The Toy Fair’s Not Back In Town

Action figures are good, but they can be better! All you have to do is become a customizer! Toys are like drugs except you need to find a place to keep them after the high wears off.

NY Toy Fair has been cancelled for 2021. In lieu of the big press show, many companies are doing smaller virtual conventions through the year. The most hyped was last week’s Hasbro Pulse Fest Fan Fest. Rather than spacing things out, Mattel, Diamond Select, & NECA decided to post similar events around the same time with less fanfare. They were all underwhelming to various degrees. I would’ve made more impulse pre-orders had Hasbro not suddenly jacked up the price of all their 6″ lines by $3. It doesn’t sound that steep on an individual basis, but it adds up when they encourage you to buy entire series of Marvel Legends to complete BAFs. With customers’ budgets already stretched thin by the terrible 2020, this feels like a precarious time to raise prices on non-essentials.

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“Ach, I’m not some nouveau riche piker! I employ people to burn my money for me!”

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Is Gotham Influenced By Ensnugglement?

Scroll past the Gotham & Agents of SHIELD spoiler reviews to get to what you really came to this blog for: cat anecdotes!

It’s only episode two of Gotham’s third season, so nobody important died. The Court of Owls didn’t kill Bruce because he needs to grow to be Batman & made him promise to quit hassling them until then. Well that plot thread sure wrapped itself up in a timely & economical manner! Penguin doesn’t kill Fish Mooney because she remembers she can make people do idiotic things even without superpowers. She doesn’t kill him because she’s proud she turned him into viewers’ favorite character. Hugo Strange survives because he’s awesome. Harvey Bullock is spared because he’s the least terrible of the GCPD. Sadly this also means Gordon survives to incite poor impulse control in Vicky Vale’s aunt.

Apparently the mysterious Monster (Wo)Man dressed like a gas mask dominatrix is named Nancy & is played by Bianca Rutigliano. Nobody cared who Nancy was until she put on the mask! (The tie is classy too.) Surely she had to be important since they went to the trouble of not dressing her like a hobo? I don’t know what her superpowers were aside from fashion, because she & speedster Sid (DO YOU GET IT?) get killed pretty effortlessly by Penguin’s unruly xenophobic mob (not to be confused with Penguin’s organized crime mob) & then immolated. So much for developing intriguing new side characters! That’ll teach them to be cannon fodder instead of canon characters! Er, canon characters that aren’t Sal Maroni or Sarah Essen.

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Nancy didn’t receive any superpowers. She just wanted to return Hugo Strange’s Hannibal Lecter muzzle before late fees accrued.

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Amazon’s The Tick, Where Is Thy “SPOON?”

This installment is a tad late because I spent the week writing two brand new chapters of my difficult second novel. That brings the tally all the way up to a whopping four! Let me know if you’re interested in learning more about my process in future entries. Now let’s proceed to my SPOILER review of Amazon’s The Tick pilot & updates on the best kitty this side of Behemoth!

The first attempt at a live action The Tick was underwhelming because it skewed more towards sitcom for lack of  a budget for superhero hijinks.  Amazon’s The Tick is disappointing in the opposite direction. This show takes itself way too seriously. It feels like yet another standard superhero show (Can you believe we’re now at a point where we’ve got so many to choose from?) that just happens to have the Tick in it. So far this show is just playing superhero tropes straight rather than comically sending them up. (The Ninja Hedge would be topical again thanks to Netflix’s Daredevil.) Where has its absurdist satire gone?

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Suicide Squad Goals

The difference between Suicide Squad & the Rio Olympics is that the athletes volunteered.

Just as it broke the August box office record set by the superior Guardians of the Galaxy, my really wordy review of Suicide Squad helped me break some of my own records. August 7, 2016 had my highest number of views so far! I’ve also finally exceeded the amount of visitors I had last year. Thank you, highly polarizing movie! (I guess you helped too, Preacher season one review that I posted the same week.) Why must I always get the best exposure when my book isn’t in print?

With the brutal war raging between movie critics & movie makers,WB might as well quote me on the the DVD. “Suicide Squad is perfectly adequate!”

The other news to pop up over the weekend is the apparently terrible music video for Skrillex’s & Rick Ross’s  “Pink Cadillac Purple Lamborghini” starring Jared Leto’s Joker. Leto was cast specifically so his anti-charm would make the protagonists of BVS:DOJ retroactively endearing, so I’m confident in agreeing that it’s a lousy music video without having seen it. I’m not even going to link it because friends don’t let friends witness bad music videos. People who were paid to endure it tell me it’s like “I’m On A Boat” with all the mirth excised. This song is also about the wrong car. He drove a purple Infiniti G35 Vaydor in the movie.

Did you know there’s already plans for a Harley Quinn movie?  On one paw this could be good since it seemed like Harley’s character development wound up mostly on the cutting room floor. On the other paw, I really don’t want more of the Harley & Joker power couple that David Ayer foisted upon us. He completely missed the point of Harley being a fun yet sympathetic villainess in a dysfunctional relationship. Movie Harley was as much of an unrepentant garbage person as the Joker. It’s only when she was separated from him that she displayed any comedic charm. I’d be all aboard this spinoff if they ditched Suicide Squad’s continuity in favor of what Paul Dini intended.

I wish Mattel released all the figures needed to build Killer Croc at the same time. I wish more that he was a figure I could just buy instead of being a BAF. (Well there is a better looking DC Collectibles edition on the way but it sadly lacks the option to go shirtless.) But what I wish most is that the main antagonist had an action figure. Where’s Enchantress?

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Prioritize her fancy costume over the grimy one, Mattel & DC Collectibles!

The Joker’s panda henchman got one, & he’s even less of a character than Slipknot! And if Mattel can make not one but but two incredibly banal versions of Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, surely it can make one Amanda Waller.

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Need Something To Read At SDCC?

By the time you read this, 2016 SDCC will be happening. (It might even be over, if you choose not to read it while on queue for Hall H as the headline suggests.) Thank you for accidentally clicking on a link to my blog while you’re at the con! I’m not there myself, so this will mostly be reacting to preview night stuff & furiously updating as news is released on publication day. The more thorough armchair coverage will be up next week (will Marvel continue to troll X-Men fans?), but do stick around for exclusive photos of my cat tormenting a mouse.

It’s that time of year again to vote for the next Star Wars Black fan choice figure! How is Mara Jade the lowest polling of the lot? She’s even doing worse than Dengar, & he’s legitimutantly terrible! You have until this Friday at noon Pacific to make this right.

There’s going to be a King Shark BAF! It even has alternate heads so you can make it from The F-Lash TV show or New 52’s Suicide Squad comic.  Jawsome! Too bad the Mattel figures it comes packed with still aren’t up to DC Collectibles’ snuff. The amount of Frank Miller toys is disturbing, but The Reaper looks tempting with its Eiko Ishioka vibe. (How does proto-Phantasm take his mitts off?) Good on them for finally giving Wonder Woman some attention to tie into her movie, even if it means they’re wasting plastic on her mercifully short-lived costume with Azrael vambraces & a suggestively-framing V-loincloth.

Speaking of DCC, its pinup-inspired Bombshells are expanding into the world of toys. I love the deranged look on Bombshells Wonder Woman’s face! Its manic joy is the anti-grimdark. Now this is a Wonder Woman that should be played by Abbi Jacobson!

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