallowgate is follows:
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man figure was fully tested and approved prior to being offered for sale. The figure passed all standard product tests, as well as a specialized test specific to the new foam material used. The yellowing some figures have experienced didn’t appear until a number of months after the product's release. The yellowing is due to an unforeseen chemical reaction between the paint and material used in its construction.

And being the stand-up guys that they are (and probably because the number of complaints is far greater than they let on), Mattel is offering a refund (cash only, no exchanges) for those affected with instructions depending on where the figure was bought:

[i]If You Purchased at MattyCollector.com for Pickup at SDCC
For orders that were placed during the voucher pre-sale and picked up at the MattyCollector.com booth at SDCC, please call 1-877-GO-MATTYor email MattyCollector.CS@digitalriver.com. Our agent will look up your original order and arrange for the product to be picked up at our expense and returned to our warehouse. When the product is received at our warehouse, a credit for the original purchase price will be issued on the card you used to place the order. No refunds will be issued without the defective product being returned to us.

If You Purchased at the MattyCollector.com SDCC Booth
For those customers who purchased the figure directly at the MattyCollector.com booth at SDCC, please call 1-877-GO-MATTYor email MattyCollector.CS@digitalriver.com. Our agent will create a ticket and arrange for the product to be picked up at our expense and returned to our warehouse. When the product is received at our warehouse, a check for the original purchase price will be issued and mailed to you at the address you provided to the agent. No refunds will be issued without the defective product being returned to us.

If You Purchased at MattyCollector.com During Our Post-SDCC Sale
For orders that were placed during the post-SDCC sale at MattyCollector.com and shipped directly to you, please call 1-877-GO-MATTYor email MattyCollector.CS@digitalriver.com. Our agent will look up your original order and arrange for the product to be picked up at our expense and returned to our warehouse. When the product is received at our warehouse, a credit for the original purchase price and shipping will be issued on the original card you used to place the order. No refunds will be issued without the defective product being returned to us.[/i]

Was anybody here actually affected? I recall Matty doing a follow-up sale involving a price drop as well as that one grab bag promotion which may have included them but I can't recall if anybody on-site has one of those big, yellow whales (or white whales, if unaffected by the issue).   read


1:06 AM on 05.05.2012

MMP: Eastern figure meets Western figure



Yes, it's going to be one of those...



Battle Cat: "Hi, I'm a Western character figure."
Dead Master: "And I'm an Eastern character figure. I..."



Battle Cat: "No! I'm going first! Don't make me eat you. Remember that I could just do the rest of this without you."



"So yeah, I come from an American cartoon called Masters of the Universe. Sometimes just known as He-Man."



"It's an action cartoon about big muscular guys beating up other big muscular guys. Because the West is all about being macho and violent."



"Even our women have muscles"



"Oh, could you guys hang on a second? This is important."



"Yeah, that's it..."



"You're really hitting the spot now. Just scratch a little harder. Right, now where was I? The cartoon started in the early '80s..."



"Oh god, where did you guys find that photo....?"



"This is so embarrassing... I can't believe I used to look like that."



Dead Master: "I think you were pretty cute."



Dead Master: "Who's a little cutey whooty?"



"STAY THE HELL OUTTA MY OLD PHOTOS!"





"At any rate, we were big. Bigger than that cartoon about Jesus. We gave children mindless entertainment AND nostalgictastic figures. Plus a live action movie which we don't like to talk about, mostly because I think I'm not in it."




"We are the West, hear us roar!"



"Tag, you're in."
Dead Master: "About time."



"My series, Black Rock Shooter, may not have the history that Masters does but we also print money. Hell, we had tons and tons of preorders for figures... well, BEFORE people actually saw what the show was like. Like many Eastern animations, we're occasionally accused of being about cute girls and fan service. Not that there's anything wrong with that. No muscles here! Small and girly is the way to go."



"Plus a little dark and creepy."



Both: "We couldn't be more different! But we do have one thing in common... we were made by companies specifically to sell merchandise!"



Kratos: "Hi, I'm a Western videogame character."
Cloud: "And I'm an Eastern videogame character."
Battle Cat: "Wait, another...? I thought we were just doing one."



"My name is Cloud. I'm slim and not very muscularly, but I'm broody and don't talk a lot so chicks think I'm deep. I have a complicated backstory and carry my scars on the inside. I like to sulk and mope in my free time. Basically I speak rarely and carry a big sword."



"I'm Kratos and I kill people. If you're in my way, you're dead. Hell, you're better off just running if you see me coming. Unless you're an attractive woman and the game hasn't featured its mandatory sex minigame yet. While I have a tragic backstory, I carry my scars on the outside as well as the ashes of my dead family. And, trust me, you don't want to be related to me..."



"I kinda have a bad track record there. A lot of relatives like dear ol' dad I'll go out of my way to kill but others are just mistakes. Simple, bloodthirstily stupid mistakes..."



"Unlike the pretty pansy over there, I'm big and brawny. I don't need a big sword, I'm confident in my two little blade thingies.... but I also have a big sword at times. Often at the beginning of games. And then I've got this other sword which gets bigger during some minigames...

And oh yeah, I'm the opposite of quiet. Half the game I'm probably shouting the antagonist's name. Makes it easy for gamers to keep track of who the villain is. Yeah! Western games! Machoviolence! Who the fuck even needs story when the disc is dripping with testosterone? Play Western games and you'll feel more manly! Manly, manly, MANLY!"

Cloud: "Eastern games---"
Kratos: "MANLY!"
Cloud: "--are often big on---"
Kratos: "MANLY!"
Cloud: "--things like---"
Kratos: "MANLY!"
Cloud: "...wish you were just a silent protagonist with a few snippets of dialogue."   read


3:07 PM on 05.01.2012

News you probably didn't hear & won't care about: Young Justice toyline canceled

Semi-old news but I just heard it a few days ago. Apparently Mattel decided to cancel the Young Justice toyline (both the 4" and 6" lines). And the hits keep coming, since during a Toyark Q&A with a Mattel rep we learned "We will not be continuing YJ on Matty.com in any scale (at this time)."

While I doubt this surprises anyone, it's still disappointing in that the ONLY 6" Superboy they gave us was the one-shot solar suit outfit rather than tee & jeans he not only wore throughout most of the series but also was his comics outfit! However, more disappointing is the fact that this essentially means we'll never see a 6" Miss Martian. Well, at least we got Artemis and the revamped Aqualad.

It's hard to describe all of the areas where the 6" line went wrong. First off, $20 seems a fairly high price for a 6" figure at retail (although it's only $4 over Mattel's other DC lines). This was presumably done to justify the overly large playsets they included which basically were throwaways anyway (albeit the Robin and Red Arrow roof top ones are decent). This different sized package meant that the figures weren't going on pegs meaning that they were less prominently displayed. I'm assuming that the playsets were probably done to appeal more to children (vs having CNC pieces) and the exaggerated box size might have been chosen to make it look like a better value but the choices still just seem so weird. Even odder is their choice to outright cancel the line rather than reconfigure the 6" offerings but since DCUC is basically leaving retail I can't say it's entirely unexpected (I'm also not sure why DCUC isn't just used as an umbrella for multiple lines, but I think that has to do with retailers' ordering practices)

The 4" line was really less of a surprise. It was the spiritual successor to the JLU line and had a bizarrely high price point ($10 single or $20 2pack) for figures that generally had maybe 5 points of articulation and overly simply sculpts. In the same Q&A the Mattel rep mentioned: "We tried a similar brand, JLU, in many form factors (singles, 3 packs, 4 packs and a 7pack of all new figures) and none sold well enough. This makes it a bit harder to continue YJ online. A toyline like YJ really takes Mom and Kid interest to keep it going. We cannot keep the line like YJ going on collector support alone. JLU proved this." This makes the decision to release the 4" YJ line in the similar fashion fairly confusing, to say the least. I'm just wondering what my local Target did with the 4" figures since I don't recall seeing them go on clearance yet I also don't recall seeing them in store on previous visits.

Congratulations are probably in order, since Mattel managed to fumble a toyline for a seemingly successful cartoon. Meanwhile Marvel, not to be outdone, has decided to cancel their Avengers: Earths' Mightiest Heroes cartoon which never had a toyline at all.   read


12:04 AM on 04.30.2012

Oh, there was Battle Beasts news at C2E2?

Why am I not hearing about it here?!?!

As you'll remember, Diamond Select picked up the name after the licensing lapsed. Apparently it's been confirmed to only apply to the name and, as such, we aren't going to get rub signs and it's really going to be an offshoot of the minimates line (which was previously stated, iirc). But the big news is that apparently it has a Fall 2012 release date attached now.

PCN did a video, along with the news. Apparently there was a C2E2 exclusive figure.



I guess it is somewhat bothersome that they're a different size and using a different sensibility but this new sculpt is kinda hot. The only thing that'll keep me from this line is probably pricing, since I already see mini-mates as something of a rip-off and they'll be priced at least accordingly.

Supposedly Takara will be bringing back Beastformers, though (which I could have sworn I heard mentioned here but I couldn't find it using the search function)

So much shit to wait for... I'm dying here, folks!   read


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