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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Toys, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 343
1. BusyBody: Customizable Animation Toy

Create all kinds of animation with these 10 bendy rubber figures.

0 Comments on BusyBody: Customizable Animation Toy as of 4/19/2015 12:53:00 AM
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2. WonderCon 15’: Toy Collecting for the Modern Age

Daniel Pickett and Scott Neitlich

Daniel Pickett and Scott Neitlich

By Nick Eskey

When toy collecting started to become popular, prices were relatively cheap. Now with increased gas prices, higher standards of living, rise of product control, and other associated costs, prices have been steadily on the rise.

As a whole, Americans purchase toys for a number of reasons: For their kids, for their collection, or for profit. If you fall in the collecting bracket, then you know how taxing of a hobby it can be.

Discussing the current environment for collectors at the “Toy Collecting for the Modern Age” panel were a number of people involved in the toy industry. Present at the panel were Daniel Pickett, of “Action Figure Insider”; Scott Neitlich, a “Toy Guru” and also of Action Figure Insider; Jason Lenz, of “Bif Bang Pow”; Jeff Trojan, of “Playmates Toys”; Jim Fletcher, DC Collectibles; Kevin Kiniry, DC Collectibles; and Justin Donaldson, writer for “Funny or Die” and “Keen and Peel.” David Vonner, who works in designing toys, could not make it due to traffic unfortunately.

The men first discussed how they became attracted to, and involved in the game industry. Scott shared that he always wanted to work with toys, but thought he’d have to first get involved with television and movies first before he could have that option. He “skipped a step” as he put it by getting hired by Mattel after applying for 4 years. Kevin Kiniry claims it was an early experience of his mother taking away all of his toys and donating them to teach him a lesson that convinced him to work with toys for a living.

After sharing about themselves, Scott spoke of the state of the toy industry. Toy collecting is getting bigger, especially because we are finding more ways to display our collections, as well as the internet helping to create more interest. With things like videoed “unboxings,” more people are become involved in the fandom.

But prices are getting tougher to swallow. Many factors these days are contributing to this, like dock strikes, labor prices in China, cost of oil, politics, and others.TCITMA

“These things are forcing [us] to make the toy smarter,” said Kevin. “How me make toys and the packaging mainly.”

Economically, many toy manufacturers are packaging toys in simpler boxes to keep costs low. Environmentally, this is also good, because it creates less waste.

These cost-cutting practices are especially good for smaller companies, as Jeff Trojan points out. “It’s a Big Fish versus Grass Roots. The big companies have more ability to absorb and to source cheaper labor. Small ones that haven’t made connections have to be really smart about their product.”

Scott Neitlich discussed that there are also the politics that go behind the toy veil. “Sometimes it’s an everyday struggle. The I.P. holder can decide to delay the product… Do you know how hard it is sometimes to get a toy to market?”

And though the toy might be out in stores, doesn’t mean it’s readily available. Resellers can be vicious in their hitting up stores, buying up as much product as possible, creating a scarcity for the consumer and collector alike. “This makes the price of the item even higher, sometimes making it near impossible financially to collect whole sets,” said Jason. “It’s not going to get any better unless both consumers and retailers works against their practices… [Even] in the digital age, toys are still going to be still going to be sought after… Toys are unique. They are physical. There’s no way you can touch a digital toy.”

“Book and DVD collections are disappearing because of digital,” said Kevin Kiniry. “And toy collections are getting bigger.”

So what are we to do about this ballooning toy situation? “We have to become smarter with what we buy,” said Scott Neitlich. “We’ll have to decide more selectively what we will collect.”

With toys becoming more geared towards adults as well as kids, creating a collectible toy market, they are being plagued with the same issues as any other commodity. But the excitement and joy a collection can bring definitely won’t sway fans away. If I’m to take one thing away from this panel, it’s that we all need to become responsible and smart in what we choose to buy.

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3. Toy Fair: Bandai brings One Piece, Dragonball Z and many more figures to the US

Toy Fair 2015 has long come and gone, and I was there and took 700 pictures. But it took me so long to sort thrugh them that now no one cares. However, I didn’t see many people covering these awesome new Bandai toys based on Sailor Moon, One Piece, DBZ and other familiar anime and manga figures,. They’re part of the BanPresto line from Japan and they are all limited edition — in other words, once these are gone, they’re gone. Because they look so awesome, you’ll probably want to stock up on all of them. The smaller figures are the Gashapon vending machine capsule figures

I didn’t even recognize half of these characters, but I still want them all.

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1 Comments on Toy Fair: Bandai brings One Piece, Dragonball Z and many more figures to the US, last added: 2/21/2015
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4. Playmobil fans create bleakly smiling recreations of Oscar nominated films

Playmobil is sort of like Lego —it comes in playsets with figures— but while Legos can be used to create disturbing dioramas or even the Bible, there’s something even bleaker and darker about Playmobil. Maybe it’s the plastic faces, or the smooth landscapes. And to prove it, here are some fan made recreations of this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Film. Playmobil Whiplash…you can feel the blood seeping from the hands.
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Selma
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Boyhood
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The Imitation Game
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Into the Woods
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Whiplash
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American Sniper. Okay, this one isn’t quite bleak enough.











1 Comments on Playmobil fans create bleakly smiling recreations of Oscar nominated films, last added: 2/20/2015
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5. A ton o’ Dynamite news: The Spirit, All-Woman crossover event, Waid on The Avenger and New Figures

Dynamite has had a lot of news this week in the busy Toy Fair/ComicsPRo period, including an exciting crossover event the return of two iconic heroes, and a new merchandise line. Here’s a digest version:

JusticeAvenger01-Covers-Ross

Mark Waid is writing Justice, Inc.: The Avenger with artist Ronilson Freire. The series debuts in June and expands on the Justice, Inc., universe and vigilante industrialist Richard Henry Benson. variant covers include Alex Ross (Kingdom Come), Walter Simonson (The Mighty Thor), Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife with Archie), Marc Laming (All-New Invaders), and Barry Kitson (The Amazing Spider-Man).

In Justice, Inc.: The Avenger #1, Waid and Freire continue the adventures of Richard Henry Benson, a victim of a criminal attack that left his facial features forever deadened, gray in color and incapable of showing genuine emotion. And yet, the harsh stroke of fate gave him the ability to mold his face to match the appearance of anyone… a skill he could employ as the ultimate master of disguise. Driven to mete out retribution against those who would prey on the innocent, The Avenger finds himself on a collision course with a villain even more secretive, brutal, and unrelenting than himself: an Invisible Man.

Mark Waid’s participation in the Avenger launch fulfills a longtime writing goal; he says, “Moreso than The Shadow, moreso than Doc Savage, the Avenger has always, always been my favorite pulp hero, and I’ve been aching to write this story since I was eleven years old. What a blast! Having the opportunity to dive into the psyche of a crimefighter as unique as Benson has been a lifelong dream — I’ve been thinking about what his life and mind would be like ever since I read my first Avenger paperback back in the day. How does a man live his life when he has nothing to live for but justice? How does he navigate in a world of life and love and joy when his own features are frozen and stiff like putty, mirroring his cold, dead insides? There’s so much here to unpack.”

 

JusticeAvenger01-Covers-SimonsonBW JusticeAvenger01-Covers-KitsonBW JusticeAvenger01-Covers-Laming Avenger01-01 Avenger01-08 Avenger01-09 Avenger01-14

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• Will Eisner’s The Spirit is coming back in a series written by Matt Wagner and covers by Alex Ross, Eric Powell, and Wagner. DEny Colt, a masked everyman crimefighter, was the center of an iconic series by Eisner and has been brought back most recently at DC.

“I discovered The Spirit via the black-and-white, magazine-sized reprints of the mid-70s. It was the first time that I truly perceived sequential narrative as a legitimate art form, of the immense creative power of a comic-artist in his prime,” says Wagner. “I can honestly say that seeing and experiencing The Spirit in my formative years ultimately led to my career as a comics author. It’s such an immense thrill and a professional honor to have the chance to contribute to Will Eisner’s legacy on the milestone 75th anniversary of his most influential and iconic character.”

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• Joining the wave of female led titles that is changing the ace of the industry, in May Swords of Sorrow is a giant crossover event featuring Red Sonja, Vampirella, Dejah Thoris with an all-female writing team led by Gail Simone. The event kicks off with a Swords of Sorrow series by Simone, Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella / Jennifer Blood miniseries written by Nancy A. Collins (Vampirella, Swamp Thing); Swords of Sorrow: Chaos special by Mairghread Scott (Transformers: Windblade); and the Swords of Sorrow: Masquerade / Katospecial by G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel) and Erica Schultz (M3). In later months, more projects by Leah Moore, Marguerite Bennett, Emma Beeby, and Mikki Kendal will debut. That’s a lot of female writers!

In keeping with the theme, variant cover artists include a main cover byJ. Scott Campbell (Danger Girl); variants by Jenny Frison, Emanuela Lupacchino; a subscription edition by Robert Hack available to fans placing preorders with their local retailers; and incentive editions by Joyce Chin, Tula Lotay, Nei Ruffino, Cedric Poulat.  Swords of Sorrow: Vampirella / Jennifer Blood #1 and the Swords of Sorrow: Masquerade / Kato special both feature covers by Billy Tan, while the Swords of Sorrow: Chaos special spotlights Joyce Chin.

Gail Simone, who has been planning the project since her involvement was announced in July, says, “Here’s the thing: I love pulp adventure, always have. But as male-dominated as comics have often been, the pulp adventure world seems to be even more so.  Most of the big name stars and creators are dudes, and that’s fine, it’s great. But it hit me… what if that wasn’t the case? What if adventure pulps had also been written with female readers in mind, and awesome female characters in the spotlight? That’s the scenario we are imagining, and it’s just been a blast. The key players are Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Dejah Thoris, but it’s such an epic-spanning, world-hopping event that we also have Kato, Jungle Girl, Lady Rawhide, Jennifer Blood, and so many more. It’s the crossover I dreamed of when I was a kid, and now we get to make it happen.”

Simone’s core Swords of Sorrow story serves as the starting point for a new universe of pulp adventure. Illustrated by Sergio Davila (Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure), the series features the supernatural heroine Vampirella, Martian princess Dejah Thoris, crimson-tressed swordswoman Red Sonja, martial artist Kato (from filmmaker Kevin Smith’s reboot of The Green Hornet), primal warrior Jungle Girl, and many more. Drawn from a dozen worlds and eras to face off against a legendary evil that threatens their homelands, Dynamite’s fiercest females must overcome their differences to harness the power of mystical blades — the eponymous Swords of Sorrow — in final conflict.

Gail Simone also serves as the architect for all storylines tied into the event, providing direction to her personally selected team of writers. “We got the best writers around, gave them a fun combination of characters and just let them go wild,” says Simone. “It’s creators like G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, Nancy A. Collins and more, with book titles like Vampirella vs. Jennifer Blood, Kato vs. Masquerade, and Red Sonja vs. Jungle Girl. More about these tag teams will be coming soon, but it’s just a ridiculous amount of fun to set these characters against each other, and I’m very proud of the astounding team of writers, who I hand-picked from among the very best of new female adventure writers. There’s never been a crossover event in comics like this, ever.”

 

Gail Simone Jenny Frison Emanuela Luppacchino Robert Hack Joyce Chin Tula Lotay Nei Ruffino Cedric Poulat Joyce Chin Joyce Chin Billy Tan

Dynamite_Vampirella.stt_promo1D

• Finally, Dynamite has entered into a partnership with The Brewing Factory, the merchandise development company founded by former DC vp Georg Brewer. The line debuts with Women of Dynamite, a line of female figures including Vampirella designed by Jason Smith and based on the artwork of J. Scott Campbell), set for June release.

“I’ve been really fortunate to work on some great projects these last few years, but my first love will always be comics,” says Georg Brewer. “Working with Nick and Joe at Dynamite, and their talented comics creators, has been a blast! It’s certainly been a fantastic way for me to get back to where it all started, and along with sculptor Jason Smith, we are creating an amazing line of statues.”

”We are extremely fortunate to work with someone of Georg’s knowledge, skill, experience, and sterling reputation,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher ofDynamite Entertainment. “His passion and expertise in the development and manufacturing of cool fan collectibles is second to none, and our being able to work with Georg is going to help bring fans additional great product lines featuring Dynamite’s extensive library of characters. The debut product line resulting from our creative partnership will be Women of Dynamite statues inspired by J. Scott Campbell artwork, and from there, we will continue to delve into our expansive library of intellectual properties.”

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Whew!

6 Comments on A ton o’ Dynamite news: The Spirit, All-Woman crossover event, Waid on The Avenger and New Figures, last added: 2/22/2015
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6. First Look: Lego’s Super Jumper Iron Man IN ACTION

Super Jumper Iron Man. #lego #toyfair #marvel

A video posted by @comixace on

Lego now has superhero minifigs that leap into the air and fall apart, wiaiting for mom to step on and did to clean up. This spring-action play factor is only available with the suerhero line. There’s a also a super jumper Batman but we didn’t get that in action. . All of this and more was shown off at Toy Fair this morning, as bleary eyed toy reporters convened in the frigid cold. More pics in a bit!

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7. Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Back 01 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!
Lego has made a Helicarrier. Repeat, LEGO HAS MADE A HELICARRIER. OVER DO YOU COPY? And it comes with Black Widow AND Maria Hill! Oh and HAwkeye, Nick Fury and Captain America. And 3 Quinjets, and and and…It’s not the one from Avengers: Age of Ultron (if there is one) but who cares. It come with:

• Includes 5 minifigures: Nick Fury, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye and Maria Hill, plus an iconic SHIELD eagle stand to display them on
• Features 3 microscale Quinjets, 3 fighter jets, a gasoline truck, 2 forklift trucks, 2 runways, 4 road blockades, armored exterior with translucent elements, detailed interior, plus 12 microfigures (Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man and 8 SHIELD agents)
• Also includes a detailed runway
• Weapons include Hawkeye’s bow, Black Widow’s gun and Captain America’s shield
• SHIELD Agent Maria Hill minifigure is new for spring 2015!
• Includes a plaque with facts about The SHIELD Helicarrier
• Add lights and spinning rotors to the Helicarrier with the 88000, 8883 and 8870 LEGO® Power Functions sets (sold separately)
• Rotors can also be turned manually
• Includes a display stand
• Helicarrier measures over 11” (29cm) high, 31” (80cm) long and 17” (45cm) wide
• Each Quinjet measures over 1” (3cm) high, 2” (7cm) long and 2” (7cm) wide
• Minifigure stand measures over 4” (12cm) high, and 2” (6cm deep) and 6” (16cm wide)

 

With nearly 3000 pieces, this is not a cheap set. No It will set you back US $349.99 ($399.99 in Canada) but…it’s still pretty awesome.Here’s some pictures for you to dream over.

76042 SHIELD Helicarrier copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 MF Black Widow Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 MF Captian America Copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 MF Hawkeye Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 MF Maria Hill Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 MF Nick Fury Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 Minis Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 Plane Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Front 01 Copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Front 02 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Front 05 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Func 03 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Func 06 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Func 07 01 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

1 Comments on Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!, last added: 1/30/2015
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8. Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Back 01 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!
Lego has made a Helicarrier. Repeat, LEGO HAS MADE A HELICARRIER. OVER DO YOU COPY? And it comes with Black Widow AND Maria Hill! Oh and HAwkeye, Nick Fury and Captain America. And 3 Quinjets, and and and…It’s not the one from Avengers: Age of Ultron (if there is one) but who cares. It come with:

• Includes 5 minifigures: Nick Fury, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye and Maria Hill, plus an iconic SHIELD eagle stand to display them on
• Features 3 microscale Quinjets, 3 fighter jets, a gasoline truck, 2 forklift trucks, 2 runways, 4 road blockades, armored exterior with translucent elements, detailed interior, plus 12 microfigures (Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man and 8 SHIELD agents)
• Also includes a detailed runway
• Weapons include Hawkeye’s bow, Black Widow’s gun and Captain America’s shield
• SHIELD Agent Maria Hill minifigure is new for spring 2015!
• Includes a plaque with facts about The SHIELD Helicarrier
• Add lights and spinning rotors to the Helicarrier with the 88000, 8883 and 8870 LEGO® Power Functions sets (sold separately)
• Rotors can also be turned manually
• Includes a display stand
• Helicarrier measures over 11” (29cm) high, 31” (80cm) long and 17” (45cm) wide
• Each Quinjet measures over 1” (3cm) high, 2” (7cm) long and 2” (7cm) wide
• Minifigure stand measures over 4” (12cm) high, and 2” (6cm deep) and 6” (16cm wide)

 

With nearly 3000 pieces, this is not a cheap set. No It will set you back US $349.99 ($399.99 in Canada) but…it’s still pretty awesome.Here’s some pictures for you to dream over.

76042 SHIELD Helicarrier copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 MF Black Widow Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 MF Captian America Copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 MF Hawkeye Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 MF Maria Hill Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 MF Nick Fury Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 Minis Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 1to1 Plane Copy copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Front 01 Copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Front 02 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Front 05 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Func 03 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Func 06 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

76042 Func 07 01 copy Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!

1 Comments on Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier, Lego Helicarrier!, last added: 1/30/2015
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9. Animated Sand Toys and Music Boxes

Here's a short video that I made to spotlight the wonderful sand toys and music boxes created by Mel and Eunice Birnkrant. (Direct link to video)


These primitive automata are inspired by the artwork of Victorian toy theaters. The figures are cut out of paperboard sheets and arranged in a tiny stage, complete with curtain and audience. Mel took the idea to the next step and invented the mechanisms needed to make them come to life.
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More about Mel Birnkrant, toy inventor and collector

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10. Creepy Hyperreal Popeye Sculpture Can Be Yours For $300

If you've ever wanted a sculpture of Popeye as a real man, your wishes have been answered.

0 Comments on Creepy Hyperreal Popeye Sculpture Can Be Yours For $300 as of 1/6/2015 4:29:00 PM
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11. Play-Doh’s frosting shooting penis and other dubious toys

FD87C2D650569047F5D9BD11AC0A6FB3 Play Dohs frosting shooting penis and other dubious toys

So Play Doh made a thing called the Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Playset that allowed you to mold inedible Play-Doh into the shape of luscious cakes. It all seemed like innocent fun.

Once you’ve made your pretend cakes, it’s time to decorate. You can start by squeezing out some Play-Doh Plus frosting with the extruder. Try adding 2 colors for fun swirls! Add Play-Doh candies and other fun shapes with over 20 half-molds on the playset. You can even use them to decorate the playset itself. Top off your Play-Doh birthday cake extravaganza with the 6 included candles, then serve your pretend treats to your friends on the 2 plates!


But it turns out the “Plus” comes with extra lovin’. It is often best to “pretend” around this treat.
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Did no one notice that this looked like a penis? Especially as it extruded pale frosting all over your pretend cake? Our guess is that designing Play-Doh accessories is lonely work, the smell of the factory gets you high and people just get carried away.

Of course this is not the only dubious, genitally-questionable toy. There was the Dora The Explorer Aquarium that looked like a micro-penis with Dora the Explorer floating inside:
hqdefault Play Dohs frosting shooting penis and other dubious toys

We had a whole gallery of toys and comics with exploding junk here, but this Batman water pistol remains a favorite:
21898 Play Dohs frosting shooting penis and other dubious toys

And of course, toys that pee and poo have a long, honored tradition, like Barbie’s dog that pooped brown stuff and then ate it so it could poop again:
barbietanner5 Play Dohs frosting shooting penis and other dubious toys
And Barbie also had a kitten that wee’d. And our all time favorite, Potty Training Kelly.

But while researching this post, we found the motherlode, as it were, a whole site called that is just too good to be true:

Huge selection of pooping dog at great prices. Shop pooping dog now!


To which we can only add:
231435916686 1 Play Dohs frosting shooting penis and other dubious toys

5 Comments on Play-Doh’s frosting shooting penis and other dubious toys, last added: 1/4/2015
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12. Holiday Giveaway: Win McFarlane Toys Eli Manning and Joe Namath figures Signed by Todd McFarlane

Hey people, football playoff fever is well underway with so many unanswered questions keeping people up at night. Is the era of the scrambling quarterback over? Did it ever begin? Will Geno Smith ever start another game? Will the Giant or The Jets being more shame to the Meadowlands? And can Mark Sanchez redeem himself while still wolfing down Phillie cheese steaks all the time?

To celebrate this and more, we have a very special beat giveaway, in conjunction with our partner, Lockerdome. Just hit the links to register to win one of TWO special action figure packs to remind you of TWO of New York’s  Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, Eli Manning and Joe Namath. The figures are made by McFarlane Toys and are highly detailed in the style of the company figures. And both are SIGNED BY Todd McFarlane.

Void where prohibited. Contest is not open to Beat employees.

 

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13. People Can’t Stop Buying ‘Frozen’ Crap, As Long As It’s Not Anna

We often hold up box office numbers as proof of a movie's success or failure, but even for "Frozen," which is the highest-grossing animated movie of all time, its box office gross is a fraction of the merchandising revenue it has generated for the Walt Disney Company.

0 Comments on People Can’t Stop Buying ‘Frozen’ Crap, As Long As It’s Not Anna as of 1/1/1900
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14. Hasbro may be buying Dreamworks Animation—and you may have forgotten some of the properties involved

hasbro dwa logo Hasbro may be buying Dreamworks Animation—and you may have forgotten some of the properties involved

Insiders have been whispering that Hasbro the toy making giant, may buy Dreamworks Animation. The two companies would definitely find some of what they’re missing in one another.

A combination of the two companies could accelerate efforts at each to move beyond their core businesses. DreamWorks Animation has expanded into consumer products in recent years but lags behind Walt Disney Co. , and Hasbro had just changed tack on its entertainment business, selling off some of its stake in the Hub cable network withDiscovery Communications Inc. Hasbro, which has been contemplating such a deal for years, has clout with big retailers that DreamWorks could benefit from too, the person familiar with the talks said.


Hasbro has been pretty heavily involved in animation, despite the Discovery/Hub sell-off, so you can see why they’d want a full fledged animation studio. They just launched Allspark Pictures, a film division, which is already working on Jem and the Holograms ad My Little POny movies. Dreamworks Animation has been trying to get acquired, and a deal with Japanese telecom SoftBank Corp. fell apart just weeks ago.

Now its obvious what Hasbro brings to the deal: G.I. Joe, Transformers and My Little Pony. But Dreamworks has its own huge portfolio of characters: the Classic Media library which it purchased two years ago, including all the Harvey Comics characters, including Casper the Friendly Ghost, the Lone Ranger, Lassie, He-Man and She-Ra, Gumby, Voltron, AND all the Gold Key heroes, currently licensed to Dynamite. A huge list of characters, many of them still ripe for reboots, something HAsbro would probably be eager to do.

Scott Mendelsson at Forbes, has an interesting analysis of the move, pointing out that DreamWorks has been the victim of a lot of sky is falling reporting. As soon as one of their movies open at a mere $60 million, reporters say it’s a bomb even if it is a worldwide hit:

This has been a pattern for the animation giant. They have had a major film that opened perhaps somewhat below expectations or below unrealistic expectations which caused analysts to proclaim failure and DWA stock to take a hit, with few mea culpas being offered when said films went on to worldwide box office glory after the fact.


Shrek Forever After was written off as a stunning disappointment after it opened to “only” $70 million in May of 2010. Yes, that was far below the $122m debut of the third Shrek film, and that time I was absolutely among the guilty in presuming an eventual financial disappointment. Shrek Forever After displayed strong legs over the summer and eventually earned $238m domestic (still larger than any non-Shrek DWA feature) and $752m worldwide (DWA’s third biggest global grosser and 55% larger than the $484m worldwide cume of the original Shrek). Kung Fu Panda 2 was written off over Memorial Day 2011 when it “only” debuted with $66m over its Thurs-Mon debut (Kung Fu Panda opened with $60m over its Fri-Sun debut in 2008). Yet even as the film earned $165m domestic, well-below the $215m cume of the first film, it went on to earn $665m worldwide, above the $631m cume of Kung Fu Panda and still DreamWorks’ second-biggest non-Shrek film after 2012′s Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted ($746m).


So yeah, maybe a little Disney whispering there. If Hasbro does buy Dreamworks Animation, this could possibly jeopardize their deal with Disney/Marvel to make toys, as Disney and Dreamworks are rivals, with Dreamworks having been founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg after he stormed away from Disney in a huff long ago.

Obviously this is all still in the talking stages. Dreamworks stock is up, Hasbro is down since rumors surfaced; consider this a REAL life version of Convergence/Secret Wars!

7 Comments on Hasbro may be buying Dreamworks Animation—and you may have forgotten some of the properties involved, last added: 11/17/2014
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15. From the Toy Box, Ltd Gallery  I’m so excited to announce...



From the Toy Box, Ltd Gallery 

I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be participating in Ltd Art Gallery Seattle’s show “From the Toy Box”. It’s my first piece in a gallery and I was lucky enough for Ltd to choose my illustration for the poster representing some really, really, REALLY awesome talent! I’m so honoured to be in this show amongst these fantastic artists. You can see the event here:http://www.facebook.com/events/769836919741028 and if you’re in Seattle and happen to go, I’d love to hear about it!



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16. The Weenies

If you've never heard of "The Weenies," that's because it's the toy and cartoon phenomenon that almost happened, but got cancelled before it fully rolled out.


The concept was developed in 1983 by Mel Birnkrant, Mike Strouth, and Kiscom, and then purchased by Coleco to be the next big thing after Cabbage Patch Kids.

The project got very far along, with an animated TV special scripted and storyboarded, and toy prototypes and packaging all ready to go, but financial problems at Coleco nixed the project.


One of the artists who created the Weenies, Mel Birnkrant, has written a fascinating blow-by-blow account of how he and his colleagues developed the idea in a cascade of creativity, and the ups and downs of what happened along the way. 

It's a must-read for anyone involved in developing an animated series or toy concept or anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes workings of popular culture in the 1980s.

Mel Birnkrant is one of the foremost collectors of classic comic character toys. His design for the Weenie characters was inspired by the cartoons of the 1930s. 

Birnkrant was a friend of Disney animator Ward Kimball, and Birnkrant himself is a gifted cartoonist who turned down a job offer at the Disney studios when he was starting his career. 

In the story of the Weenies, there are many lessons for artists and animators, such as the effect on the character's personality of a bending-forward spine versus a bending-backward spine.

While you're at Birnkrant's site, you can also check out the story of his better-known toy creation, The Outer Space Men.
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The Story of the Bunville Weenies (online by Mel Birnkrant)

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17. Want: Gertie the Dinosaur and Winsor McCay Figurine

This Gertie the Dinosaur and tuxedoed Winsor McCay garage kit is especially appropriate in 2014, the 100th anniversary of McCay's seminal animated film.

0 Comments on Want: Gertie the Dinosaur and Winsor McCay Figurine as of 9/30/2014 6:23:00 PM
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18. Free Comic Book Day Promotes ‘Alien’ Metal Dildo Doubling as a Bottle Opener

I think the money makers at Diamond Select Toys are secretly testing the market for an upcoming adult toy line.

The Free Comic Book Day Facebook page posted a typical a nerd baiting question with no possible answer: who would win in fight between Spider-Man’s most popular nemesis Venom or the cult classic 80’s extraterrestrial nightmare Xenomorph? Of course this wasn’t a sponsored post to promote Diamond Select Toys wide variety bottle openers, but it sure as hell looks like it. The comments are full of well informed, substantial arguments on who would come on top. But some Facebook users couldn’t help to mention the fact that the Xenomorph opener bares a striking resemblance of a penis.

alienvsvenom Free Comic Book Day Promotes Alien Metal Dildo Doubling as a Bottle Opener

How could Venom fare against Xenomorph’s veiny, long shaft and bulbous mushroom tip? I couldn’t image using this cold metal bottle opener bringing any kind of pleasure aside from opening a cold brewski, but the people of the Internet will find a way. Nonetheless, you can’t but help but appreciate the H. R. Giger work on the Alien series. Diamond Select Toys would like to remind you that Christmas is around the corner, and this would make a good stocking stuffer. Talk about gag gifts. *This was not a sponsored post by Diamond Select Toys.*

alienopener Free Comic Book Day Promotes Alien Metal Dildo Doubling as a Bottle Opener

5 Comments on Free Comic Book Day Promotes ‘Alien’ Metal Dildo Doubling as a Bottle Opener, last added: 9/15/2014
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19. Cuddling up to Nightbear by Rebecca Patterson

nightbearcoverThere are lots of recipes for great picture books but Rebecca Patterson has certainly worked out one of the best set of ingredients. She takes a good dose of humour, a non-patronising, reassuring, sincere child’s-eye view of the world and adds in highly observant illustrations and a sprinkling of drama. She did it with the Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning My Big Shouting Day!, the brilliantly perceptive My Busy Being Bella Day, and has pulled it off once more with her latest book, Nightbear.

An old bear has arrived at a new home; the book opens with us following him from the factory where he was made, to his first (and unappreciative) home, to a charity shop where he is eventually bought by a young girl out shopping with her mum. The bear is thrilled to have been chosen, but how will he fit in, when he discovers that the girl already has lots of teddy bears with very important roles in her life?

A heartwarming, delightful story not just about having a great teddy bear to hug, but also about the importance of having someone listen to your stories, and the reassurance that comes from being ‘picked’, about the everyday, real worries a young child can have (from nightmares, to being ill in the night), and most of all about the enormous fun to be had with imaginative play, Nightbear is a perfect picture book.

patterson

Starting with the gorgeous, dark sparkly cover, this book is so much fun to look at as well as to listen to. Patterson draws with a delightful, fluid simplicity; lots of smooth curves abound – as if echoing the cuddliness of the bears, and the warmth of the family. Some of the tiny details in the illustrations are like poems; they ring true in an uncluttered, authentic way that makes you see them anew, for example the way the mother holds the hand of the child when they’re browsing in the charity shop, or the manner in which the father holds the hair of the child whilst she is being sick.

A book every nursery and infant school should have, a book every charity shop should use to make a brilliant, eye catching window display, a book every family with young children will enjoy, Nightbear is an ideal book to cuddle up with.

Feeling sad at the thought of all those unloved teddy bears leading lonely lives on charity shop shelves we armed ourselves with 50ps and went off with a mission to each rescue and bring one home.

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This one (above) looked pretty comfy.

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This one looked rather resigned to its fate.

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These two had fallen over and were asleep when we saw them.

teddy2

This one was too expensive.

But eventually we each found a teddy that we loved, came home, and celebrated by dressing them up (as happens in Nightbear). I’m rather jealous of the bustle and headgear newly named ‘Treacle’ got to wear:

teddy5

Little ‘Buttercup’ got a pretty nifty hat:

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But ‘Candy’ stole the show with her badges and slides…

teddy7

Whilst dressing our teddies we listened to:

  • Stompy the Bear by Caspar Babypants
  • Freddy Bear, The Teddy Bear by Ralph’s World
  • Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear by Elvis Presley

  • Other fun activities to get up to alongside reading Nightbear include:

  • Making a patchwork blanket. Even the youngest kids can have fun making a paper collage out of coloured squares, whilst older kids could paint fabric in blocks of colour (thinned down acrylic paint is great for this if you don’t want to get dedicated fabric paint).
  • Having a Teddy Bears’ Picnic! A blanket, some bears, some biscuits… oh and a good book or two and you’re all set!
  • Ready Baggy Brown by Mick Inkpen for another great view of a teddy bear factory line
  • Enjoying these pictures of really old teddies and wondering what sort of lives they’ve led
  • Have you a favourite teddy bear? Or a teddy bear who is assigned a special job?

    Disclaimer: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.

    4 Comments on Cuddling up to Nightbear by Rebecca Patterson, last added: 5/22/2014
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    20. Hasbro offers exclusive Infinity Gauntlet at Comic-Con

    1400781403000-Infinity-Gauntlet-PKG.jpg

    Want.
    Hasbro’s Marvel exclusive are EXCEEDINGLY “cosmic” this year:

    Priced at $99.99, a set of Marvel Legends Infinite Series 6-inch figures is based on the Marvel story line “The Thanos Imperative” — included are theInhumans’ Black Bolt and Medusa, Gladiator, Blastaar and Star-Lord from theGuardians of the Galaxy. They all arrive in a special-edition box designed to look like the Galactus Engine from the comics.

    Another pack of 3¾-inch figures ($74.99) comes from the classic miniseries TheInfinity Gauntlet and features Nebula, Starfox, Mistress Death and the cosmic villain Thanos, who comes with his own Infinity Gauntlet. But he’s not the only guy who gets one — Marvel’s looking out for fans, too, by including a wearable foam Infinity Gauntlet glove in case you want to rule outer space yourself.


    You’ll want to have these around when AVENGERS 2 opens for sure.

    2 Comments on Hasbro offers exclusive Infinity Gauntlet at Comic-Con, last added: 5/23/2014
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    21. Weeds into Toys

    Arrowhead Weed toy

    Hi again folks. What have you been up to? I hope it’s getting warm and green wherever you are.

    Here in Charlotte it’s very warm now, too warm, but it’s been exciting to see all the flowers make an appearance, and inevitably, there are lots of weeds popping up, too. Lately I’ve been thinking about the things my friends and I used to do with various weeds when we were kids.

    • There was the weeds-into-pop-guns trick, pictured above (arrowhead weeds, I just learned they’re called).
    • Clover chains
    • Trying to make a grass blade whistle (okay, not weeds, but still counts)
    • Of course making a wish on dandelion heads

    Know any others?

    I’ve been so focused on my writing goals that I haven’t been doing a lot of crafts and (interesting) cooking, though I do have a few things l’d like to share in the coming weeks. Our last day of school is today, which means my schedule will be quite a bit different from here until the end of August.

    I’ll try to be here as much as I can, but you may find me more frequently on Twitter and Instagram, since those are easy for quick snippets. My Twitter handle is @emilysmithpearc and I’m on Instagram as Emily Smith Pearce.

    Good news! I reached the goals I set for myself with both my nonfiction and YA novel manuscripts. This is big. So much writing done this year, though it’s easy to wish I had gotten even more done.

    Currently reading: The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger and The Great Green Heist by Varian Johnson (both purchased at Park Road Books). Currently watching: Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black.

     


    0 Comments on Weeds into Toys as of 6/11/2014 12:45:00 PM
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    22. Frank Miller and Eric So team for HK-style Sin City Marv

    Marv 9.jpg

    Frank Miller’s stylishly brutal Sin City is coming back with a new film this Summer, and so are the Sin City toys, as Dark Horse has announced an HK-styled Marv figure for September. The figure is designed by Erik So and will retail for $150.

    The masters of two mediums come together with an all-new, limited-edition vinyl figure of Sin City’s beloved brute, Marv! This unique interpretation of Marv was created by Eric So, a master of modern design and a leader in the Hong Kong designer-toy movement. With the guidance of Frank Miller, So has sculpted a thirteen-inch vinyl figure that is unlike any that has come before it.
     
    While best known for his groundbreaking toy designs, Eric So is also an accomplished designer in many other areas, such as men’s fashion and accessories. He is a legend in his native Hong Kong, and has made a name for himself worldwide.
     
    In the same spirit as his previous collaboration with Dark Horse (a vinyl figure of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy) or his Nike-commissioned statue of Michael Jordan, So favors a humorous and cartoonish approach over realism. While Marv is depicted in his customary trench coat, he has been transformed through Eric So’s unique approach to angles and features. Still, the influence of Frank Miller’s signature style shines through.
     
    Each figure is individually hand painted and comes with a pack of band-aid stickers, which collectors may affix to Marv as they like. Also included is a certificate of authenticity, signed by both Frank Miller and Eric So.
     
    “Besides the figure itself, the packaqe is innovative and fun” noted Dark Horse vice president of product development, David Scroggy. “Eric has come up with a gray translucent plastic blister that is the flat front of the box. The Marv figure inside is visible in silhouette. The outer surface is over-printed in white, creating the illusion of a shadowy Marv walking in the snow. This was inspired by Miller’s classic Silent Night story. It is a striking package design.”
     
    Frank Miller is widely acclaimed worldwide for his comic work and boasts multiple Hollywood successes, including two adaptations of his masterwork, Sin City. Marv is one of Sin City’s most memorable characters, in both comics and film.
     
    This beautiful thirteen-inch piece will be produced in a limited run of 950 and will arrive just in time for the release of Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Mark your calendars for September 10, when this figure goes on sale for $150.


    Marv 4.jpg

    Marv 10.jpg

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    Marv 19.jpg

    1 Comments on Frank Miller and Eric So team for HK-style Sin City Marv, last added: 6/26/2014
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    23. (birthday) gift for danny!!!

    ©the enchanted easel 2014
    so, every now and then i come across a story that really moves me on a ton of levels. and, when it has to do it with a child (albeit, a sick one too) well, let's just say my heart strings never recover.

    i came across this story http://6abc.com/201528/ late last night while resting my painting arm (inflamed the area a bit working my little tail off) and i knew i had to do something for this sweet little boy. (i mean really? look at that FACE!) so, i rose from the couch and opened up photoshop to personalize a print of a custom painting i had done two years ago for my dear friend's little boy, shane. i had painted shane's name on the actual blocks at that time but was smart enough to scan it beforehand without the name...just in case i ever needed to personalize it for some reason.

    and little danny nickerson was that "reason". i mean how perfect was it right? the blonde hair, the exact number of blocks that were vacant...just waiting for danny's name to appear on them. and there it is....more than the birthday card(s) he's so anxiously awaiting in his P.O. box. i printed it out at a nice size and even matted it. all little danny has to do is frame it and hang it in his room. 

    it's times like this that i realize just how amazing it is to have been given the gift that is in my right hand. after three c-spine surgeries, painting with constant nerve pain in that painting hand is not easy, that's for darn sure. but hey, the word "pain" is in "painting" right? so who am i to shy away from that? ;) i mean, yes, i always have a soft spot for young kids (16 years as a preschool teacher surely would back that up) but it's more than that. being able to create (art) work that makes a child smile and a parent even happier, well that's more than enough for me. no amount of money could put a price tag on something as priceless as that.

    *if you read the above article, i encourage you to make a little boy's day and mail him out a birthday card....and just know that you've contributed to innocence and God's grace in it's purest form.*

    off to get him a birthday card to widen the future smile that will surely come across his beautiful little face....:)

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    24. San Diego Comic-Con Animation Open Thread

    San Diego Comic-Con 2014 begins tonight. If you have an animation-related project or merchandise that you want attendees to know about, post it in the comments.

    0 Comments on San Diego Comic-Con Animation Open Thread as of 7/25/2014 12:40:00 AM
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    25. Transformers are going to get “Angry”

    I'm pretty sure these Transformers would like some noms too.

    I’m pretty sure these Transformers would like some noms too.

    “Mom, what’s for breakfast?”

    “Well honey, we have pancakes, bacon, potatoes, Decepiticons…”

    If you were a kid from the 80’s, 90’s, or still a kid at heart, then you’re most likely familiar with Transformers. You know, “Transformers: More than meets the eye.” In honor of the franchise’s 30th anniversary, Hasbro Toys treated some eager reporters and fans to a breakfast this morning at Southpaw in San Diego’s Downtown Gaslamp area. I’ve heard of character breakfasts, but never one that dealt with robots.

    All throughout the bar/restaurant, we were treated to Transformer toy splendor. Arranged along the bar area was private transformers collection that included some originals from the 80’s, Beastwars, and even some rocker themed ones I’ve never seen before (all posed on a 1984 “Planet Cybertron” poster). On the outside dining tables was a selection of the larger ones that transformer as you spin their parts. And there was even a buffet style “Mashem’s” table. Transformers Mashem’s are figures that allow the appendages to be swapped with other robots, allowing for some pretty creative robot making.

    What I was most excited about were the videogames that Hasbro has in store for the Transformers brand. A few things are in the works, one of which is an online MMO called Transformers Universe. The computer based game features opened world areas that you can explore either as Autobots or Decepticons that are unique to the game. You can go hunting for Energon, fight wild Terracons, or even participate in 4 versus 4 pvp in either a death match mode, or a modified capture the flag. But instead of capturing flags, you try to steal the opposite team’s Energon.

    To add another layer to the game, players can use Energon to craft items, or collect items by defeating enemies. The items can do various things, like boost stats for a continuous duration of time. The game is free to play, but if you are feeling a little impatient and don’t want to wait out the time it takes for your items to be made, you can purchase relics. Relics are in game currencies that are available as pickup items, so you can go throughout the duration of it without having to spend a dime. But like I said, if you’ve got better things to wait on, then they are purchasable with real world money. Currently Transformers Universe is in open beta. There is no set date yet for the actual release. Visit www.transformersuniverse.com to check it out for yourself.

    Even bigger for the video gaming market is the crossover in the works. Transformers will be pairing up with the widely popular, widely recognized Angry Birds franchise. Unlike other Angry Birds games, this won’t be the typical drag and launch game featuring different themes. Angry Birds: Transformers will be a side scrolling shooter where the transforming birds and pigs have to fight enemies along the way. Another interesting addition is the cars that will be available for purchase. These transforming vehicles can be photographed, and then downloaded for use in the video game. The toys themselves will also have physical tracks available for them, so there will be more for them than just as downloads for the game. No release date is yet set for Angry Birds: Transformers.

    1 Comments on Transformers are going to get “Angry”, last added: 7/27/2014
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