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November 1 2004
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by yours truly and, as always, I'm looking for new questions. So, feel free to send any in.


New Transformers Universe Battle in a Box at... Kohl's

The rumors are true-- Hasbro's "sixth market" exclusives, the two Battle in a Box sets, have shown up at Kohl's stores. That's the good news. The bad news? $24.99 a whack, and stores like Meijer's are asking $15.99 a pop while online stores are asking $20/box usually.

There are two sets, both made of repainted and in some cases remolded versions of Armada toys. The set most of you will want is Ultra Magnus vs. Treadshot, a recolored (and misassembled) Optimus Prime and a remolded and recolored Sideswipe with an unchanged minicon sidekick. The second set has Smokescreen vs. Ransack, which features Smokescreen colored as... well, the old school Smokescreen and a remolded Hoist. Rather than remolding the faction logo as a Decepticon, Hasbro opted to just flatten it over and paint a few logos on the toy.

But wait, there's more good news! Kohl's stores is also running numerous toy sales this week, and all action toys-- including Batman, TransFormers, etc.-- are 35% off, bringing the cost of each two-pack to $16.24, a pretty great price any way you slice it.

So to date, this means these sets have surfaced at Meijer's, Kohl's, and Big Bad Toy Store.


Pee-Wee's Christmas Special DVD Available

We missed this one. Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special is on DVD and in stores. Best Buy has it for $14.99, Amazon's asking $11.24, but we saw it in-store at Target for an even $9.99. It comes in some funky slipcover like recent Pixar releases for their first shipments, which is odd, but whatev.

Also, don't forget Shrek 2 comes out on DVD Friday, prices are more or less not being revealed at most stores. Also coming is Ali G Indahouse, which is apparently a movie that wasn't released stateside.


NES Classics 2 for $30 at Toys "R" Us

The Classic NES line of games are on sale at Toys "R" Us this week. Seeing as the sale includes Castlevania, Zelda II, and the games that hit last week in addition to the old ones, it might be a good time to drop some cash on them.


Playmobil on sale at Target

The fine folks at Target have all their Playmobil 15% off this week-- this is a good thing because it means that all their various US exclusive items are on the cheap, so tell your friends in Europe, and you Europeans can use this to get some better trades, surely.


This is Stingray, and he is a what?
November 2 2004
New Transformers Energon Appearances

The final days of Energon are upon us, and the final-ish toys are showing up. Omega Sentinel has appeared online at Entertainment Earth (and has sold out), the central components to a couple of combiners have appeared at a few places and in some Targets around the country, and you obviously saw last week's reports of some combiner limbs at Target stores.

For the USA (and Western world) it seems Energon has enough new product and repaints to keep it going through January or February as a few repaints and the Bruticus/Combaticons/whatever team has been held back a little. In Japan, SuperLink is more or less over-- save for a couple of exclusives, it's done and they're moving on to Galaxy Force at the end of the year.

Interestingly, America will be receiving a much larger range of product when it comes to the 2003-2005 range when compared to Japan. Not only are we receiving numerous exclusive repaints (some better than others), but a lot of our normal items are exclusives in Japan, or presently not scheduled to ship at all-- like the Dinobots and Omega Sentinel.


George Carlin on NPR, Bravo

Over the weekend, a friend of the site saw and pointed us out to an installment of "Inside the Actor's Studio" on Bravo (you know, with James Lipton) on which George Carlin guested and went on at length about his career. The details sounded like it made for an incredible portrait of the man, so check your listings for repeats.

For those of you at work or bored, we would also like to point out yesterday's highly entertaining interview with Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air. Carlin's interview was quite interesting and not full of "so, you like the dirty words, eh?" type questions. Well, there were a few of those, but the answers were really good. Be sure to check it out.

--AP and SC

New Exclusive Joes

The folks over at Yo Joe! added several new figures, including the second batch of individually carded modern Joes and a Toys "R" Us exclusive desert mission set. While it's mostly just a bunch of repaints, there's some real winners. And we of course mean this sarcastically. Also added was a Toys "R" Us exclusive small-size bonus Duke figure that's packaged with some Voice FX Duke 12" figures-- an interesting choice to say the least.

BEHOLD! Desert Ninja Snake Eyes. What good a ninja will find with desert camo pants is beyond me but it's so lame I think I need this.


And in other news...

"How They Won," a special airing on the History Channel, features former Daily Show "reporter" Mo Rocca. The special looks at presidential dogs, brothers, and more past and present. He's a funny guy, so keep your eyes on the listings to catch this.


Was it a revenge killing?
November 3 2004
Review: OTC Star Wars Gamorrean Guard

Today at Galactic Hunter we examine a repaint of one if 1997's finest molds, the Gamorrean Guard. No changes were made to the mold, so just what can a little paint do for an already good sculpt? Find out in today's review... today's positive review!


New Transformers Alternators Spotted, Comments

While we don't have a camera handy, we did find the new Alternators Autobot Tracks today at a local Target. It should be noted that the packaging has been altered from previous waves in more ways than one. Not only is it in the new red "G1-style" box, but the plastic window covering the car has been eliminated.

After some futzing, we're not sure what to make of ol' Tracks-- his head is a little bland and on our sample, he has a smidge of nose rub which, unfortunately, is not something you can watch for when picking one up. Also, getting his legs transformed can be a real chore, but the end result is actually really slick. Even at $20, we're happy to have him. Arguably, he is one of the best looking toys in the line and certainly the most true to the original G1 character as well as to the new, modern aesthetics introduced for Alternators. We just don't like nose rub. (And for the record, our favorite is still Hound.)

Fans of the mold will be (possibly) glad to know that the mold is going to be modified and trotted out again as a Decepticon, interestingly enough as the jaguar Ravage which, reportedly, will be sold as Battle Ravage. While the car will be sold in black and have a new head, word of other changes to the mold has yet to be made available, or we have yet to hear it.


Now Available: Comic Packs #4, #5

A Scottsdale, AZ area Target received cases of the new three-packs of comic book Joes today. G.I. Joe issues #4 and #5 were reprinted and included with these sets, consisting mostly of heroes. The packaging is pretty much the same except the bubble is much, much narrower which should allow for more sets to be packed in a smaller space. These are particularly slick, but due to some unexpected hospital bills we'll be passing on these until a very nice sale happens.


New Two-Disc Fifth Element Coming

Here's some undisputed good news-- the oft-overlooked Luc Besson film The Fifth Element is coming out as a two-disc special edition early next year, so says The Digital Bits (who also have the cover art, which sucks.) The widescreen presentation apparently has a new transfer and a number of featurettes in addition to set tests, a trivia track, and some other stuff. No word of a commentary at this time.


Was You Robbed?
November 4 2004
Tough Crowd Cancelled

While we saw it coming, it was a bit of a surprise to us last night when Colin Quinn announced the cancellation of his Comedy Central program Tough Crowd. As to what will fill the post-Daily Show timeslot, or what Quinn will move on to next, nobody knows. But it does seem about time for a "Remote Control" revival, no?


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 2

The original 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is coming to DVD-- so says We're surprised as we were unaware a first season was released, the only DVD of the old show we knew of was the miniseries disc.


More Alternators Impressions * Movie Screenwriter

We spotted the Alternators Meister at Kmart, which sold for $21.99 and as an added bonus, was 20% off. The Jazz update is a bright white Mazda RX-8 and is nicely detailed. The robot mode is a smidge shorter than his fellow Alternators Autobots, but he's superposable, we daresay moreso than the rest of the line. Unlike the rest of the line thus far, he has ratcheting joints and is quite posable.

Also, the screenwriter for the 2006 live action TransFormers movie has been selected, and it's John Rogers. Mr. Rogers was responsible for the screenplay for Catwoman, the Summer '04 turkey, as well as The Core and many episodes of Cosby and Jackie Chan Adventures. Before you groan too much, keep in mind Peter Jackson made a lot of questionable movies before producing Lord of the Rings.



Due to problems beyond our control-- or actually, due to our control-- the November 5 update was partially lost. It has been partially restored here.


Arise, Lord Vader
November 5 2004
Review: OTC Star Wars Vintage Stormtrooper

Today at Galactic Hunter we examine a repaint of one if 1997's finest molds, the Gamorrean Guard. No changes were made to the mold, so just what can a little paint do for an already good sculpt? Find out in today's review... today's positive review!

Also, the Revenge of the Sith trailer premiered yesterday-- and was leaked and mirrored all over the web. If you haven't seen it, you can see it on TV or with The Incredibles tonight... or download it. Just look at the Slashdot forums... seriously. You have no excuse for not seeing this thing, I found it at work in like four minutes.


Godzilla Out for PS2, Xbox Delay

Atari's Godzilla: Save the Earth was released for PlayStation 2 this week, while the supposedly superior Xbox version has been delayed until November 22. So Sony fans, get your Kaiju groove on... Xboxers, you get to wait. The game was on display at the Comic Con International last summer and it looked great, so we'll have more as we know about it.


Lord of the Rings TV Game

Tiger Electronics made a Lord of the Rings TV game which we spotted at a Kmart last night. It's a dagger that plugs into your TV, and based on the screenshots you can stab Gollum and fight trolls and stuff.

Also, we saw the Pelenor Fields set from Armies of Middle-Earth at a Suncoast today, and that's the small-scale set in a big box with the troll. Neat stuff.


More Robot Masters Confirmed

Earlier this year, stores listed Lioconvoy as part of Robot Masters, and later a few stores replaced him with other toys-- but now HobbyLink Japan has him listed again, with a bonus DVD to boot! Click here for RM-23 Lioconvoy + DVD. No pictures, of course, and the nearly $20 price tag is the same as the previous Convoy + DVD sets, meaning this is probably going to be a new, smaller mold. You may have also noticed that nobody has announced what the heck RM-22 is yet, but if we were betting men-- and we are-- we'd bet it's a Lioconvoy sans DVD.

...and because we love you, we also updated The Robot Masters Checklist.


Serious Awesomeness
November 6 2004
Godzilla: Save the Earth Interview

GameSpot posted this great article about the value of the Godzilla franchise to Toho, and the various oddities they impose on their licensees in terms of restrictions. The new title, published by Atari, sports 20 monsters and numerous moves-- and this article explains a lot as to why certain ones have been selected.


New Kay-Bee Exclusive Jurassic Park Electronic Dinosaurs

First: in case you missed it, Hasbro has sold a line of Jurassic Park toys to Kay-Bee using molds from the various lines from Kenner's first series to the JP3 line that came to an end in 2002. The latest trio from Hasbro is based on the Jurassic Park III line of electronic dinosaurs, the smaller, formerly $10 toys. The new ones are repaints, and each includes a mini companion dinosaur. So far, there's a Velociraptor, T-Rex, and Brachiosaurus.

So far, this Kay-Bee line includes these, a line of larger electronic dinosaurs, a line of small two-packs, and a line of dinosaur figures bundled with human figures. We expect more but what, when, and how... we dunno.


Micromaster Defensor from TransFormers Universe Returns... at Sears!

A couple of months back, Hasbro released the Micromasters combiner team known as Sixturbo in Japan to the USA as Defensor, which was sold as a Kay-Bee exclusive for $3.99 a pop. It quickly sold out and was replaced by the second set, which also quickly sold out. The six components of Defensor showed up again, though, at the recently erected Sears Toy Department that's mixed in with the holiday decorations.

The sets are the same price as before, as are all the items-- which are Kay-Bee's stock at Kay-Bee prices-- but there's a sale going on. We're not sure the parameters of it, but there's a 10% off sale going on now and we picked up a Defensor on the slightly-cheap.

Also, it has been reported by HobbyLink Japan that RM-22 from Robot Masters will in fact be a regular Lioconvoy. Nifty!


And in other news...

We went and saw The Incredibles, and it was truly marvelous. It wasn't cute or especially funny, but it was a great neat new way to do a superhero movie. There were some memorable characters, some excellent one-liners, and great voice work. Surprisingly, Craig T. Nelson's Mr. Incredible occasionaly resembled Adam West in terms of vocal styling, which was nifty. If you're on the fence about seeing this movie, don't be-- go see it, it was totally worth it.


The Birdies Are Singing
November 7 2004
G.I. Joe Ninja Cobra Strike Team Images

Hasbro's made numerous six figure sets for Toys "R" Us' G.I. Joe section this year, and the latest is a six pack o' ninjas! Yo Joe! has scans of all six, including a couple of she-ninjas, or "ninjettes."


New Microman Acroyear X2

If you missed it, MicroForever added numerous preview scans of the new villains. Some of which borrow heavily from various anime. Still, there are a lot of neat figures coming in this line, so be sure to check them out. In addition to new images, there are apparently rumors going around for a new magnet series (oooooh!) and a series based on Capcom's ever-popular Street Fighter franchise (aaaaah!).

Still no good pics of Godzilla, Aliens, or Predator Microman toys.


Quickie Battle in a Box Impressions

As we're still editing images and it may be a while-- if ever-- for us to do a full review, here's some impressions of the figure sets being sold at Kohl's, Meijer's, and elsewhere. (Besides, we need Sunday filler.)

Ultra Magnus vs. Treadshot-- the rumors are true, Hasbro put Ultra Magnus together incorrectly. He's a recolored version of Optimus/Nemesis Prime from Armada, and Over-Run is also recolored. Treadshot is a recolored Oil Slick, who was a remolded Sideswipe. So what you have here is an excellent mold given a great paint job and assembled incorrectly, and one crappy mold given a pretty nice deco job. Also notable: Treadshot's Mini-Con Nightbeat is the same mold and pretty much the exact same color that has been used for Sideswipe and Oil Slick. In other words, snoozefest. This set is probably worth it if you get a good deal and don't mind some minor repair work to fix Magnus.

Smokescreen vs. Ransack-- an interesting pair, as the molds are both different versions of the same Armada character. Smokescreen is a recolored version of the Armada character in a nifty blue color scheme with the dark blue parts from the original toy now being in orange-- which looks crappy. All the mechanisms work fine, though, and his Mini-Con Liftor was recolored slightly, just enough to be new and different. UPDATE: Ransack was Hoist, and he's been retooled to have a Decepticon logo and recolored in a weird Phoenix Suns-esque purple and orange. If you liked the Armada molds, these are neat, but without some big-shot character name to tie in, it's not a killer set. The mechanisms for the Mini-Con gimmick no longer work-- the lever won't go up-- and when transformed to vehicle mold, the arm was molded weird so you can't have the shovel arm in a normal position. Also, Ransack includes Refute, now colored in green and looking pretty slick. Mini-Con fans should dig this set.

Between the two sets, Hasbro has two giant foul-ups-- and we later discovered Hasbro Australia said they won't be importing these "due to quality control issues." Well then, guess we're the guinea pigs.


Happy End of World
November 8 2004
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by yours truly. The column is about to go on its annual hiatus, so get your questions in early!


New Transformers Galaxy Force Descriptions

Been curious about the Galaxy Force gimmicks? Well, TFans has a post on its message board explaining the characters and what they do, as well as the cost in yen.


Spider-Man Mega Blocks Review posted a review of the newly available Mega Blocks Spider-Man sets, based on the comics. This is an important distinction, because LEGO is selling movie-based construction toys, and yet another company, Art Asulym, is selling blocky Mini-Mates figures based on the Marvel license.

Their review is loaded with images and the toys look pretty great-- we have yet to see them in stores here on Planet Arizona, and we may snag one when they do. I mean, there's a fat-pants Mary Jane, surely there's a market for that.


And in other news...

The season premiere of Arrested Development was on last night and the show seems to be on course with the same style and humor you've come to love from the first year. We missed a bit of it due to interruptions, but it was great-- be sure to catch it if you have the means, we know of no encore at this time.

Also, will be going on hiatus from November 21- November 28. We will return with more updates (and a report on Playmobil Fun Park Orlando, most likely) the week of November 29.


Yo, Cyborg!
November 9 2004
Halo 2 Available

20somethings everywhere are apt to be tired or skipping work after the midnight launch of the Xbox title of the year, Halo 2. It's getting great reviews and apparently presold 1.5 million copies, so here's hoping it's the best thing ever.


G.I. Joe Cobra Ninja Strike Team Available

Last night at a West Phoenix Toys "R" Us, we spotted the elusive and brand new Cobra Ninja Strike Team, and boy does it look bad in person. You can see some scans at Yo Joe!, but the paint on the samples we saw made this giant boxed team of terrorist ninjas-- and it sickens us to say this-- unappealing. Storm Shadow looks like some sort of sick Viet Cong, and the others just looked iffy. This is probably why stores are turning a blind eye to all the swine buying Joes, swapping them out for The Corps figures, and returning them. That and the horribly easy to open without damage packaging.


New Galaxy Force Pics, Info

Tons of images of the next series of TransFormers were posted to the Web over the past 24 hours, and this gallery at the Allspark shows most if not all of them. Included: Skids, Flame Convoy, Dino Shout, Inchup, Gasket, Auto Lander, Sideways, First Aid (revised Armada Red Alert), Nitro Convoy, and Wolf Fang. It's notable that a lot of characters and names should sound like ones you've heard before, and the Convoys look vaguely like they have traditional Optimus-style features on their helmets.

Some of these look great, like First Aid, but figures like Dino Shout are seriously making us reconsider covering the line in depth beyond the ones we like.

Also, word on the street is that the Robot Masters Beast Convoy DVD repaint will be done up to be Burning Convoy as seen in the anime movie featuring the character, Lio Convoy, and others. A photoshopped image is floating around, no official pics have surfaced as far as we know. We tweaked the checklist with the new name which is subject to change. We can only assume that this means Lio Convoy with the DVD could be Flash Lio Convoy.


Stan Ridgway Review, Groundlings Interviews on NPR

Today's Fresh Air wit Terri Gross posted two really great segments which you can stream from your home or office.

The first focused on The Groundlings, the LA-based group which gave birth to Pee Wee Herman, Phil Hartman, Cheryl Hines, and countless other comics that have gone on to greatness. The founder of the group discussed training people in the skills of improv, and Hines talked about her start and meeting Larry David, which was nothing short of marvelous to listen to. If you have any interest in comedy or Curb Your Enthusiasm, give this a listen.

Segment two was a review of Stan Ridgway's Snakebite, an album which came out a few months ago and is pretty darned great. If you haven't heard it, the feature has clips of the new album and some comments on why you should listen to it. While it won't appeal to everybody, hey, it's good stuff.


Blow, Blow, Blow Volcano!
November 10 2004
Review: OTC Star Wars Vintage C-3PO

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at another stinker with the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection C-3PO. What can you do with a good sculpt to ruin it? Find out in today's review... but here's a hint: plenty.


Many More Shrek 2 Figures Available

To tie in with the DVD release of Shrek 2, our local Wal-Marts received new cases with dozens of Shrek figures, mostly repaints. Returning are the hard-to-find Handsome Shrek and Noble Steed, but new are Santa Shrek, Santa Donkey, Swamp Shrek, a Slimed Shrek, and a few other repaints. There's even a red-clothed Puss in Boots. Basically, expect to see a lot of repaints, some recolored Dronkeys, and one figure that was new to us-- a giant Gingerbread Man figure.


New Robot Masters Lio Convoy Revealed (sans paint)

The fine folks at HobbyLink Japan posted shots of the new Lio Convoy mold-- and yes, it's different! And apparently smaller. It appears to have the same transformation, although it's unknown if the claws were left in or removed.

We're working on finishing up the TransFormers Universe checklist. It's more or less done but we're not sure what to do with all the many unreleased items that have popped up as prototypes, like Cheetor, Tarantulas, Spacewarp (we assume), Waspinator, Micromasters Railracer, Smokescreen (repainted Hot Shot), we could go on. There's a whole mess of them, so we'll probably toss in an "unconfirmed upcoming items" area because... well, may as well, right? It'll probably go live tomorrow.


Name Brand Sneakers
November 11 2004
Spotted: Energon Storm Jet, Steamhammer & Comics

Well, happy times. Our good luck, for the most part, with scoring Energon from stores early continues with the two latest entries in the combiner families, Steamhammer and Storm Jet. These were spotted at a Scottsdale, AZ-area Target store and were in beat-up packaging, and when it comes to new figures this feature usually remains reserved for Kay-Bee and Wal-Mart stores in certain neighborhoods.

As standalone toys, Storm Jet is pretty slick. Nothing too special, but it has a good transformation, is a decent size, and holds together well in both modes. Steamhammer, on the other hand, has a pretty ugly vehicle mode that looks like a pile of parts, a less-than-enjoyable transformation process, but thankfully has a good robot mode. Sadly, neither have weapons of any kind, which is pretty lame considering the Generation One Constructicons were loaded with firearms.

(So far we're inclined to advise those looking for some old-skool combiner action to hit Sears' Holiday Toy Section or Kay-Bee toys and pick up the fairly marvelous Micromasters combiners from TransFormers Universe.)

This week's comics: the delayed Generation One #9 and Micromasters #4, which were most excellent (with cameos by Hot Rod and friends) and lackluster (as the Micromasters characters are hard-ish to follow) hit from Dreamwave, and at you can probably guess our favorite. Also, Devil's Due put out the G.I. Joe vs. TransFormers #3, which has the Joes in a future Earth ruled (and destroyed) by the Decepticons. The roving Decepticon cities touted by the company don't make appearances beyond the cover, which is unfortunate as it was a neat concept.

So the moral of the story: Micromasters toys, good. Micromasters comics, not so much.


Now Available: Godzilla Final Wars Toys

Online stores and some importers have started to receive BanDai's first batch of figures from the "final" Godzilla film, Final Wars. They look pretty slick and seem to be in scale with the large hollow vinyl figures currently being dumped at Kay-Bee Toy Stores. (Which we give a big thumbs-up to, by the way.)


New Gran Turisomo 4 Box Set

While a few news outlets covered it, we found the best pictures (and bluntest blurb) at NCS. What is it? It's a Nike/Gran Turismo 4 limited edition box with Nike sneakers, a t-shirt, a game, and a giant carry case. It's limited to 1,000 pieces and costs more than you make in three days. Check it out, yo!


November 12 2004
Review: OTC Star Wars Vintage Boba Fett

Today at Galactic Hunter we look at real winner with the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection Boba Fett. You know you want him. He's fully posable, nicely detailed, and sculpted so well, you'll wonder just why the heck you haven't bought him yet. But is he worth $10? Find out in today's review.


Godzilla Microman Images

Toy News International posted this page showcasing the upcoming Microman figures of Ghidorah, Megalon, Jet Jaguar, and several Godzillas. Also shown are what we believe to be the figures that'll go inside-- what's interesting is that they aren't "actor in undershirt" like the old Action Joe Godzilla, but rather unique armored Microman figures complete with chrome heads. Nice! We'll take a set.

--AP, special thanks to the cats at MicroForever

Stikfas Pirate, Skeleton... and owl-thing

Click here to see the Stikfas Alpha Male Pirate with Skeleton, and what we presume to see an owl which doesn't really make a lot of sense. This page is the preorder page for Entertainment Earth, and the first we've seen of this pretty nifty item. There's a pegleg, some rum, a spyglass, and a nifty hat-- this be a fairly loaded pirate.


Incredibles Exclusives

It appears there's not only an exclusive Hasbro item, but an exclusive competing toy line when it comes to action figures from The Incredibles.

First, Wal-Mart has a special edition of Mr. Incredible's car that's the same as the normal one, but comes in a much larger box and includes a free bonus Frozone figure. It's the same price as the regular one, but a nifty variation for those keeping an eye on such things.

Last, there's a Disney Store exclusive line that includes more characters and has different deco, and looks to be a hair smaller in terms of scale. There's a Visible and Invisible Violet, which is pretty nifty, and numerous other characters that didn't make the Hasbro cut. We did not note any specific manufacturer on the packaging, so be sure to check these out when you go to the mall for yourself.


New Energon Hitting (or so we're told)

Reports are coming in from all over the web that a few new items are apparently hitting-- we've not seen them yet but hey, we like to pass along what we hear. Apparently Wing Saber, Grimlock & Swoop, and Beachcomber are shipping to some Wal-Marts. A few folks have spotted Omega Sentinel, an assumed-to-be-lower-run-than-usual repaint of shelfwarmer Omega Supreme. (Which, we should note, is a great toy.) Finally, Kmart's exclusive Prowl & Checkpoint set is hitting sporadically, and if it's anything like last year's golden Armada Optimus Prime gift set, we're all in for some hardcore hunting. And with that, happy hunting!!


NewsRadio not hitting DVD in 2004

TVShowsOnDVD is the bearer of bad news today, striking down a rumor that came from Dave Foley himself-- it appears this excellent sitcom will not be making its DVD debut this calendar year. More here.

TVShowsOnDVD also put up a slew of info on a lot of shows that you're apt to see on Nick at Nite, including Murphy Brown, Full House, Fresh Prince of Bell Air, and a heck of a lot of others. Take a gander at their front page for more.


And in other news...

Today at Pokey the Penguin we noticed that the most excellent web comic actually updated after months of nothing. Eight new strips have been posted since Pity on the Flightless, including Pokey mugging a hobo penguin. Classy. Check it out, it's some of the funniest stuff you'll see online this year.


Took Three Days to Find
November 13 2004
Nintendo 2005

GameSpot made this posting of the first six months of Nintendo of America's release listings. Good news: Wario Ware Touch! comes out for Nintendo DS on February 14, to spite those in relationships that will not be about to touch Wario Ware that evening. The Legend of Zelda: the Minish Cap comes out on January 10 for GameBoy Advance, the new and nifty GameCube Zelda is still TBD, and there's a bundle of items listed for all the major Nintendo consoles-- this is worth checking out.


Daily Show DVD

It appears there's a rumor going around that The Daily Show Season One is in development for DVD. You can see a pretty good summary of what's floating around at TVShowsOnDVD, as they all but confirm it. Interesting news, it will be interesting to see what exactly they put together for a daily fake news show when it comes to the popular optical disc.


New Generation One Rodimus Prime Price?

Reports are indicating that the Toys "R" Us exclusive Rodimus Prime replica has dropped-- but we're still looking for confirmation that this is some nationwide thing. Formerly $34.99, the word on the street has it that it dropped to $18 and change-- when we hit a store this evening, it was $29.99-- four cents more than on As such, check your stores just in case but don't get your hopes up.

Also notable: Palisades announced they started work on the War Within Optimus Prime statue, mirrored at the Allspark. The early rendering is awesome to the point where you'll probably join me in whining that Hasbro has yet to make a toy of this piece. Hard Hero announced their next bust is Cyclonus, Galvatron's right-hand man.


And in other news...

College pal of the webmasters Tony Carnivale posted a short film entitled "The Last Blind Date on Earth" at his site, tony loves you. Tony has worked at a variety of interesting and funny places we won't mention here, and the short comedy is worth catching-- if you have high-speed internet. Otherwise you might be better off asking someone to snail mail you a copy of it burned on a CD.


Happy Birthday ZTB
November 14 2004
The Incredibles Cereal

You saw this coming. Yesterday at Wal-Mart we spotted a box of theme cereal from Kellogg's. We didn't buy it, nor do we plan to, nor did we see cool toys inside. As such, we left it at the store. But if you want it, well, now you can have it.


New Energon CostCo Pack Spotted, Alternators News

CostCo's TransFormers Energon holiday repaint hit a North Scottsdale CostCo yesterday, and we got one. For $28.99, you get a repaint of Armada Optimus Prime (formerly $39.99) and Overload (formerly $19.99). While the color schemes aren't going to float everybody's boat, the price is most excellent-- you get a lot of toy for the money, and the value is as good as the set currently selling at Sam's Club (with Starscream and Prowl).

The set doesn't include any trading cards, and the Corona Sparkplug is the same gold color he was with Armada's Powerlinx Optimus Prime. The items are in a mostly dark grey, red, and horrible yellow color scheme which we just love, and pictures will be available at a later time.

Jon Hartman (BotCon's own) has discovered two new items in Wal-Mart's computer giving us a hint at upcoming Alternators, but it's vague. One is "Unknown (Acura)" and another is "Unknown (Mitsubishi)". Hey, it's a start.

Finally, Fan2Fan posted the bio for Swindle from the Takara BinalTech line of toys. And it's in English!


Pathetic Fools, There Is No Escape!
November 15 2004
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by yours truly. Special guest answer by Erin, who you don't know but will probably amuse you just the same.

This is the "official" finale of the 2004 Q&A season, but we're scheduling an encore-- that's right, all questions that get sent to me by November 19, 2004 will be answered in an 11th-hour update before I go on break. So, ask away!


New Transformers Energon Black Omega Supreme & Extreme G1 Clearances and Toys "R" Us give you some lovin'. First: several Generation One reissues are on sale at Amazon for as low as $12.48, and there's some good items-- Dirge, Prowl, Inferno, Skids, Grapple, Tracks, and Red Alert. These deals are not offered in-store from our findings.

Numerous fan sites are reporting that Toys "R" Us will be having something called a "Black Omega Supreme" for Energon for $39.99 very soon. While we assume this is this means "black box" we have no clue-- and it seems neither does anyone else. No images have surfaced of this piece, and as such we're treating it like an amusing rumor and nothing more.


New (we think) Toys "R" Us Exclusive GameBoy Advance SP

While we haven't seen it before, we saw it today. Toys "R" Us stores have a special edition GBA SP that's bright orange and green. It's very cool-- but odds are you don't need one at this point in the game. $79.99, same as all the others.


And in other news...

Tomorrow, there are tons of new video games and DVDs hitting stores. We'll post a list in the AM so you can see what your wallet will be screaming at you about later.


There Are No Decepticons In My Country
November 16 2004
Finally: Duty Mode Gir from Invader Zim Figures Available

Well, better late than never. Here's some packaged shots of Duty Mode GIR from Hot Topic's Invader Zim range. A full Invader Zim range will be widely released with more accessories in the future.

The card back looks nifty, but the front of the card is pretty bland especially considering the graphic design work we've seen on the DVDs and their menus as well as on the show itself. Still, tis a neat toy. You can see one neat thing though-- the side of the front of the package says GIR is part of "Series One of DOOM!!!!"


New TransFormers Energon Released

Lots of new findings today. A Phoenix, AZ area Wal-Mart received a new case of Mega Energon toys today with Grimlock & Swoop, Wing Saber, Beachcomber, and the previously released Energon Ironhide. We bought the new ones.

Some fun notes: Wing Saber is pretty bad ass. And depsite what people claimed earlier, the face is not black but is more of a bronze color. Fans of Overload from Armada will probably dig him, even though there's no sound effects on this new toy. It's basically a brick-- again, as much if not more than Overload-- but it's still cool. Very G1, very solid. Articulation buffs will hate it, fans of toys that look like Star Saber from Japan will love it.

Grimlock & Swoop will be the set you'll be all excited to buy and kinda not pleased with after you open it. The combined mode is obviously a little doofy, but it could be worse. Grimlock himself has fists that can't hold any weapons I can recognize, which is pretty disappointing-- the lack of the standard fist hole that's been used for a few years seems lame. Swoop doesn't hold together especially well, but he's neat. Both are pretty chunky and not as detailed as the rest of the line. (And yes, it sucks that Grimlock can have no sword and no gun in his hand. Laaaaaame.)


Big DVD Release Day Today

There's a ton of DVDs coming out today, making this one of the biggest release dates of the year if you read sites like this one. For starters, there's Elf, the very funny Will Ferrell comedy from 2003.

Also coming: Space Ghost Volume 2, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume 3, Home Movies Season 1, Kids in the Hall Season 2, a collection of specials from The Office, and two five-disc sets of Pee-Wee's Playhouse. A special edition set of Pee-Wee is expected in 2005, so you might want to wait on that one.

Next week: Seinfeld Seasons 1-3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and some other stuff!


More NES (Famicom) Goodies

There's some more plastic 8-bit goodness coming out of Japan and NCS has images and preorders. There's some mini playsets with small figures and backgrounds... and some watches. Pretty cool. Check them out or pay the penalty.

Also coming out in stores today: Half Life 2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and a whole mess of other stuff.


And in other news...

Well, it had to happen-- Homestar Runner released a DVD. Well, a set-- three discs, to be exact, of a bunch of content from the site... just not everything. $30, available now, we'd love to get it but unfortunately need to eat.


Fetch The Bucket!
November 17 2004
Packaged Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Figures Auction

eBay Seller The Toy Valut tossed up a few packaged prequel figures early-- nice! Two of them no longer appear on the site, but R4-G9 and Tion Medon are still online. Previously offered (but now gone) are new versions of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu which showed numerous other new figures. Interestingly enough, no images of Vader have appeared on cardbacks or carded yet.


New TransFormers Robot Masters at Takara Site

Takara added some pages for its new releases, including Star Saber, Victory Leo, and the Victory Saber set! There's a new comic up too if you can read Japanese.

For those who don't know what this means, that means these two new toys are going to hit Japanese stores any minute now! If you haven't yet seen the greatness that is Robot Masters, please visit our in-progress Robot Masters Guide!

Also, Hasbro held a conference call with fans asking where they'd like to see the line go-- The Allspark has the skinny.


Mr. Show and Spongebob's Tom Kenny on NPR

Click here and you can listen to Terry Gross interview Tom Kenny on NPR's Fresh Air program. Kenny is best known for his roles on HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David and the voice of Spongebob Squarepants as well as the Mayor of Townsville. And many others. His interview talks up his days as a stand-up comic, where some of his voices come from, and how he got in the business. Fans of standup comic Kedzie Matthews will love it.


Seinfeld Bonus DVD at Best Buy

Best Buy has a freebie bonus disc coming out next week for Seinfeld, and you can buy it online for $4 if you just gotta have it. Which isn't too bad a deal, really. has the full scoop of what you get on it and all that jazz.


How Did Thy Become They?
November 18 2004
Found: Kay-Bee Exclusive G.I. Joe Operation Crimson Sabotage

It's been billed as both a Kay-Bee and a Kmart exclusive with it not being exactly clear what it is. Well, today at the Paradise Valley Mall Kay-Bee Toys, we spotted Operation Crimson Sabotage for $19.99, a pretty OK price considering what you get.

Neat, eh? It's similar to a set offered at Sears thousands of years ago. The sides of the box were cut-out to look like a Cobra logo.

Neato! You may have also noted that the figures have removable helmets. So just what awaits you under those helmets?

One mold, three ethnic variants. Cobra: a multi-cultural terrorist organization since 1982. One has dark skin and dark hair, one has light skin and red hair, and another has lighter skin and black hair. Possibly meant to be Asian. Either way, they're different enough for me, and seeing the old H.I.S.S. mold on the shelves again is always a good thing.


New Playmobil Pals hit Target

A second batch of Playmobil Pals have hit Target stores. We picked up one, and here it is.

Here's a list of the other items currently available:
4625 Castle Guard
4621 Firefighter
4632 Roman Warrior
4930 Farmboy
4626 Sinister Pirate

All of these are the same as previously released items but in new boxes. So if you missed them, or want them for $1.99, you can't do much better than this. This brings the tally to 11 Pals thus far.


N64 Adapter for GameCube & Street Fighter Action Figures at Kay-Bee

We spotted Ryu and Ken from Jazwares' Street Fighter line at Kay-Bee yesterday, and they were pretty big and $5.99 a pop. While not a bad deal, they didn't look as good as other characters we've seen based on the now-classic fighting characters, and as such they remain at the store.

Also, The Magic Box is reporting that Nintendo is posting a poll on their site asking fans how much they would pay for an adapter to play Nintendo64 games on their GameCubes. We find this nutty. The Nintendo64, used, sells for $15 or less with a controller. Producing an adapter at this stage in the game is lunacy unless it also can be used with NES and Super NES games. (Then we'd understand. An old NES is worth something and fragile.)


And in other news...

Suncoast and Sam Goody stores also got in some new stock-- McFarlane's Movie Maniacs 7. They're $11.99 a pop and just hitting, so go out and hunt your Cpl. Hicks from ALIENS or whatever it is you want, as it's there now.


Wiggle Your Antennae In Salute
November 19 2004
Found: Kmart Exclusive Autobots SWAT Team

Today in Phoenix' Kmart at Northern and the I-17, we spotted a small gaggle of the TransFormers Energon Autobots SWAT Brigade set, otherwise known as Checkpoint and Prowl.

HobbyLink Japan posted some new items for your amusement, including some two-packs of retooled Armada repaints and the first ever in-person shot of the Robot Masters Burning Convoy. You know, the beast one. It's pretty sweet.

Finally, it looks like Hasbro decided to rename a character from Energon. It appears the upcoming Sixshot toy has been rechristened Scattorshot for reasons currently unknown.


Masters of the Universe Status Report

The cats at added a status report on the current non-happenings of the line. Apparently some stuff will be happening soon. Maybe. I guess. Go read it. There's some stuff on the statues and the big door too. You know of what I speak, comrades.


Playset for ALIENS Now Available

The new toy soldier style ALIENS playset with figures has hit Suncoast stores for $29.99. The set has numerous unpainted figures and a nifty two-story playset.


And in other news...

We're busy doing stuff. And we'll be busy doing stuff tomorrow, although we have one more update to post before we go on hiatus. For those of you paying attention, we've updated every day since September 2003. Each and every single day. We'd like to thank our six readers for their support, and we'll update tomorrow and then be back in a little over a week.


The Only Thing That Seems To Come Cheaply is Comedians
November 20 2004
Found: Playmobil Pals #6 (of the second wave)

Earlier this week, we reported on spotting five new Playmobil Pals at Target. Usually new Pals and Specials ship in lots of six, so we were wondering what the mystery figure was. Well, we found it last night at yet another Phoenix area Target. Set 4623, the Pediatrician, is now in Target for $1.99. It's a nice set but nothing new (or for that matter, old.) Thumbs-up, kids!


G.I. Joe Mechs Return

They're on sale, and they're back. What are they? The Pulverizer with Ghost Bear and the Defense Mech with Leatherneck, they're back at Target stores (some, so far) and just under $9 through Saturday at closing. Happy hunting!


And in other news...

We'll be adding a preview link to Monday's Q&A later today as the "final update" which is technically a very early update for Sunday. Which, well, that's how we do things here.

The Spongebob Squarepants Movie was a good time-- if you have friends with a good sense of subversive humor, go see this in a group. It was genuinely enjoyable, had few musical sequences, and surprisingly little dead time. And a super-creepy appearance by David Hasslehoff which I will leave you to discover further on your own. So, yes, go see it.

It's 2:50 AM, we've been up since about 6:00 AM, and we've got more to do before bed. So, that's all for tonight, kids! We'll be back with one last update.


Mail will be forwarded to the following individual only
November 21 2004
Star Wars Q&A Updated at Galactic Hunter

Galactic Hunter has posted their weekly Q&A column by yours truly early as a sneak preview for you since I'm taking a hiatus from the web for a few days. More below.


Final Fantasy XII Delayed

Despite rumors to the contrary, The Magic Box reports that Square Enix is now telling people the sequel won't hit Japanese stores until after March 31, 2004-- meaning you United Statesians have even longer to wait.

Also, like I needed to tell you, the Nintendo DS launches today with a modest (meager?) library in the USA. Please send us one.


And in other news...

OK, break time. I'll be back with on in a week, I'll be back with Q&A next year, and I'm planning to be back to do reviews at Galactic Hunter in a little over a week.

If all goes well I'll have a toy report on some fun theme parks for ya.


What bucket?
November 29 2004
TransFormers News, Sightings, Sales, Etc.

Back in 1998, it was easy to complain about all the stuff going on for Star Wars while TransFormers had no real news, news sites, news leaks, or really all that much in the way of new product. Well, looks like things continue to pile up for the Robots in Disguise, as it was a big big week for news.

For starters, more toys hit-- in addition to Grimlock & Swoop, Wing Saber, and several other new releases propogating across the retail side, we also spotted Omega Sentinel. The repaint of Omega Supreme hit Target here in Phoenix, and we fully expect others to find it like we did-- on sale for under $40. Also, the recently released Kmart-exclusive Autobots SWAT Team has shown up at more stores and as an added bonus, Kmart has all TransFormers for 10% off this week-- except their Crystal Widow vs. Oil Slick set, which is on sale for $14.99 (or 25% off).

Omega Sentinel is a much more coherent recolor of Omega Supreme but so far seems to have no other changes made to the toy-- new colors, that's it. Even the box boasts its Optimus Prime connectivity gimmick, so if you're into more of the same, this is for you. Prowl & Checkpoint are awesome because the new colors look great, bringing out some previously unseen detail on an already excellent pair of molds. While the weapons weren't recolored, and Prowl's robot mode isn't significantly changed, the vehicles are quite striking and well, for $20, you could do worse.

Speaking of Wing Saber and Grimlock & Swoop, some interesting information has come to light by the way of comments from Takara employee Hirofumi Ichikawa! Namely, how these were designed, and how little input Takara had in the "Mega-Dinobot" concept, which is to say none. You can read the whole deal here at Google Groups. For those of you who have yet to see the Dinobots twin-pack, it has a design aesthetic very different than that you'll see elsewhere in Energon.

Also, a bundle of new Alternators news has popped up-- apparently the next two remolds are Wheeljack (revised Ford Mustang [Grimlock]) and Shockwave (retooled Mazda RX-8 [Meister]). Not bad choices, we must say. Packaged images of Battle Ravage popped up as well, meaning that he, Grimlock, and Swindle should be showing up in stores soon.

Takara released three new items in Robot Masters, and we updated the checklist accordingly. We're working on getting these items and will show them to you as soon as possible. They are: RM-15 Star Saber, RM-16 Victory Leo, and RM-17 Victory Saber Gift Set.

Finally, Hasbro made some updates to their web site correcting names and adding release dates. Some good news: the Energon range is wrapping up and apparently will be completely finished around February with the release of Energon Starscream and Roadblock, a repaint and a remold respectively. We updated our checklist with all the newest release information and release dates and at this point, believe this to be a complete list of all product that Hasbro will produce for Energon. As of yet, Overcast (Jetfire repaint) and Energon Insecticon (Insecticon repaint), both of which have been displayed by Hasbro in official capacities, have not been announced by the company formally on their web site nor have packaged samples appeared.


Nintendo DS = Awesome

While it's selling out all over the country, we stumbled on a Nintendo DS unit at a Best Buy in Orlando and snagged it. The long and short of it: it's fun and different. The games we snagged were Feel the Magic: XY/XX, and the Metroid demo bundled with the system. The long and short of it: the hardware's great and it seems they already figured out what they can do with the control stylus. Metroid's aiming and control is so above excellent that we feel inclined to buy the full game despite having hated the first-person GameCube adventure, Metroid Prime. Sega's Feel the Magic is WarioWare meets Tech Demo. You get a good idea what the system can do-- which is surprisingly more than I would have guessed-- as far as single-player antics go. The game incorporates the microphone and even demands you blow on the console, probably for no reason other to infuriate emulation fans.


Masters of the Universe Not Quite Dead

Behold, the future of He-Man! has the news on the future of the brand, and there's some neat stuff that is both good and bad.

The big thing: NECA and the Four Horsemen are going to make mini cold-cast statues of characters in scale with the action figure line. It's a way to make a high-value and somewhat compatible line of figures that appeal only to collectors, and the first wave of two unknown (and unreleased in modern times) characters will be roughly $20 a whack, which really isn't all that bad. Although I'd have just as soon (and rather) paid $20 a whack for action figures, well, you can take what you can get... or not. We're undecided.

Also, MVCreations, the company responsible for the MOTU comics,, and the wonderful He-Store, seems to be in some pretty bad shape financially-- and by saying "pretty bad," that's putting a nice spin on it. Read the full story at --AP

Exclusive Final Invader ZIM DVD Box & GIR Figure Revealed

The pictures in question are over at and there's good news and bad news. The good news is GIR is unique, the bad news is that it's yet another "Duty Mode" GIR figure. There's also word of a poll from Media Blasters on releasing the Christmas Episode in an unedited form on a 3" DVD. Is this catering to the fans, or a shameless grab for your $7? You decide!


And in other news...

We're back! We have good news and bad news, most of which will take the form of articles on this site over the coming weeks-- so stay tuned! We got a look at the closest thing we ever expect to see as far as a Hasbro Store goes... and that'll be up soon.


Click Here For News From October!

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