Funko Announces First Star Wars Celebration Exclusives

Funko has announced that they will be at Star Wars Celebration in just a few weeks, and if you are going, you can find them in booth 1410.  And, of course, it would be a Funko convention showing without some cool exclusives! Here are the first five exclusives, and two more announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

E-3P0

Unmaksed Vader

R2-Q5

Shock Trooper

R2-R9

Comic Review: “Jem and the Holograms” #1

[AHEAD BE SPOILERS!]

Jem and the Holograms #1 is a modern take on the classic 1980′s cartoon.  The inherent problem to solve, though, is that Jem pretty much is the 80′s personified.  Can you take the basic concept of a female band with the glitz and glam, the flash, the keytars, the hologram and translate into something viable for readers three decades later?  That is what Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell try to do in this debut issue.  Do they succeed?

Well, at the end of the issue I found myself wishing it was double-sized because I didn’t want the story to end.  I’d say that qualifies as a victory.

SPOILERS AHOY! Read more

Hasbro Bringing G1 Combiner Members Back — In Spirit If Not In Name

When Hasbro first showed the Combiner Wars Superion and Menasor, many fans lamented the loss of Slingshot and Wildrider. However, Hasbro is bringing these characters to our shores (much like Takara Tomy will do for Japan)… although trademark loss means each has a new name.

So meet Brake-Neck and Gunslinger! In the upcoming weeks, we will learn which online stores will stock them in May.

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“Transformers: Robots in Disguise” Premiere – More and Less Than Meets The Eye

“Transformers: Robots in Disguise” premiered this past weekend on Cartoon Network.  The pilot episode, split into two parts, sets up the general theme for this new cartoon, and in so doing, it proves that RID is both more and less than meets the eye.

That may seem contradictory, but it’s true.  On its surface, what does “Robots in Disguise” seem to hold in store?  Robots.  Check.  In disguise.  Check.  Heck, Bumblebee even says it when they scan Earth modes.  So,in so naming the show, RID is less than meets the eye — it wears its oil pump on its sleeve, to use a horrible metaphor.

Ah, but that’s not all the show is about.  To be a bit spoiler-ish without getting into minute detail of the pilot, the general gist is that the Mini-Con Fixit’s ship of Decepticon prisoners crash landed on Earth, letting loose all the cons on board.  It’s up to Bumbmlebee, Strongarm, Sideswipe, Grimlock and Fix-It to find and capture the escapees.  And it’s here where things are more than they seem.  This is a rather unique premise for a Transformers show.  Yes, we’ve had variations of the “Find the X of the week!” format — the O-Parts in the original “Robots in Disguise” show, the Cyber Planet Keys in “Transformers: Cybertron”.  Even the original appearance of the Mini-Cons in “Transformers: Armada” fell into that trap at times.

This feels different, though.  Each episode looks like it will be a find-and-capture a new Decepticon theme, but it doesn’t feel derivitive in some way.  Perhaps it’s because the first escapee, Underbite, is such an awesome character that you forget the conceit.  He’s loud, he’s big, he’s destructive — and you love him for it.

Grimlock, too, seems to take cues from other Transformers dinosaurs, and not just in name.  Dinobot, from “Beast Wars”, was a Predacon turned Maximal.  While we don’t see Grimlock take on the Autobot symbol this episode, he does help Bumblebee and crew find Underbite.  And even then, Bumblebee puts him on probation, rather than giving him his freedom outright.

Plus, it’s Bumlbebee in charge!  We haven’t had a Transformers series without an Optimus or Megatron as leader since…. since… well, since never.  ”Beast Wars” may not have been about Truck Optimus vs. Vehicle/Tank/Gun Megatron, but it was still Optimus and Megatron.  Hasbro feels secure enough to let Bumblebee take point after the events of “Transformers Prime”, and that is fantastic.  It allows new life to be present in the Transformers mythos, and it’s a welcome change of pace.

The animation style is different than what we’ve had in the most recent shows.  It’s computerized but not 3D modeled like “Transformers Prime.”  It looks hand-animated, but it’s not, and it doesn’t have a cartoony look like “Transformers: Animated”.  It’s stylized, it’s colorful, and it sets itself apart from “Prime” and pretty much most of the past 20 years of cartoons.

I wholeheartedly welcome “Transformers: Robots in Disguise”.  If only it weren’t going to be shown at an ungodly early Saturday morning timeslot.  Oh, well.  That’s why we have DVRs.

Four With Phil – Episode 10: Monster Motors Mash

In this episode, Phil reviews MONSTER MOTORS and MONSTER MOTORS: THE CURSE OF MINI-VAN HELSING #1 by Bryan Lynch and Nick Roche. In short: Buy Them. Now.

Don’t forget — you have less than a day to contribute to Hasbro’ss Children Fund and get a ton of TRANSFORMERS comics with the Humble Bundle! Go to http://www.humblebundle.com/books


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHipFpZQ6tk
Download the MP3 (4.2 MB)

Four with Phil – Episode 9: The Man Who Tolerated Powerglide

In this episode, Phil talks about the new Humble Bundle with up to 86 Transformers comics (updated total as of press time: about $16 to unlock them all). And he rants about Combiner Wars Powerglide.

http://www.humblebundle.com/books


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S5kGR9dlSs
Download the MP3 (5 MB)

Four with Phil – Episode 8: A Life is Like a Garden

In this episode, Phil briefly eulogizes Leonard Nimoy. Rest in peace, good sir.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdJ4ECURNuQ
Download the MP3 (5 MB)
pdJ4ECURNuQ

Four With Phil – Episode 7: Clone Club Comics

In this episode, Phil reviews the premiere issue of IDW Publishing’s new comic – Orphan Black


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT1B_UNkzRk
Download the MP3 (5 MB)

Four With Phil – Episode 6: It’s Frickin’ Freezing, Mr. Bigglesworth

In this episode, it’s a hodgepodge of topics. The Oscare, Transformers, comics – all while Phil shivers for your amusement.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_mORmSCNfU
Download the MP3 (5 MB)

Four With Phil – Episode 5: Exclusivity Negativity

In this episode, Phil rambles on about the annoying practice of store exclusive versions of Blu-Ray sets. And we do mean ramble.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDpWpV4_afs
Download the MP3 (5 MB)