And who can blame them? It looks awesome.
Commentary on a few bits of toy- and geek-related news that interested Poe over the last few days.
- Starwars.com revealed a new character from Star Wars Rebels, C1-10P, a.k.a. “Chopper,” a “grumpy” astromech droid. He reminds me a bit of Claptrap from Borderlands, although it should be noted that Claptrap probably doesn’t exist without R2-D2. Chopper is directly inspired by early McQuarrie concept art for Artoo himself (particularly the arms on the head). The video on Starwars.com includes a quick look at Chopper’s 3.75″ figure as part of Hasbro’s Rebels line (static photo here). I’m really everything I’m seeing and hearing about Rebels, and I find myself hoping we see Chopper or the Grand Inquisitor in the SWB 6″ line. Given Hasbro’s tendency toward media synergy, it’s more likely than, say, Kyle Katarn in SWB. On a side note, I love the whole Inquisitor concept, which originated in the Expanded Universe, I believe.
- Speaking of, I also hope the rumors of strong synergy between Rebels and Episode 7 are true, and to a lesser extent I hope the Mara Jade rumors are true, because if any EU character deserves to be enshrined in the film canon it’s Mara Jade. I mean yeesh, Dash Rendar is (indirectly through the Outrider) canon.
- And finally on the Star Wars topic, here’s the latest leaked list of Star Wars figures for 2014, including Star Wars Black. The list doesn’t differ much from what we’ve seen in previous rumors; at this point, Chewbacca, Jedi Luke, Darth Vader, a Clone Trooper, and a redeco of the Sandtrooper all look like a lock. The upcoming wave with Bespin Luke, Prequel Kenobi, the Stormtrooper and the Han Solo carry-over is listed for February-May, while the June assortment is Anakin, Prequel Kenobi carry-over, Chewie and the Clone Trooper, and a mere month later is Vader, Jedi Luke, Sandtrooper redeco and Chewbacca (carry-over). I’m guessing the Sandtrooper redeco will be white, since black would be pretty boring. Here’s hoping the figure gets a new left hand that can actually hold the blaster cannon. Look, I understand re-use is necessary to keep a line like this going – NECA re-uses its molds more per wave than this line does – but couldn’t Hasbro at least replace the carry-over figures with some redecos? It sucks we get the Sandtrooper redeco and the Chewie carry-over in the same wave, particularly when the carry-over figure counts as part of the case. Why do they even bother with four-figure waves/cases? I’d rather get less frequent waves with four new figures, or more frequent waves of three figures, than this four-figures-including-a-carry-over thing we’ve got going now. I’ve got a few friends’ kids who are going to be getting a Prequel Kenobi and a Chewbacca in the near future.
- Okay I lied, one more Star Wars thing: here’s some neat fan art by Li Jia Tan (who did some concept art work for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II) of Han & Chewie working on a mech. Love the crotch-cockpit that looks like a 1930s sedan. It’s interesting to see a mech cockpit there, instead of the head or the torso.
- The Four Horsemen have announced their annual Toypocalypse show at Tokyo Kid during Toy Fair next month. They’ll have factory paint masters of some of the Power Lords figures, as well as the “rebirth” of the FANtastic Exclusive project.
- The Horsemen also released a ton of in-progress production photos of the Gothitropolis Ravens, along with the news that the Ravens will probably be delayed about two months, but they’ll be produced by the same folks who did such a great job on Scarabus.
- NECA posted a photo of their next NES figure, the Predator. At this point they really need an unofficial name for this sub-line…
- NECA also released a photo of in-progress classic Planet of the Apes Dr. Zaius. Seeing that name should immediately make you think of this.
- A friend of a friend is looking for an experienced customizer to make a Doctor Who custom. Anyone have a rec/referral?
- Jeff Cope has a revealing interview with Brian Mariotti of Funko regarding their plans for the ReAction brand. Definitely worth reading if you’re interested in the line. I need to do a write-up on ReAction. I have really mixed feelings about the line.
U.S. fans who were eagerly awaiting the green tunic of Max Factor’s Figma Link to complement their red holiday bows have some bad news coming their way. I had one on pre-order, and I just received this email from BigBadToyStore:
Diamond Comics Distribution has just informed us that they have failed to secure the licensing needed to bring the Max Factory Link Figma into North America. Diamond has completely cancelled all orders for the Link Figma for all retailers and distributors in North America, including a massive order placed by BBTS. We are extremely upset with them because they are forcing us to disappoint you and so many other people on this item. Diamond officially solicited this item to us back in September and our orders have been in place with them for months, this news was shocking and extremely disappointing to us. Diamond apparently did not have the licensing deal fully worked out at the time of solicitation and in the past few months some sort of problem arose and the deal with Nintendo could not be worked out. We wanted to let you know about this as quickly as possible so you can try to secure an order with international/other vendors.
We have quickly checked with several distributors in Japan, and all of them are completely sold out, as is Max Factory. We are going to explore more options on possible supplies around the world, but at this point it honestly does not look good. We will leave all preorders open in the meantime in case we can find some sort of solution.
We again are extremely sorry about this, we did not expect Diamond to fail us on this item.
Two things: 1.) Bummer. 2.) This does give an interesting look behind the scenes at how these import licensing deals work – and how they can go wrong. There are often very cool toys available in Japan that can’t be sold here, either because there’s a U.S. manufacturer with the domestic master license or for other reasons. (For example, Tsuburaya Productions refuses to export certain Ultraman figures to the U.S. due to a long legal dispute with the Thailand-based Chaiyo Productions.)
It does raise one question for me, though. If this deal just fell apart, it would seem there should have been plenty of Links ready to ship for the American pre-orders, and they were due this month. So how could Max Factory be sold out? Where are those Links that were produced and bound for the States? Or was there going to be an even greater delay while they went back into production? The answer is either that, or Diamond and Max Factory have known about this for months.
For those of you who want a Link, he’s still available at AmiAmi as of this writing. Be prepared to pay international shipping costs, however.
ODD: As mentioned yesterday, we did a little sprucing up here at PGPoA. If you’re curious who the bear in the menu is, don’t worry–she’ll be showing up in The Toybox soon. And has anyone figured out who the “Comics” guy is? If not, you’ll find out if you pick up Toyfare #130 in a week or two.
END: My review of DCUC wave two was over 4,000 words long, so I’m just curious–how many people actually read the whole thing? I’m thinking I may be writing way too much for the attention span of your average websurfer. Continue reading “Odds ‘n Ends > Spiffy Edition”