Odds ‘n Ends > August 26, 2011

  • I’m going to use most of this Odds ‘n Ends to round up some of the news, articles and press releases people have sent me over the last few weeks.
  • First up, Joe Amaro sent along the news that Jazwares is now making toys based on the Cartoon Network show Adventure Time. I know nothing at all about this show, but I’ve heard some fans are quite excited by this development.
  • Poester SP wrote in to let me know about his new action figure design project “The Nightmare of Oz.” You can find pics of the designs at their Kickstarter page.
  • I also received an email about another Kickstart project by Poester JS–this one a photo book called “Souls of Toys,” described as “collecting over 80 images from 17 different toy lines ranging from the 1970s to 1990s, collected in a 9”x6” format.  From the classic action figures to the barely remembered, this book evokes memories of Saturday mornings spent in front of the television.   The front cover is designed by Charles Forsman, the Ignatz-award winning creator of the comic series Snake Oil.”
  • I also got an email from TheBigToyAuction.com, a charity site featuring auctions for custom toys and artwork to benefit children who have suffered through natural disasters, be it the earthquake in Japan, the tornados in Joplin, MO or the drought in East Africa. “A group of comic and toy artists have banded together to donate their talents to the “Heroes Give Hope” charity auction.  Through the auction of these works of art, the Pop Culture community is raising funds for ConvoyofHope.org‘s continuing disaster relief  efforts.  These dedicated donors from around the world have each offered up many one-of-a-kind pieces to be sold in this unique online Live-Auction event, with 100% of the hammer price of each going directly to Convoy of Hope. The auction features many works of original comic and pop culture related art including a piece by UK illustrator Dave Williams featuring dozens of minimalist Heroes spelling out the word “HOPE.”  It also features Transformers and Ghostbusters work by IDW artists Dan Khanna and Dan Schoening, and Dreamwave artist Matt Kuphaldt.  There are inspiring pieces by artists Lindsay Smith and Francesco Sturlese.  It includes a one-of-a-kind, hand finished Batman print by South African neo-pop artist The Meme Machine, Mego-inspired Spider-Man piece by Illustrator Dan Bru, and an original He-Man and Battle Cat Watercolor by Jonathan Reincke.” There are also plenty of regular toys going for reasonable prices.
  • And finally, I received a note pointing me to this interesting piece on the origin of gag vomit.
  • On a non-submitted-news-item note, check out this not-at-all-veiled threat of litigation against Mattel if they “even think of increasing the DC Sub figures from $15 to $20.” Did anyone think there was any danger of that happening at all? Mattel has been very clear about the subs providing exactly what’s in the sub description, and that this constitutes a contract (theoretically on both sides, despite the loophole by which subscribers can cancel by cancelling their credit card). As ToyGuru mentions in his reply, Mattel is toying with increasing the price of the non-sub figures on the website on the day of the sale. But zombie Jimmy Hoffa will smash his way out of his concrete coffin before Mattel changes anything related to the subscriptions. I’m not saying Mattel is some moral paragon. It’s that they’re mortally afraid of litigation–particularly, for some reason, false advertising and/or false promises. That’s why so many of the Q&A answers are so frustratingly vague. It’s not that he doesn’t have a point, I just think it’s overkill for something that wasn’t really an issue. Apologies for the rant–the tone of that post just annoyed me (that and the cutesy “LegalGuru” handle).
  • Moving on, it seems X-Entertainment, the longtime kid culture website (and one of my favorite sites of all time), now has a YouTube channel and has already started a Halloween Countdown. It’s weird to see Matt in motion–as Poester Ragetreb comments, “all these years I had assumed you were a sentient jpeg.” I do have to wonder, though–why the Christian-Bale-as-Batman sandpaper voice? Matt has always seemed like he wanted to keep his identity something of a secret, but that sounds like it hurts.


Pic of the Day > Predator1 by Gerard O’Raw


Review > Captain America & Red Skull (Marvel Select, Diamond Select)


  1. Oh not not him again

    The thing I keep seeing over and over that I wish people would stop is the whole 'they're just toys' argument. It should not matter what the product is – honesty and integrity are what matters. You can dismiss LegalGuru as a crazy fan but Mattel should be held accountable for what they say and do, just like any other business. Otherwise, where do we draw the line?

  2. Tribsaint

    Plus everyone should be concerned with the corners that will have to be cut now that they didn’t even get the “turn on the machines” type orders. No power is going to make injection mold is tough. Metatron will have to stand, water color paints and who knows what else. We voted with our purchases (or lack of)and somehow ended up in Florida.

  3. thomas b

    yeah, LegalGuru is a whackjob and a perfect example of crazy fan. It is responses like LegalGuru that surprise me that we still have as much access and back and forth with mattel that we still do.

  4. Tribsaint

    Sorry, I thought the LegalGuru post was hilarious, I mean Mattel pushes their customers around bullying them with threats, name calling and blame… Why shouldn’t they get a bit of their own medicine?

    Plus the why is easy, if this guy LegalGuru is a lawyer he might see it as a potential class action suit. Those are BIG money for the suit sharks, even the crappy "we're sorry" settelment net Millions for the lawyers.

  5. RageTreb

    Oh hey you actually used my comment on the X-E video. I'm a HUGE fan of X-E and have been since I started reading when I was a freshman in high school. These videos Matts been releasing need more views– he deserves it for the years of service he's given us.

  6. Zach S.

    Wanted to say here regarding the "news" about the CIE sub possibly not being dead despite failing to reach the goal:

    If Mattel goes forward with Club Infinite Earths, I'd be hard pressed to shake the feeling that they intended to do so all along and merely used scare tactics to trick people into buying the sub, guaranteeing the sales. While that could likely never be proven, it's a strong possibility. Would anybody put it past Mattel? And even if that's what they were doing, by "rescuing" the line now that its fate is supposedly sealed, they come out looking like heroes and get showered with more money as a reward.

    I'm cynical, sure, but Mattel and all other big businesses care about one thing: money. We're just wallets with internet access.


    • Scott

      Yeah, you're cynical. 🙂 They're damned if they do, damned if they don't. If they can't make the sub work, people cry "I want my Poison Ivy! I hate you!!" If they do make it work, you get "AHA, I knew it. You're a bunch of lyers. The subs were safe all along!"

    • Tribsaint

      “Our meter really is the minimum number of “all in” sub buyers we need to turn the machines on. While Cherry Pickers are great for additional day-of sales, we need a committed baseline of sub holders to pull the trigger on this (much as we have for MOTU and GB each year, the sub is our guarantee that we can at least move the bare min number of units to keep the line going!). If you are on the fence, time to pony up and vote with your purchase!” TNI 8/11/11 if the sub goes through it’s pretty clear Mattel lied…. But we should go along with it ….right cause they love the DCU, working on DCUC is a dream come true…their just trying to give the fans the figures they want. …right…DCUC has been dying a slow painful death for a while now…and the brilliance of mattels cure is charge more for less….sad thing is most will fall for the cartmanlandesque ploy.

  7. Ah, X-Entertainment… the inspiration for practically every geek site on the internet.

    • It really was one of the first of its kinds. It was a blog before the word "blog" even entered our psyche. A web site literally about everything… and nothing.

  8. Wow, that LegalGuru post was insane. Why do people get this angry about toys? I don't understand it.

    On a weird related note, I was rereading the beginning of the DCUC thread you started on the Oafe boards. It's weird how many predictions have come true…and how many haven't.

    • Zach S.

      Some people have skewed perceptions of reality and pretty mixed-up priorities. You should never get illogically enraged over toys, case in point the response to the "issues" with Battle Ground Evil Lyn.

      That said, corporations must be held accountable, especially when it comes to money exchange. Changing the cost per figure on people who already bought a sub is unethical. We need to exercise any power we have over Mattel when we can, because we can't let them walk all over us any more than they already do. Although, I think it should always be done in a calm and logical manner…which I believe is a more powerful approach than raining fire and brimstone.

    • americanhyena

      Yes but the thing is, raising the cost of the actual sub figures was never even on the table. It’s just something overly antsy collectors misconstrued. They’re upset over an idea the was never actually brought up.

    • Nicholai

      Agreed. I caught this in a few places and was surprised anyone had even thought of this. When you signed up for the sub Mattel and you basically signed a contract on the all the specifics. The only possible way they could do something to subscribers is if they sent out emails to every subscriber and had them either accept or opt out of higher prices, which I can't imagine they'd do due to the fact that a lot of people would drop out. I see just a few options: they go ahead with it as conceived and hope to prove to people that it is awesome and get more sign-ups next year, they cut production numbers and charge the cherry-pickers more per figure, or they dispose of packaging or something similar.

    • Ridureyu

      Man, this almost beats the time somebody tried to sue Wizards of the Coast because he felt that D&D miniatures weren't painted well enough.

    • I would make a statement about LegalGuru, but I don't want to be slapped with a lawsuit for defamation of character…

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