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Journal Archives from January 2010
 
Nintendo Entertainment System - Hogan's Alley

The games that a system launches with can often make or break that platform - a statement that has become more true as time has gone by and which was a real strength of the Nintendo when it hit US shores in 1985. Known now as the "Black Box" games, thanks to their uniformly awesome pixelated cover artwork and otherwise black packaging, the original 18 titles were fantastically strong. Ranging from sports to platforming to their amazingly innovative zapper gun and robot - even to math! - there was really something for everyone. I have a number of these games as part of my original collection, though am considering filling in the gaps so that all 18 can be properly represented here at the Preserve. Certainly I'll post my originals first, so today let's take a look at Hogan's Alley! Making use of the Zapper, this game really was a cool new experience (along with Duck Hunt of course!). Click the image for more shots of my original game - I'm so proud of myself that I carefully hung on to the poster all this time - note that I checked off the few titles I had. Excitebike is coming up soon!


Posted by charlie on January 31st 2010, 06:10 PM
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TurboGrafx 16 - Bonk's Adventure

I didn't have a lot of games for the TurboGrafx 16, but in addition to Blazing Lazers from a day ago, I certainly had Bonk's Adventure, one of the headline games for the system. Featuring a pretty simple play mechanic, and a set of powerups that are experienced pretty well within the first level, it's no Mario (wait, I guess that's all true of Mario as well) but has enough teeth-based wall-climbing to make it weird and cool. Granted, I never had the patience to beat this one either, so maybe things get a lot different 45 minutes later! Click the image for a few more shots of my original physical game.


Posted by charlie on January 30th 2010, 01:19 AM
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Battle Beasts - Battle Chariots

The attentive Preserve reader may have noticed a set of interesting items in the Captain Power carrying case that was discovered last week. I was just as surprised as you to find all three Battle Beast Battle Chariots hiding in that case! Unfortunately there were no figures or packaging stashed along with them, but I know all of that will turn up. For now, I'm delighted to have unearthed my original, complete set of these three chariots, which you can check out by clicking the image below!


Posted by charlie on January 29th 2010, 02:19 AM
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TurboGrafx 16 - Blazing Lazers

As far as gaming goes, if I had to choose I think my very favorite genre is the shooter. Now, don't be confused by what is called a shooter these days, generally involving some sort of intense military combat. The games that really get my interest have a killer synth soundtrack, multiple insane weapon powerups, screen-filling bosses, wave upon wave of enemies and ascending skill levels guaranteed to filter out all but the most dedicated gamers. The TurboGrafx 16 system had a number of fantastic games along these lines, and one of the few games I had for my original system back in 1989 was Blazing Lazers! Click the image below for a few more angles and details on the packaging of this great game, that has been in the preserve archives for 21 years now...whoa.


Posted by charlie on January 28th 2010, 12:22 AM
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M.A.S.K. - Switchblade with Miles Mayhem

Probably inspired, as were many lines in the '80s, by the transforming craze, M.A.S.K. stands apart as one of the best made, well engineered, creative and solidly storied lines to grace that great decade. One of the really iconic vehicles from the first season of toys is Switchblade, the conveyance of choice for Miles Mayhem himself! The springs in the wings of my helicopter/jet are still amazingly strong, snapping the wings into place as soon as the rear tail fin is flipped up into place. There's some 'automorph' technology for you! Note also that my original piece is sufficiently old/early in the line to have not had the mask 'altered'. Shortly after the first season of toys started hitting shelves, it was discovered that some foolish kids were eating or at least choking on the masks - the fools! As a result, they added a bunch of extraneous plastic to them in later releases, allowing one to quickly distinguish the two waves of product (but probably not stopping kids from popping them in their mouths). Click the image for a bunch of angles of the package, and of Switchblade and Miles with his Viper mask!


Posted by charlie on January 27th 2010, 05:34 PM
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Nintendo Entertainment System - The Legend of Zelda

I will never know how my dad was always on top of the coolest toys and games of the 80s. I did ask him once why he was compelled to get me all of the Transformers from 1984-1989, and he reminded me that he liked them too! I remember when the Nintendo Entertainment System first came out - this was the set with Rob the Robot and the game Gyromite (which will be featured soon). With this set he also picked up a copy of The Legend of Zelda and I'll always remember how impressed he was the moment the game started. After spending a career in the Computer industry he understood what a revolution it was in the technology, and it went on to be the favorite game of both of us to this very day. Click on the image below for a gallery of my original, classic gold cartridge!


Posted by charlie on January 26th 2010, 08:32 PM
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In honor of Kirk H. Parry

(I wrote the following last weekend on a pad of paper, and wanted to finally post it today.)

A kind doctor at the hospital where my father, Kirk Parry, just passed reminded me to take this as an opportunity to celebrate his life. Good advice, to be sure, and I hope to do just that here at the Preserve by continuing our mission and attempting to accomplish still more legitimate goals in the coming weeks and months. First off, we will begin an immediate celebration with a marathon of posts of the vintage collection of the Preserve - which was the original and still greatest purpose! All of the items featured will be things that my dad originally got for me in the '80s when I was growing up, and which make the Preserve the historical reference that I can be proud of.

So here's to you dad, thanks for the Preserve, and thanks for all of the countless intangibles too.
Posted by charlie on January 25th 2010, 09:31 PM
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Masters of the Universe Classics - Adora

I couldn't stop talking about how cool the first-ever Adora figure is, to kick off the 2010 Masters of the Universe Classics collection. Then I kept carrying on about how great it is that she set a new record for time-to-sellout of 27 minutes. Well, it's only fitting then that I feature her as soon as possible, my subscription figures having just arrived. Click the image for more angles of Adora of the House of Randor, and be sure to read her lengthy bio that contributes greatly to the backstory that Mattel is re-weaving with each new figure release. Great job Mattel, and Horsemen! Oh, and check out how well Adora would have done in a Hitchcock film.


Posted by charlie on January 24th 2010, 05:25 PM
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Captain Power Carrying Case

Have you ever been faced with the perplexing problem of where to store all of your Captain Power action figures? I know I have. Good thing, then, that I re-discovered my old Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future carrying case in the storage bins some number of months ago! Click the image to see a few more angles of this beauty, along with the surprises that I found within!


Posted by charlie on January 23rd 2010, 04:44 PM
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Late Night Drama and Pee-Wee

I haven't been a 'late-night' viewer for years now (well, not counting Daily Show and Colbert), though always used to enjoy ending my High School evenings with some Letterman. Well it's pretty hard not to know about all the drama involving NBC, Conan and Leno these days, and it's pretty wild that 'Coco' is quitting. Well, thanks to one of our favorite sites, cooltoyreview.com we were made aware of a simply amazing video...

I was of course a huge Pee-Wee Herman fan in the '80s, and always felt he got a raw deal when his show was yanked. Well, click here to see Pee-Wee himself helping to explain all the Late Night drama to Coco's viewers...with the help of Optimus Prime! Can anyone help me understand how Paul Reubens hasn't aged a day in 20 years? He's like Mr. T apparently. Pay close attention for the self-referential inside joke that makes Conan lose it! Additionally, it seems that Reubens has just re-opened a stage version of his classic show! And he has a very active facebook account! Head explodes!
Posted by charlie on January 22nd 2010, 12:11 PM
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Lego - Indiana Jones Set #7682 Shanghai Chase

Having finally updated the archives with most of the Indiana Jones Lego sets, it's become clear that I have nearly all of them in the archives (except for the offerings from this year)! Well, let's take a look at the excellent Shanghai Chase from last year - no time for love Dr. Jones! Click the image for a few more angles and details.


Posted by charlie on January 22nd 2010, 01:04 AM
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GoBots Cop-Tur, New and Old

News is making the Internet rounds that one of the Transformers Collectors Club exclusive figures this year will be Cop-Tur, a name drawn from the original GoBots line! Well, I sure love GoBots and am always delighted when something hearkens back to that line. In celebration of the inclusion of Cop-Tur, here is an original unopened figure direct from the Preserve vaults! I've been meaning to start the single figure GoBot coverage here at the Preserve, and this is as good an excuse as any. Click the image for more details on this Renegade!


Posted by charlie on January 21st 2010, 06:52 PM
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G.I. Joe - Walmart Exclusive Mini Battlestation: Cobra Surveillance Port

One of the greatest surprises of the Rise of Cobra line, and it's one that Hasbro certainly hinted at before the line even got going, is the 11th hour inclusion of numerous 'classically inspired' sets and figures that are in no way directly related to the live action film from last summer.

Perhaps one of the best examples of these vintage-rific sets are the four 'mini battlestations' that were released as Walmart exclusives several months back. With packaging that opened up to diorama scenes, two figures with loads of accessories and a core battlestation of some sort in each pack for around $15, you really couldn't go wrong. Better still, these sets ended up on a 50% off sale several weeks ago, so if you were lucky enough to have had them stocked at all in your local store, you stood a chance of completing your collection for a song. Well, today let's take a look at the Cobra Surveillance Port - coming with a Trooper, a Tele-Viper and loads of parts and stickers, it's a window back to the '80s. Click the image for more angles of this set, the bio card for each figure, and more information than you ever needed on the use, removal and chemical makeup of temporary tattoos!


Posted by charlie on January 20th 2010, 03:49 PM
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G.I. Joe Rise of Cobra - Grand Slam with Air Assault Glider

The last of four items from wave 1 of the G.I. Joe - Rise of Cobra Target exclusive figure/vehicle sets to join the Preserve is James 'Grand Slam' Barney with his Air Assault Glider. I've really taken to these little $10 sets, and it's great of Target to have picked up the baton and released all of these classically inspired packs.


Posted by charlie on January 19th 2010, 07:51 PM
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Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Plastic Man

Bouncing back to our Batman: The Brave and the Bold line today, here is Capture Hand Plastic Man! This figure is moderately rare, and with the huge number of figures that Mattel seems to be cranking out for this line, the wave that contained Plastic Man has come and gone quickly to be sure. Click the image for a few more angles of the great take on this classic character!


Posted by charlie on January 18th 2010, 08:32 PM
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G.I. Joe Q&A #6 (2009)

The Hasbro G.I. Joe team has returned their answers to our last round of questions for 2009!

G.I. Joe Q&A #6 (2009)

Preserve: Given the success of the new live action G.I. Joe film, and the assurance of a sequel, have you begun any preliminary designs on figures or vehicles for that next film?
Hasbro: We are still gathering information at this stage, but we are extremely excited about a sequel!

Preserve: In our recent Transformers Q&A we learned that there are no plans to continue with the Robot Heroes expression, much to our sadness. Can you give us any insight on the longevity of the Combat Heroes expression for G.I. Joe?
Hasbro: Combat Heroes will not continue in the Pursuit of Cobra line.

Preserve: News came out in December that TakaraTomy is shifting production from China to Vietnam. Has Hasbro announced any similar production shifts that will involve the production of G.I. Joe figures?
Hasbro: Answer still pending...




Thanks to the team at Hasbro for their answers! Looks like the 'Heroes' scale of figure is doomed across both the Transformers as well as G.I. Joe brands sadly, but at least we have a pretty large number of figures that were able to be released while it lasted. Hopefully we'll get an interesting answer to our Vietnam production question as well - it's exciting that they didn't just reply that they 'could not say' so maybe we'll have some world exclusive news! After Toy Fair we'll know what the 2010 Q&A schedule looks like, so stay tuned.


Posted by charlie on January 16th 2010, 02:39 PM
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Masters of the Universe Classics - Adora Sells out in 27

Continuing the trend of instant sell-outs on release day, the first ever Adora figure has sold out in a new record of 27 minutes! This shows that the Masters of the Universe brand continues to be as strong as ever, though in fairness the first ever figure of such an important part of the story of MotU was bound to do well. Also, January marks the start of the 2010 Eternia subscription program so it's unclear how that may have effected the numbers of figures that Mattel made available on their website vs. held back for subscribers. I'll also note that the Beast Man re-release and Battle Armor He-Man both have yet to sell out, but I suspect they'll be gone by week's end. As an aside - the bonus figure for subscribing to the Eternia program is a remake of the classic holy grail Wonderbread He-Man (now called 'Wun-dar') which is already pre-selling on eBay for $200. Hopefully everyone gets their subscription Adora's smoothly - I know there is already great concern on the message boards!


Posted by charlie on January 16th 2010, 09:21 AM
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Masters of the Universe Classics - Adora and Battle Armor He-Man

It's that time again over at Mattycollector.com, and they are kicking off 2010 with two new Masters of the Universe Classics Figures and a 'vintage' re-release! You can choose the first ever Princess Adora figure (She-Ra's alter ego) or Battle Armor He-Man, or pick up "The Original" (aka re-issue) Beast Man if you missed him over a year ago...or all three! BA He-Man was super cool back in the day (1984!), with the rotating chest plate that reacted to impact to spin around to a more 'damaged' look. Unfortunately the amazing gimicks of the '80s prove to be more than our space age science of the future can manage, and we get instead a removable panel with some 'damage' on it, but it's the thought that counts! Adora will be the first figure of the 2010 subscription plan, with BA He-Man being the bonus, so make sure you pick up the bonus even if you are a subscriber. Beast Man is definitely worth a moment too if you missed him the first time around. Good luck with the noon-time rush!


Posted by charlie on January 14th 2010, 04:22 PM
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Transfomers: War on Cyberton - Reveal Trailer

Continuing our Transformers news, this story is a little less obscene and a little more awesome - the new reveal trailer is out for the upcoming War on Cybertron game, and it's fantastic. Prime and Megatron have their old school close combat weapons in full effect, and it wraps up with the updated, fully armed and over the top brutes showing up to really get the battle going. Check it out and then start hoping that the game is even 10% as great as this promo reel.


Posted by charlie on January 14th 2010, 01:29 AM
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Devestator's Wrecking Balls

We asked Hasbro about Devestator's Movie Accurate wrecking balls directly in our Q&A from August 11th, and were told in reply a resounding "No.". Well, the good news is that a busy fan has made the dream a reality, and you can now get an aftermarket set of swingers to make your $100 Devestator toy all that John Turturro knows it can be! Thank you Mr. Internet, thank you, you've made my day.
Posted by charlie on January 13th 2010, 10:22 PM
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Lego Brickmaster Set 20010

At the risk of overdoing the Lego Brickmaster sets this week, I wanted to finish filling the last hole in the posted collection. Today we check out the set from November/December 2009, the Star Wars Republic Gunship, set #20010. Click the image for more shots of this set along with accompanying magazines.


Posted by charlie on January 11th 2010, 09:19 PM
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011010 - Binary Day

What with the start of the new, low numbered decade, a number of base 10 and base 2 math oddities are revealed, such as today being the second but far from last binary date of this year! Enjoy the heck out of the remaining moments of 01/10/10
Posted by charlie on January 10th 2010, 10:01 PM
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Lego Brickmaster Set 20002

It only took just under two years but I finally closed up the hole in the 2008 Lego Brickmaster set collection. While I am missing the Bionicle mag or case break for this set of course, at least we finally have complete coverage of my first year as a Brickmaster subscriber. Click the image for a little more info.


Posted by charlie on January 9th 2010, 01:27 AM
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New A-Team Movie Trailer

The promo photo for the new 2010 A-Team movie came out a few months ago, and I was blown away by the uncanny way that Liam Neeson somehow was looking like George Peppard. Well, now we have a full motion trailer to see - please watch it. I love hearing the original show-intro voice over (at least the exact same words, I believe) as the sole commentary over the trailer, and certainly we get a few key catch phrases. Sharlto Copley as Murdock even has a 1/2 second clip while flying where he looks for all the world like Dwight Schultz. I know that the movie may be a huge disappointment, but I really think we all should give it a chance.

Update: Video is already gone! I hope everyone got a chance to see it.



In the course of getting the imdb links set up, I noticed this delightful bit of trivia from Dwight's bio:

Upon meeting George Peppard the first time when "The A-Team" (1983) was beginning, he respectfully introduced himself to Peppard as Dwight Schultz. Peppard's reply was "Very good. I'm George Peppard, and I'm not a very nice man".

You can just hear Peppard saying that - I hope (heck, I assume) he had a cigar with him at the time.
Posted by charlie on January 8th 2010, 11:26 AM
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DC Universe Classics - Mantis (Robot)

Ok let's also take a look at our first figure from wave 9 of the DC Universe Classics. Mantis is one of the variant/chase pieces in this wave, coming in either robot or human form. Here we have the robot form, which I believe is the slightly more rare of the two. Really this entire wave 9 has met with the same distribution problems that have plagued this entire line, though starting with wave 11 being available on mattycollector.com maybe Mattel has finally found a solution. Click, then, on the image below for more angles and the bio of this surprisingly powerful villain!


Posted by charlie on January 8th 2010, 01:01 AM
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Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Gold Metal Men

The Batman: The Brave and the Bold line from Mattel has exploded into 2010 with a new set of basic and deluxe figures, as well as some great additions to their Action League line! A new yellow-burst card back with a punching Batman helps distinguish these new additions, so let's take a look at one of the new basic figures, one of the Gold Metal Men! He comes with a Super Attack Starro (!) for Bif-Pow action! Click the thumb for a few more angles of this figure, and be sure to check out the cardback for a look at several of the other new pieces in this set. We've also updated the master checklist as best as we can to aid your hunting expedition!


Posted by charlie on January 7th 2010, 09:18 PM
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Sir Christopher Lee's Symphonic Metal Concept Album

I have just learned today about the upcoming Metal album to be released by Sir Christopher Lee, and could not be more delighted. We came to learn about this news from the source of many other fine things, toplessrobot.com, though I was previously familiar with Lee's song The Magic of the Wizard's Dream that he did with Rhapsody several years ago. Well, I managed to track down a fantastic video of him just talking about his upcoming album, "Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross" - so far the video has less than 900 views so enjoy this little gem! By the way - he is apparently a direct descendant of Charlemagne himself, as if this news couldn't be any more awesome.


Posted by charlie on January 6th 2010, 02:36 PM
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DC Universe Classics - Commander Steel

Finally making some in-roads on wave 8 of the DC Universe Classics figures, today we take a look at Commander Steel. Perhaps one of the more boring figures from this wave, which otherwise includes Hawkgirl, Gentleman Ghost and Dr. Fate, at least he has a bold color scheme! Click the image below for more angles of this figure, and the full bio.


Posted by charlie on January 6th 2010, 07:51 AM
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Mattel - DC Universe Classics 2009 Wrap-up

In case you missed it (like we did, oops!) Mattel also posted a great 2009 wrap-up of their ever-expanding DC Universe Classics line. Click here to pop over to Facebook and see what they had to say about the successful past and bright feature of this line that has become a favorite of collectors around the world.


Posted by charlie on January 5th 2010, 12:31 PM
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Walmart Price Spectacular

A trip to Walmart today revealed first hand the great number of alleged Transformers and G.I. Joe clearance prices that have been sweeping the nation. Of particular interest was that the Ultra class 25th Anniversary Walmart exclusive Transformers are down to $15, G.I. Joe Night Raven is 50% off at $19.99, and other Joe Walmart exclusive sets are 50% off as well. Of particular interest are the exclusive mini battle stations that we mentioned a few weeks ago. Now going for about $7.50 each, if you can still find them locally these are really a fantastic value for some really packed-with-figures-and-parts sets. Good hunting!
Posted by charlie on January 4th 2010, 08:58 PM
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Lego Brickmaster - Set 20013: Atlantis Submarine

The Lego brand is looking fantastically strong for 2010, and one of the most hotly anticipated new sets will be their Atlantis line. Well, it was most exciting to open up the January / February 2010 Brickmaster set and find a snazzy Atlantis Sub! Click the image for more shots of number 20013, and get ready for our upcoming Toy Fair coverage of all of the new Lego products for 2010!



Posted by charlie on January 3rd 2010, 12:09 AM
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Wounded Ronin Reviews Rogue Warrior

Before the holidays Wounded Ronin wrote us another spectacular and detailed review, this time of the 2009 effort Rogue Warrior, but we're only now getting it posted! Well, it's worth a read both for his encyclopedic knowledge of his genre, and of the historical facts that surround it. Click the image above to see how Rogue Warrior stands up to his scrutiny!
Posted by charlie on January 2nd 2010, 09:22 PM
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Yo Joe!

Spirit Iron-Knife says Happy 2010!

Happy New Year

Posted by charlie on January 1st 2010, 12:00 AM
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