Toy Fair 2012 Updates, Part II

There’s already a ton of news and the damned show hasn’t even started yet (though it will have by the time I get this post up). On a side note, the Mattel collector show–and subsequent MOTUC reveals–will be at 3pm ET today.

JediCreeper is going to do a write-up tonight, including the Mattel event. In the meantime, he’ll continue to tweet all day.

I’ve also uploaded a ton of Hasbro press pics of yesterday’s reveals, which you can check out on my Flickr account. If you want to see pics of the Horsemen event, including pics of the upcoming Raven and Vampire Queen figures from FANtastic Exclusive, I recommend this gallery from PCN.

Toys R Us Announces SDCC Exclusives

Toys R Us has announced their SDCC exclusives for this year, and they’re kind of awesome.

Did I say kind of? I meant totally.

  • Exclusive 8″ Classics Thundercasts Lion-O with metallic finish
  • Bizarro vs. Faker MOTUC 2-pack
  • Jazwares 6″ Mortal Kombat Dark Raiden
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Minimates
  • And more that I care a bit less about, but you can see for yourself below.

Best of all, these figures will be available on TRU’s website as well as SDCC. Check out all the pics after the jump! Continue reading “Toys R Us Announces SDCC Exclusives”

SDCC > Rustin Parr’s Report, Day 4

Saturday 7/25

A very long day. Began with us futile-y trying to get in to Hall H for the Warner Bros panel. After realizing how pointless that was it was back to the dealer floor. Panels, especially big name panels or panels otherwise in one of the big room, are really hard to get into with the line at any given time being about 50% people for the next panel and 50% people for one later in the day, which just exacerbates the whole situation and makes it s far harder to get into panels to begin (this is why I came very close to missing the Mattypalooza panel, the line was massive and mostly people for the Marvel/Capcom panel the following the hour). Essentially, one must pick a large room and not leave in order to see the large panels. This has been a problem for several years (this is Movie Con, after all) so I’ve long since made peace with the fact that I’m not getting in to panels and that I will be able to read the news immediately online and see the movie/s themselves in a couple months. Still would have been neat to see the Avengers assemble, though. Continue reading “SDCC > Rustin Parr’s Report, Day 4”

5 Questions With > Jonathan Gray

Earlier this year I did an interview with Professor Henry Jenkins, a professor of communication and media studies who also had a lot to say about toys and their relationship to transmedia. In that interview he mentioned Jonathan Gray, another media studies professor who is even more interested in toys and the points at which they connect with media. Therefore I considered it my sworn duty to bug the very busy Professor Gray for an interview, which he gracefully agreed to. Enjoy! –PG

Real Name: Jonathan Gray
Specialty: Educator
Base of Operations: The Extratextuals
History: Jonathan Gray is an Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at University of Wisconsin, Madison. A Canadian-Brit, he grew up around the world, with Star Wars toys as the constant thing in common between all others and myself. He then fell in love with media studies and wrote a dissertation on parody, intertextuality, and The Simpsons, which later became his first book, Watching with The Simpsons: Television, Parody, and Intertextuality. His second single-authored book is Television Entertainment, and his third is the newly released Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Paratexts, though he’s also edited several books — Fandom: Communities and Identities in a Mediated World; Battleground: The Media; and Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era. He’s an avid media consumer, and as avid a media analyst.

1.) First off, street cred time: what were the toys you enjoyed playing with while growing up, and why?

There were a lot, but the answer must begin and end with Star Wars. My father got these plans from a friend for a massive space station, about 4 foot by 8 foot, standing off the ground, and it took him several months to build. The plan was for it to be our Christmas present, and then two weeks before Christmas, we weren’t allowed to see it, until Christmas Day itself, when we came downstairs and there it was in all its awesome glory, covered in Star Wars toys. It seemed wrong for any other toy to hold as key a place in my heart thereafter, and I still remember the sad moment when as a pre-teen I realized I was meant to stop playing with them. I just loved the Star Wars world, and it helped that everyone my age knew it world-wide, especially since I grew up moving. My father (who, as you can see, was my dealer too) also took frequent trips to Hong Kong, where they were made, and would come back with SW toys before they’d been released elsewhere, so they allowed me special status when I was otherwise doomed to be the awkward, odd foreign kid.

That said, I also had a fair serving of Playmobil when I was really young, then Transformers and GI Joe, but also Marvel and DC action figures, especially when I was a comic book fan. Mask toys were the best thing ever for a few months of my life. And Lego. Lots more that if you put in front of me I’d remember lovingly, but I’m blanking right now. Continue reading “5 Questions With > Jonathan Gray”

Toy Aisle Trolls > I Am (not the right) Iron Man

Toy Aisle Trolls is a feature highlighting acts of vandalism to in-store toy items. If you find a ruined package, a stolen figure, a swapped-out figure, or any other such acts, take a photo (cell phone photos are fine if they’re not blurry) and email them to poe AT poeghostal.com. Also, please note: I’m deliberately being over-the-top with my condemnation of these people–I don’t actually wish bodily harm upon them. Just severe mental anguish.

Poester FM sends along this gem. Continue reading “Toy Aisle Trolls > I Am (not the right) Iron Man”

Odds ‘n Ends > Super G Edition

  • It shows how out of touch I am with the DCUC scene that I completely missed the fact that the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle on display at Toy Fair had double-jointed elbows and knees. A very interesting development–has Mattel said whether this signals a new direction for the line, or if this is just something they’ll do occasionally for some figures? (I’d guess the latter, knowing Mattel.) More importantly, what do you think of it? I always thought the double-jointed elbows and knees tended to make many Marvel Legends figures seem a bit too gangling (unless they were supposed to be like that, i.e. Spider-man). Shocking from a pro-articulation guy like myself, I know.
  • My Trap Jaw should arrive today, perhaps by the time I finish typing this post. Dr. Mrs. Ghostal and I will also find out just how much of our tax refund is going to repairing the car this afternoon as well. It amazes me how often tax refunds and emergency expenses coincide. It’s like your car, house, kids etc. just know you’re going to have windfall. I assume the same goes for bonuses, though I’ve never worked at a job that awards them. Anyway, long story short, I’ll get the Trap Jaw review up this week. Probably.
  • If anyone can identify the gun in the chair in the new Odds ‘n Ends pic, I’d really appreciate it. If it helps, it attaches into this weird silver backpack-thing via some cords.
  • Over at Infinite Hollywood, Newton Gimmick has been doing retro reviews of Mezco’s Popeye figures. I own the first wave’s Popeye and Bluto, and they’re great figures.
  • Dr. Mrs. Ghostal and I saw Avatar finally (in 3D at an Imax theater). I was underwhelmed, and DMG was very much not a fan. I liked the overall message of the film, though. But frankly I’m glad I didn’t love it, because I didn’t want to have to buy the toys.
  • As I surmised, it looks like DC Unlimited is making God of War III figures, and as I suspected might happen, they’re going to have extremely limited articulation, a la DC’s World of Warcraft figures. And of course, as with DCD’s Mass Effect 2 figures, they’ll be striking when the iron has been doused with liquid nitrogen and shattered with a soggy breadstick. (On a side note, I no longer care about God of War III or whether it gets figures, because by the end of the second game I’d realized it was just not my cup of tea.)
  • On the other hand, I would happily buy a figure of Nathan Drake from Uncharted if it was as articulated as, say, Nathan “Rad” Spencer. Which it wouldn’t be, since DC Unlimited would be the manufacturer.
  • You probably all saw this, but Mattel issued a pretty extensive semi-mea-culpa on their Facebook page. If you’re interested, you can read the entire note as well as my response on the PGPoA forums.

Odds ‘n Ends

Odds N Ends

  • Apologies for being somewhat MIA over the last week or so…been busy. And by “busy,” I mean I bought Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and got sucked in. And Batman Arkham Asylum arrived today, so things might get worse before they get better. Just a heads-up.
  • Just a heads-up: the plugin I use for the “reply” function in the comments was updated. Now it should appear in the bottom-right corner only when you move your mouse over a comment. I can go back to the previous version if it bugs people, so let me know.
  • Fwoosh posted a two-part interview with Mattel’s Scott Neitlich, a.k.a “Toy Guru.” The interview was done back in July during SDCC, but there’s still some interesting stuff in there. For example, Mattel didn’t ask for the ring that came with Tri-Klops, the Horsemen just made it. Also, Walter Peck will have his own new suit, not the Movie Masters one.  Part 1, Part 2
  • Rambo vs. genetically-engineered werewolves? Yes please. (Via Topless Robot)
  • I know I haven’t posted the information for the He-Ro contest yet–I’m just waiting for confirmation on something. Once I have that, it’ll go right up.
  • I just wanted to mention how pleased and grateful I am to have Paul, formerly of Toy Bender, posting here. Be sure to visit his other blog, The Robot’s Pajamas.