• 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.