Wednesday, June 30, 2010
To save an earthbound Kryptonian, the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight unite once again – this time to battle the powerful forces of Darkseid – in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, the ninth entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movies coming September 28, 2010 from Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation. The highly anticipated, full-length film will be distributed by Warner Home Video as a Special Edition Blu-Ray™ and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD as well as single disc DVD. The film will also be available On Demand and for Download.
Fan favorites Tim Daly (Private Practice) and Kevin Conroy (China Beach) return to their seminal roles as Superman and Batman, respectively. The celebrity-laden guest cast is headed by Andre Braugher (Men of a Certain Age) as the daunting Darkseid. Sci-Fi heroine Summer Glau (Serenity/Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) provides the voice of Supergirl, and seven-time Emmy Award winner Ed Asner (Up) reprises his Superman: The Animated Series/Justice League role as Granny Goodness.
Based on the DC Comics series/graphic novel “Superman/Batman: Supergirl” by Jeph Loeb, Michael Turner & Peter Steigerwald, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse is produced by animation legend Bruce Timm and directed by Lauren Montgomery (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) from a script by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Tab Murphy (Gorillas in the Mist).
After a spaceship splashes down in Gotham City Harbor, Batman and Superman encounter a mysterious Kryptonian with powers as great as those of the Man of Steel. The Kryptonian is soon revealed to be Kara, cousin of Superman, who takes her under his wing to educate her about the ways of Earth. However, the villainous Darkseid has other plans. Seeing an opportunity to finally defeat Superman, Darkseid abducts and gains control of Kara, utilizing the powerful Kryptonian to do his bidding. It’s up to Batman and Superman to save Kara, but they’ll have to take the fight to Darkseid within his hostile world – where unknown, deadly threats lurk around every corner, including a brainwashed Kryptonian able to match Superman blow-for-blow.
In addition to the feature film, the Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Special Edition Blu-Ray™ and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD include the third DC Showcase animated short, Green Arrow. Screenwriter Greg Weisman’s story finds Oliver Queen at the Star City International
Airport to pick up his girlfriend, only to be forced into action as Green Arrow to protect the 10-year-old Princess of Vlatava from his old nemesis Merlyn the Magnificent and the League of Assassins. The short features the voices of Neal McDonough (Desperate Housewives) and
Malcolm McDowell (Entourage). Bruce Timm is executive producer.
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse 2-Disc Special Edition DVD features more than 1 1/2 hours of exciting extra content, including:
• Feature film (est. 75 min)
• DC Showcase: Green Arrow (10 min)
• Sneak Peak at the Next DC Universe Animated Original Movie (10 min)
• Featurette: Supergirl: The Last Daughter of Krypton - A comprehensive look at The Maiden of Might from her introduction in the classic age of comics to her death in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event to her appearance on Smallville and beyond.
• 2 bonus episodes from animated television series handpicked by Bruce Timm
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Special Edition Blu-Ray™ will include more than 2 1/2 hours of intriguing bonus features, starting with all of the content available on the 2-Disc Special Edition DVD and adding:
• All-New Featurette: The New Gods - This documentary covers Darkseid’s story, particularly in reference to the adaptation of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. A primer on the wealth of material and stories contained in the New Gods series, along with a deeper understanding of why these characters – and especially Darkseid – are so memorable and important to the DC pantheon.
• All-New Featurette Pods
• Orion - The mightiest warrior on either New Genesis or Apokolips, Orion follows an almost Shakespearean arc culminating in the slaying of his father, Darkseid. This mini-featurette shines a light on this classically tragic character.
Mister Miracle - This mini-featurette focuses on the greatest escape artist the universe has ever known and how he was traded in a peace effort to be raised by Darkseid, the enemy of all New Genesis.
• 2 additional bonus TV series episodes handpicked by Bruce Timm
• Digital copy on disc of the feature film
“Great things happen when powerful entities come together, and the partnership of Warner Premiere, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation is proud to continue this popular film series by once again uniting the two most popular characters in the DC Universe in a story that
truly tests their strength, trust, loyalty, ingenuity and heroism,” said Matt Bierman, Senior Vice President Production, Warner Premiere.
"It is a testament to the larger-than-life nature of Jeph Loeb’s blockbuster storylines that two of the first nine DC Universe movies are based on his work," said Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment. "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse lets us see Superman and
Batman in action side-by-side again, but this time along with Supergirl and one of DC's greatest villains, Darkseid."
“Just as Superman and Batman stand atop the DC canon of characters, so do the respective seminal voices of Tim Daly and Kevin Conroy in the hearts and minds of fans. Superman/Batman: Apocalypse will no doubt please comic-centric and mainstream audiences alike – particularly in the performances of Daly and Conroy opposite dynamic actors like Andre Braugher and Ed Asner, and fanboy favorite Summer Glau,” said Amit Desai, WHV Vice President of Family, Animation & Partner Brands.
That didn’t happen.
Aang is the reluctant Avatar, destined to achieve mastery of Earth, Air, Fire and Water with a talent called “bending” in which the user does 15 minutes of lavish Kung Fu moves to get fire to jump up at their opponent or water to smack them upside the head. He is young, so when the time comes for him to take his place in the world, he runs away and becomes locked in a block of ice for 100 years. By chance, Sokka and Katara of the Southern Water Tribe find Aang and free him, but the reality of the future he has stumbled into is a grim one. The Fire nation has decided the world would be a better place under their rule alone and has created an army of machines to help them accomplish the task. Now Aang must master all 4 bending forms and along the way, inspire the people to rise up against the fire nation to bring peace back to the planet.
The Last Airbender is such a mess; it is upsetting for any fan. The contradictions at play with each film making decision are vast and will leave you scratching your head wondering what suit with no knowledge of the popularity of the cartoon got their claws into the mix. This is going to be nitpicky, so I’m warning you in advance, but I need to lay out the odd choices that seem mostly made just to put a stamp of ownership on this new work. Throughout the film, it seems like each major character’s name is pronounced differently from the way we’ve known it. This could be because the film is using more accurate, Asian pronunciations of those names, but the act seems like hypocrisy when you realize there are very few actual Asians in the movie, based on a cartoon taking place on an entire planet of Asians. The dialogue is very slow, with the deliberate intention of a cast recording a Charlie Brown special. Several plot points are repeated seconds after they are revealed, and then reiterated by other characters later in the movie in case your mind wandered into thoughts of ice cream. Mirroring this is the action itself. Every fight scene is shown in slow motion. Like some cruel joke, nearly every moment of bending is also painfully slow, as if we are watching a low budget stage play and have to wait for the men with ropes to lift the actors on their wire rigs and hurl foam boulders at each other. You can chalk this up to those pesky film makers deciding this is a children’s film, so the action must be dialed down as not to frighten kids and give them ideas of going out into the world to Kung Fu their little sisters and Grandpa Joe. The repetition of words can also be blamed on this, as they utilize the proven Teletubbies format for getting children to memorize things. All this is hysterical to me when you realize THE MOVIE IS BASED ON A CHILDREN’S CARTOON THAT PLAYS ON NICKELODEON!!! To dumb down a cartoon which was already safe for kids is nothing short of an asinine act.
Where once (in the original cartoon) there was excellent writing with constant touches of humor and even downright realistic, innocent goofiness from children faced with an oncoming world war, there is now nothing but humorless dramatic weight. To make matters worse, the decision to shove this into a kid’s movie format dictated the amount of time they had to tell a tale that took place in 20 half hour episodes!! The only way to do the source material any sort of justice would have been to take 3 hours per film and let the audience get to know the characters as they confront every amazing obstacle and meet the diverse characters along the way. Instead, we have this breakneck speed which plays out like someone made a montage of their favorite moments from the show and spliced them together with 30 seconds of spoken context to set up a scene. Oddly, the only character we get any emotional depth from is Prince Zuko, who seems like the real focal point of the film, but his often shaky acting will yank you right out of any moment as quickly as it grabs you. We call this the rag doll effect. You leave the theater completely detached and feeling like you’ve wasted your time and money or worse, as if the film maker grabbed your head and shook it around, telling you where you should be looking at all times. All I can say is THANK GOD we watched this in 2D. I can’t imagine the nightmare of fuzzy 3D added to the boredom. I can’t see AND I don’t care? Fantastic.
With wire fighting that would make Jackie Chan spit, pace of action that gets topped by Twilight: Eclipse, humorless children, a “cliff’s notes” reenactment of an epic tale, horrible writing and equally bad acting at every turn, The Last Airbender may go down as the biggest waste of Hollywood cash since someone got the brilliant idea to make a Bullwinkle movie. What we are left with is a fairly pretty picture that translates better in a hardcover book on your coffee table. Flipping through those pages would move the action along faster at any rate. I swear I had Supergirl flashbacks as I watched rock and water float benignly above the ground before gingerly making its way over to the intended target, in no apparent hurry at all. No worries. The Fire Nation soldier will wait there to get hit with it. It takes a lot of ego to make a movie this bad from a TV series applauded across the planet. I should probably be angry that a new generation of children won’t be able to enjoy the stories in a different format, but screw it. They can buy the DVDs half price on Amazon.com and you can be sure they’ll release them all on Blu-ray in time. Even if you aren’t partial to cartoons, watch the original series and you’ll be hooked after 5 episodes. IGNORE the movie at all costs and let their failure show Hollywood you can present intelligent, mature subject matter to kids if you pepper it with action and fun and they’ll eat it up and beg for more.
The desert is unforgiving. Little lives spark into existence and are snuffed out in an instant. The only way to survive is to adapt. For a chameleon who looks like he's going down to Cancun, Mexico on vacation...chances for survival are slim, at best.
Rango: The story of a chameleon with an identity crisis.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, and Timothy Olyphant as The Spirit of the West
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Now, it is time for old foes to join forces to protect a loved one and the town they call home. Fuzzy, giant Werewolves and sparkly, rich vampires..UNITED FOR THE COMMON GOOD!! That is the entire plot in a nutshell, with the dreaded Volturi clan keeping themselves within peripheral vision, constantly reinforcing the notion that this back water brawl is a very small skirmish in the scheme of things and should it get out of hand, they will swoop in and clear the field like avenging angels..but only at their pleasure.
In a great many ways, Director David Slade makes his presence felt by creating a bond between the ethereal Cullen family and the audience watching that was never bothered with before. We’d been resigned to pick our favorite vamp based on who made the funniest facial expressions. Mine was Jasper, who spent the first film wearing a grimace that resembled indigestion. Heeesterical. Now, we get personal moments with nearly everyone in the family, learning where they came from to understand who they are now. For the rest, we, at the very least, get to watch a sort of spotlight moment offering further glimpses into the vamp’s personality. I found these moments made the family more endearing and from that, created a movie experience that was downright tolerable! Even Bella manages to be somewhat more likeable, which I chalk up to the absence of the quaking, stammering and screaming of movies past and a more mature acting performance today. She even manages to nearly smile! Very nearly.
On the flip side, that scrappy band of shirtless wolf boys are made more human through a lengthy flashback, revealing the history of the tribe (and pack) and when their blood feud with “The Cold Ones” began. It’s even revealed that fucking PETER MURPHY started it all!!! Figures. Blame it on Bauhaus. All of this back story and stolen moments with both wolf peoples and vampire fashionistas helps to distance us from the prime story, which is, as ever, the love triangle we’ve already had a full movie about. It is a very welcome break, though there is one profound difference. In the past, we’d gotten to see Bella with Edward…and Bella with Jacob…but not Bella with both parties vying for her attention simultaneously. With this new angle, we realize that Jacob’s approach is that of an immature and impulsive boy…which is closer to Bella’s nature than she’d like to admit. Edward is around 108 years old, so while he is in no hurry to make Bella his one and only, he knows his emotions are real. Even still, he has no wish for Bella to share his immortal curse…and that is something she continually asks for..well…that and sex. Jacob sees their rivalry as a sort of sport and doesn’t hide his grin when he believes he has the upper hand. Edward has to put his trust in Bella and hope he comes out of the whole deal without a broken heart. ~cries~ It’s sappy and juvenile, but not entirely unwatchable.
Eclipse marks the first time Summit has done something new with the Twilight series trailer…and that is create a premise which made us think we might actually enjoy this movie! If you are looking forward to an epic battle of giant wolves and seasoned vampires clashing with wild, unimaginably strong, newborn vampires, then you’ll be able to enjoy that scene…for about 10 minutes. The action is fairly cool..and bloodless..and fleeting. There are nearly 3 action scenes in the film with those interesting character development scenes peppered throughout and an outsider’s view of the plot’s gears turning with tabs on the Volturi, the newborn vamps and Victoria, who is still running her ass off through Forks (just how big is that frikken forest??!!) The least interesting item remaining is the Jacob-Bella-Edward love triangle, but we understand this is a romance film for giggling teen girls, so we thank you for upping the action and allowing us to not beg for death as we watch.
A quick note on FX, which is substantial in Eclipse. The wolves look a little more bad ass in this film, with further views of their scale as they stand quietly next to the Cullens and tiny lil Bella. VERY nice work and extremely believable. There is also a pile of CGI used in the battle in the film’s finale, as the way that vampires die in Twilight is nothing like you’ve seen in most vampire movies. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for those who don’t read the books, but the effect is dramatic, complete with a distinct sound that will alert you every time a renegade vamp is dismembered, beheaded or otherwise bites the big one (pun intended.) Bella remains the only character to shed a drop of blood in this film.
I’ve sat through 3 Twilight films now and Eclipse marks the first time I didn’t think of ending my life amid the semi-romantic mumbling of Edward and Bella. A fairly decent vampire chase, a vamp training session, plenty of looks at a pack of giant werewolves and a major step back on the emo levels of the wolf-vamp-human love story makes the latest Twilight film downright watchable..or tolerable..or lacking in elements that made me want to smite my own eyes for staring into the mouth of madness and not switching off in hysterical blindness (see previous Twilight film review). My friend described it well in saying “It’s like getting the same kick to the balls, but this time, the shoe worn with the delivery is a lot more forgiving.” The writing is still very weak and the plot is thinner than the hottest of Hollywood bulimics, but if you are forced to go, at least you won’t pray for death.
Just remember...before the Twilight films...before the legendary rivalry between Edward and Jacob...there was the original Jake VS Edward battle!!
Monday, June 28, 2010
Prepare for a beautiful trailer with the epic tone the finale of this series deserves...
Part 1 begins as Harry, Ron and Hermione set out on their perilous mission to track down and destroy the secret to Voldemort's immortality and destruction—the Horcruxes. On their own, without the guidance of their professors or the protection of Professor Dumbledore, the three friends must now rely on one another more than ever. But there are Dark Forces in their midst that threaten to tear them apart.
Meanwhile, the wizarding world has become a dangerous place for all enemies of the Dark Lord. The long-feared war has begun and Voldemort's Death Eaters seize control of the Ministry of Magic and even Hogwarts, terrorizing and arresting anyone who might oppose them. But the one prize they still seek is the one most valuable to Voldemort: Harry Potter. The Chosen One has become the hunted one as the Death Eaters search for Harry with orders to bring him to Voldemort... alive.
Harry's only hope is to find the Horcruxes before Voldemort finds him. But as he searches for clues, he uncovers an old and almost forgotten tale—the legend of the Deathly Hallows. And if the legend turns out to be true, it could give Voldemort the ultimate power he seeks.Little does Harry know that his future has already been decided by his past when, on that fateful day, he became "the Boy Who Lived." No longer just a boy, Harry Potter is drawing ever closer to the task for which he has been preparing since the day he first stepped into Hogwarts: the ultimate battle with Voldemort.
Super Hero action...Super Hero beatings...ultra violence...and a tiny little girl dismembering gangsters. KICK-ASS FOR THE WIN!! You'll have to wait until September for Mezco's Action Figures, but this August, you'll be able to take Kick-Ass home and torment your neighbors with the pumped up sounds of Nick Cage screaming as he is burned alive. Family fun at its finest.
On behalf of Lionsgate, we wanted to prepare you for an action-filled adventure unlike any other, as Lionsgate releases Kick-Ass to Blu-ray Disc Combo Pack (three discs - including Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy). This film about unlikely real-life crime fighters will also be available on DVD, Digital Download and On Demand. Co-written and directed by Matthew Vaughn (upcoming X-Men: First Class), the ass-kicking adventure is more than just an action film, as it combines a unique sense of humor, powerful storyline, and sometimes shocking violence with impressive performances by a talented cast of both young actors and on-screen veterans. The film stars Aaron Johnson (Nowhere Boy), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad) and Mark Strong (Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes), along with the dynamic father-daughter duo played by Chloë Grace Moretz (upcoming Let Me In), and Nicolas Cage (National Treasure series). Based on the comic written by Mark Millar and John S. Romita JR, "Hit Girl,", "Big Daddy" and the do-it-yourself superheroes make their way to your home with super DVD special features, including audio commentary, art archives and the featurette "It's On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass." The Blu-ray Disc Combo Pack kicks even harder with the same DVD special features plus a documentary length "making-of" and a feature-length "Ass-Kicking Bonus View Mode," which give audiences an inside look at all elements of the filmmaking process. In addition, the Metamenu Remote powered by BD Touch, another Blu-ray exclusive, will allow for iPhone OS and Android users to personalize their experience with this state-of-the-art free app. Once connected through BD-Live, viewers can select menus using intuitive gestures, find scenes by dialogue, discover details about the actors and more. With headphones, they can select to listen in alternate language tracks, or enjoy other synchronized content including portions of the "Ass-Kicking Bonus View" (which users can take "to go" on their mobile device). The high-octane phenomenon invades shelves and homes on August 3rd for the suggested retail price of $39.99 for the Blu-ray Combo Pack and $29.95 on DVD.
BLU-RAY DISC SPECIAL FEATURES*
·Ass-Kicking Bonus View Mode (Blu-ray Disc Exclusive) - Synchronous with the feature film, this innovative multi-media presentation incorporates video and audio commentary, behind-the-scenes clips and illustrative graphics with Co-Writer/Producer/Director Matthew Vaughn, plus cast and crew providing an all-access perspective on Kick-Ass
·"A New Kind of Superhero: The Making of Kick-Ass " documentary (Blu-ray Disc Exclusive)
·"It's On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass" featurette
·Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Matthew Vaughn
·"The Art of Kick-Ass" gallery
·BD Touch and Metamenu Remote
·Lionsgate Live™ enabled, featuring extra content for Internet-connected players
·Enhanced for D-Box™ Motion Control Systems
*Subject to change
·Standard Definition DVD Copy of the feature film
·Standard Definition Digital Copy of the feature film
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES*
·Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Matthew Vaughn
·"It's On! The Comic Book Origin of Kick-Ass" featurette
·"The Art of Kick-Ass" gallery
*Subject to change
For the first time almost 20 years, there is a brand new Predator film featuring a whole new breed of Predators! These hunters are even more ruthless and deadly than the Predators that came before. Fans of the series will want these figures of the Classic Predator, the Falconer Predator, and the Berzerker Predator. Each figure stands over 7" tall and is fully poseable. New, killer blister card packaging was made for each one. Expect them on the pegs this August.
Global video game publisher 505 Games and developer Artificial Mind & Movement (A2M) today released a new video that reveals the terror wrought against a battalion of Soldier Bears trying to rid the Island of Perfection from Naughty Bear's wrath.
With stuffing frozen mid-flight and bullets stopped in time, the video paints a grisly picture of the destruction caused by one lone bear shunned from society.
Naughty Bear is an action video game featuring a unique blend of comic mischief and shamefully bad behavior. Players will take on the role of Naughty Bear, a bear driven to seek vengeance after the other bears don't invite him to the big birthday party. Scorned for the last time, Naughty Bear becomes hell bent on manipulating and terrorizing the blissful bears inhabiting the Island of Perfection. Featuring an array of weapons, objects and scare tactics, gamers strive to earn Naughty Points as they inflict physical and psychological harm on Naughty Bear's enemies. This all-new scare-based points system means players will win the most rewards for being deviant and maniacal. The variety allows for a completely new experience every time players pick up a controller and the ill-fated bears become more difficult to harass and terrorize as the game progresses.
For more information, please visit the official Web site at: http://www.naughtybearthegame.com/.
Naughty Bear is about to launch his brutal offensive as the game releases for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for an MSRP of $49.99 on June 29, 2010.
The new movie Tron: Legacy still seems like a lifetime away, but Spin Master is making sure we celebrate its coming with my top pick for best exclusive at the show. The packaging is 100% pure geeky AWESOME and the figure inside is a dorky dream come true. Say hello to the special edition Tron Vintage Figure!
This will be a static figure of Tron from the original "Tron" movie and will come in a package made to look like the Tron arcade game. The figure has a light-up feature on the base that can be activated in or out of the arcade-style packaging. Limited Edition – only 1,500 pieces, available, $40.
Also on hand will be a limited edition die-cast replica of Sam's Light Cycle from the "Tron Legacy" movie. Limited Edition - only 3000 pieces available, $5. At that price, expect them to dissappear faster than a hot cosplay girl realizing a horde of 300lb con photographers are closing in. Both items will be available at the Tron booth (inside the Disney Booth) at San Diego Comic Con.
The DC HeroClix Brightest Day Action Pack, available October 2010, is the follow-up product to the highly acclaimed DC HearoClix Blackest Night Starter Game. Tying in with DC Comics hit Brightest Day year-long series, the DC HeroClix Brightest Day Action Pack includes seven highly detailed HeroClix 3D figures ripped directly from the pages of the Brightest Day comic, plus an all-new, double-sided HeroClix map.
For the uninitiated, Heroclix are 2 inch playable game pieces with all their stats and the means to keep up with how they handle play in their base. Thus, the Clix part! To date, Wizkids have had Marvel, DC and Indie comics clix as well as a horror line including Aliens vs Predator, Freddy VS Jason, Hellboy, Gremlins and some original creeps of their own. NECA revived the line and has been bringing Clix to Toys R US and main stream retail shops ever since.
Mr. Fine stated, “It’s with tremendous pride that I announce the creation of our Marvel Television division and the appointment of Jeph Loeb as Executive Vice President. His work in the comic book field is in a class of its own, showing his passion and talent for bringing Marvel’s finest characters to life in an innovative manner. Jeph’s work on multiple award-winning television series and popular films has shown fans worldwide his ability to deliver thrilling entertainment in a number of media. With Jeph as our EVP, fans will experience the highest quality and most exciting television projects featuring their favorite Marvel characters.”
“I couldn’t be happier to accept this new position at Marvel Entertainment, working with both Dan and Alan to deliver exciting, cutting edge television projects,” said Mr. Loeb. “Marvel continues to break new ground in storytelling in both their comic book and film ventures, so, along with everyone here, I’m excited to bring the same brand of excitement into homes across the globe.”
Mr. Loeb has written acclaimed stories featuring every major super hero in comics, including Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Daredevil, Spider-Man, the X-Men and more. Multiple-time winner of the prestigious Eisner Award for his writing, Mr. Loeb quickly established himself as one of the most sought after writers in the comic industry. Mr. Loeb also served as writer/producer on television series Smallville and Lost; writer/co-executive producer on Heroes; and writer of hit films Commando and Teen Wolf.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Transformers: War for Cybertron challenges players to become the ultimate weapon as a TRANSFORMERS character in the final, epic war that will determine the survival of their entire race. Armed with a diverse arsenal of lethal, high-tech weaponry and the ability to instantly convert from robot to vehicle at any time, players will engage in heart-pounding battles on land and in the air in this gripping, 3rd person action shooter set in the TRANSFORMERS’ war-ravaged homeland. Complete with several multiplayer modes, Transformers: War for Cybertron allows gamers to play through story missions with their friends in drop in/drop out online co-op, and also create their own TRANSFORMERS character for competitive head-to-head multiplayer modes, choosing among four distinct character classes, personalizing its look and selecting from a huge variety of weapons, skills and abilities.
Anyyyway, we'll start with a quick update on the Mad Men Barbies dropping next month. Betty Draper, Joan Holloway and Don Draper should be hitting any day now, retailing for around 85 dollars. Roger Sterling is an Online Exclusive for the Barbie Fan Club...meaning you must join the Barbie Army to get him to show up on your doorstep.
Next we have the newest addition to the Ladies of the 80's Barbie line that kicked off with Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper and Debbie Harry. The new member is Flashdance Barbie!! Odd pick, but it's funny enough that I want to show it off. Since this one retails for around 35 dollars, I'm going to assume you'll see her on the store shelves next to Victoria and Alice from Twilight: Eclipse. Flashdance Barbie would dance them into the ground.
Last up for Barbie is a doll that is already selling , but I thought I'd show it off to the non-rabid fans who find out about their dolls from a 30 something male geek on the internets. The 2009 Hard Rock Cafe Barbie is so Rockabilly she looks like she stepped out of the movie Cry Baby, if they remade Cry Baby today with all the tattooing going on. I fully expect at least 3 of my friends to freak out right now, so HERE'S A LINK to buy her on sale for 55 bucks. Since she is older, she may be even cheaper on other websites, so give a look.
On the Barbie site, you'll also find Barbie as Athena and The Dread Pirate Barbie (I put the dread in there, because that's funnier) so take a look if you want to get crazy. Mattel has also launched the Monster High line, which presents us with the frightning idea that the Universal Monsters would have fashion mongering children who strut around and embarrass their parents every second they exist. FEAR THEM!!
In other doll news, Gallery Marketing Group make higher end ball jointed dolls among the horded of scary babies they churn out. Dark Hunter, from the Sherrilyn Kenyon book series, is one diversion into ball jointed dolls with an edge we rarely see in the states. Sure, they look like they were beaten with several Hot Topic gift cards, but some people dig that. Acheron (the dude with the pretty hair) and Simi (the lady in the hooker boots) are available now for around 150 a piece. This same company also makes a Brides of Dracula doll line which includes The Contessa, Mina and Lucy. All really beautiful work, proving once again, you get what you pay for.
Rounding out the dollapalooza, I wanted to touch on some of the newer items from Tonner, makers of high end dolls predominantly from licensed properties. My thinking is you may not know some of these things exist, so prepare to have your mind BLOWN. Tonner's current lineup includes Torchwood, Dr. Who, Firefly, Jonah Hex, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, DC Stars, Price of Persia, Twilight and Lord of the Rings. They also made a name for themselves with an amazing line of Harry Potter dolls that destroy anything else ever put on the market. For the highest quality, this is your go-to crew!
With the Mucus Tick madness enveloping my life alongside 4 other projects, I bet you thought I forgot about our Wizard World Philly coverage? NEVERRR!! This years show went by like the wait for Iron Man 2. There's a level of anticipation leading up to it and then..poof..its done. I picked a Saturday visit this time around, learning my lesson from a depressingly vacant show last year when we hit it on a Friday. Half the guests hadn't even shown up yet when we walked those isles! Unfortunately, they pulled a switch on me this year and programmed toy events for Friday!! Going Saturday meant none of that was there and I'd even missed the one figure left behind by our buds at Mattel. FAIL. Ah well. At least Shocker Toys showed up with plasticy goodness for me to drool over and the promise of a Barry Tick action figure to come. Regardless, we had a hall filled to the brim with people in costume (for better or for worse), famed comic artists selling prints and sketching away, miles of comic long boxes, giant walls of action figures and celebs signing autographs every 10 feet. The dealers have adopted Mattel as their star player this year and filled their booths with Justice League Unlimited single, tripple and 6 packs as well as DC Universe Classics both on card and loose. Every booth seemed to also carry at least 3 Masters of the Universe Classics figures. There were a few Marvel Universe figures scattered here and there, but they were the newest waves only and the stray SDCC exclusive left over. It's clear who the scalpers are watching.
My mission at these shows, beyond taking lots of pictures, is to fill holes in my collections and score a new print or two from my favorite comic artists. I came up empty in my search for a JLU Silver Banshee or Deadman 6 packs and wasn't happy with the He-Man prices, so I scored an Arthur Suydam (Marvel Zombies cover artist) print of a little boy Wolverine, post dirty deed and resigned to watch Lori stalk the comic dealers for her prey. I'm forced to watch this from a distance as Lori gets INTENSE when she's on the hunt, so we stay clear of her tribal ways and cheered as she returned with a killer deal on X-Men #4!! The score was so impressive, we caught the attention of the amazing artist Greg Horn who compared shopping lists with our girl; his taped into a Disney Princess notebook while Lori's charted with meticulous care including pie charts and price fluctuation graphs. I told you she's intense.
We decided to head out in search of lunch when Cherie, who is whiter than hospital sheets, was mistaken for a vampire and attacked by dual Blades. She is well versed in drunken Kung Fu, so she dispatched the Wesley Snipes stunt doubles with relative ease. Word of her beat down spread quickly and as we made a B line for Quick Check, our path was barred by War Machine and Black Widow who, in a show of Marvel Solidarity, shot Cherie and Lori dead. Though slightly deterred by gaping bullet holes, we still managed to grab sandwiches and the ladies ate well as they bled to death. You can't keep a good geek down, and our ladies were back on the floor within a half hour, now disembodied but looking for more fun among the costumed comic fans. We made the mistake of swinging by the Philly Ghostbusters table, not even thinking that they might be startled by the drippy ectoplasm Lori and Cherie were trailing behind them. Lori faked out the troop by flashing her X-Men #4 and high tailing it for the Bruce Campbell signing line, but even Cherie's ghostly long legs couldn't earn her a pass. The Philly GB let loose with their proton packs and within minutes, she was sucked up in a trap and shoved into a duffel bag with 25 cent copies of Heroes Reborn and a jumbo bag of peanut MnM's.
We are still negotiating her release.
Thanks to Lori and Cherie for hijinks with costumed peoples and dying with dignity. Special thanks to Eileen Cleary for additional photography. Biggest thanks to the Wizard World staff for access and an extremely fun day, even with the homicide.