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Journal Archives from December 2008
 
Indiana Jones - Young Indy

We finish off the year with what may seem to be a lack luster choice, since it's clear that this figure, out of all of the Last Crusade Indiana Jones figures, is the one deemed worthy of peg-warming through the holidays, but it does have a greater significance. Mainly, this is the last figure of the wave, and will be the last figure that most collectors will manage to find from this series without resorting to eBay or other third party channels given the terrible availability of the Temple of Doom figures. Also, you just don't see a whole lot of River Phoenix action figures! We bring you, therefore, the Young Indy figure, who in the course of a single afternoon showed us where nearly every defining trait of Indiana Jones was formed - that was a busy day!


With that we wrap up 2008 here at the Preserve. It was definitely a year for tremendous change, where we started to cover the major toy industry events in the capacity of 'press', and were able to really be on the cool cutting edge of the newest toys from the largest of the large, like Hasbro and Mattel, through the mid-tier awesome shops like NECA and Mezco, all the way to small but mighty companies like Beantown and Teddy Scares. Look for us to continue our efforts in 2009 to cover the growth and changes in the toy universe, but also to get back to basics as much as possible with ongoing coverage of the huge vintage archive of the Preserve!
Posted by charlie on December 31st 2008, 11:17 AM
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Sega Master System - Alien Syndrome

A popular 1986 arcade game with a rockin' awesome marquee topper, Alien Syndrome brought the franchise ripping-off fun of Aliens directly to your neighborhood arcade, and then thanks to Sega's Master System, to your living room straight from 1988!


This, like After Burner, is another title that was released after the rights to the Master System had been sold to Tonka in that very year of 1988, you'll notice the Tonka brand all over the small print. They take great pains to point out that the trademarks are still owned by Sega, but they also want you to know that they make more than bright yellow scale construction trucks for boys. And yes, of course, there are not a few of those in the Preserve as well!

Many people credit Tonka with the failure of the Master System during this period, as they had no experience with managing a gaming console and were in over their head. However, it is also put forth that Nintendo was just more mercenary in their cornering of the market, and had so many 'exclusive' contracts with third-party manufacturers that there was little left for a competitor. Given all that, Tonka did a fine job it seems! In 1990 Sega took the rights back to make the seldom-seen Sega Master System II, but that's another story.
Posted by charlie on December 30th 2008, 11:08 AM
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Indiana Jones figures - Indy with Machine Gun

It is certainly par for the course to have the title character show up in every wave of figures for a franchise, but I am a little tired of having at least 8 Indiana Jones figures as a result of trying to complete the Hasbro collection. Well, today let's take a look at the Indy with Sub-Machine Gun figure, from the Last Crusade wave. Granted, it is a good figure, and a big improvement from all the 'crazy-eyed' Indy figures from the first waves!


This is from the scene where he crashes through the window to save his father Henry Jones, and they are confronted by the group of German soldiers. In true Indy fashion he gets one of their machine guns and makes short work of them all, to the astonishment of his father! It's ok, they were all bad, (and Nazis!) Spielberg reminds us.
Posted by charlie on December 29th 2008, 12:49 PM
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G.I. Joe Modern Era - Wave 13

Mere moments before leaving the sanctity of the Preserve for distant lands this holiday season, a fedEx truck pulled up with yet another box from hasbrotoyshop.com, who seem to be on a mission to spend as much as possible shipping my free-shipping items one piece at a time. Well, this was a pretty welcome box, as it contained the entirety of wave 13 of the G.I Joe Modern Era figures, which, along with waves 10, 11 and 12, have never been seen in my small town. This was a very well and carefully packed box, as you can see. At least there was a little scrap of air-filled plastic draped across the figures to keep them company!


Due to this sudden breakdown in distribution, amusingly after Hasbro assured everyone that they were upping production on what has proven to be a very popular line, buying them on line for 25% off isn't really a hard choice. I'm sure there are many sound reasons for the lack of product in stores, not the least of which is the tanked American economy, the closure of Chinese toy plants, the price hike that has left wave 9 figures gathering dust on store shelves...and it's not like we can expect much improvement!

The Uncle reports that products from all waves of the Joe line are readily available in Long Island, all except for the Target Exclusive Ultimate Battle Pack, that is. Well, anyway, wave 13 looks to be another excellent addition to this growing line, featuring three characters from the new animated feature Resolute! The trailer was shown at San Diego Comic Con, and is probably available elsewhere on the internet, so we've all seen these character revamps of some old favorites, but it was a nice surprise to see them incorporated into the line already. Also was very sneaky of them to segue right into the new line...no chance to escape!



Posted by charlie on December 28th 2008, 10:17 AM
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Indiana Jones Toys - Dr. Henry Jones

Next in our coverage of the Indiana Jones Last Crusade figure line comes everyone's favorite, Dr. Henry Jones himself! Sean Connery was great in this film as Indy's dad, and the chemistry they had was believable and lots of fun - it made the movie what it was! Hasbro has done a great job with this figure, and you can't beat that it comes with the satchel and removable umbrella, ready to startle some seagulls into the prop of an attacking German plane! The figure even looks substantially more like Connery once you remove the hat and glasses. Click the image for more pics and text, and remember your Charlemagne.



Posted by charlie on December 27th 2008, 10:03 AM
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Sega Master System - After Burner

I hope that everyone had a fantastic and magical Christmas, and that you managed to get everything you wanted, both tangible and otherwise. I was delighted when I received a Rock Lord from my brother-in-law on Christmas morning - knock me over with a feather! It'll certainly be posted on the Preserve once the holidays have petered out and the camera-computer-website chain is re-established. In the meantime, let's check out another edition to our slowly growing Sega Master System library, with After Burner!


This had to be one of my favorite games in the arcade as a kid, though admittedly the thing that really won me over was the giant sit-down version, complete with hydraulics that would toss you around as you fought for your life in the skies! What a maintenance nightmare that game must have been, and it was certainly down more than it was running, but every now and then Challenges in Willow Grove Mall, PA would come through, and for $0.50 I'd get to have a little flight sim time!

Years later, at one of the arcade auctions I attended in Cherry Hill NJ (which are, I believe, now defunct) there was a sit-down After Burner machine. It was huge. It was almost working. It had to weigh 500lbs...and it didn't even sell for $5. What a heart breaker - I should have just gone for it, since I now regret missing that awesome chance. So, in the absence of that beautiful machine acting as the center point of my increasingly unusable living room, let's all settle for this SMS game, which is a pretty accurate rendition of the arcade experience. Maybe you can just roll around your room while playing; the poor-mans flight sim!

Also be sure to check out the expanded After Burner page for a look at an extra that was included with the game - an order form for a Free Membership to the Sega "Challenge" Team! Awesome!



Posted by charlie on December 26th 2008, 01:20 PM
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Merry Christmas, 2008, from the Preserve

Merry Christmas!



Playmobil Nativity Set 5719

from the Preserve!


Posted by charlie on December 25th 2008, 12:37 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar - complete!

Well we made it! The 2008 Lego Advent Calendar has seen us through another cold and snowy December and deposited us on the threshold of Christmas itself! So now, behold the complete calendar set for 2008!


I'm sure it's possible to fit a story to all of these various elements of the Lego city, but it would be somewhat of a tall order! At least taking each mini-scene on it's own merits, there were some great pieces in this set; lots of cool figures and their props. Click here to go to the page for the set, with more shots of all of the figures together. It's also sort of interesting to compare this final set to the shots that we got waaay back in February at Toy Fair in the Lego booth of this same calendar.


I especially dig the little kitten in the tree, which I'm sure will be rescued, and the bbq is key. In fact, the last shot I took of the whole set features bbq man in his element, surrounded by the soft focus rest of the set. I am inspired by that picture to wish everyone good food and good times with family and friends this week, and safe travels to and from those destinations. Thanks for sticking with the Preserve for the 2008 Lego Advent Calendar!



Posted by charlie on December 24th 2008, 06:37 AM
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G.I Joe Modern Era - TRU 3-Pack Air Command

Not content to rest on their Exclusive laurels, Hasbro brought another three stylishly designed 3-packs to Toys R Us several months ago. For a while they were in short supply, and I was thrilled to score them from the tru.com website, but now reports are coming in that they are more widely available, much like the pattern seen with the first wave of 3-packs. Well, today you can check out some glamor shots of the G.I. Joe Air Command pack, complete with Captain Ace, Wild Bill and Skyduster!


The design of these sets really has grown on me, and of course anyone with any sort of love for outrageous packaging design has to have immediately been smitten by the bottoms to these sets. Each one bears a giant character close-up, complete with exclamation! Well, seeing is believing, so check it out, then go get some of these excellent sets while the getting is good!



Posted by charlie on December 23rd 2008, 05:53 PM
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Indiana Jones - Grail Knight

It amazes me that some Indy fans don't like the Last Crusade movie. Maybe I was just at a nice point in my life when I saw it, or maybe it's because it is one of the movies I remember seeing in the theater with my father, but it stands as one of my all time favorites. Of course it follows that I love the line of toys that squeaked out of Hasbro in support of this fantastic film. Today I wanted to feature the Grail Knight, who was of course sitting atop the apex of the film, the destination of the last hour's worth of high adventure. His little facial queues when various grails are selected are priceless, and he certainly has a gift for understatement. Click the image for a detailed page on the knight himself, and some more images of this fantastic toy.


I also have to point out how great it is that Elsa comes with the fancy decorative false-grail, while this figure, rightly, comes with the plain, proper Grail itself. Movie accurate, and how key that we get an accessory of both items!
Posted by charlie on December 22nd 2008, 05:46 PM
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Wounded Ronin reviews Fallout 3




Hot off the presses, Wounded Ronin brings us his review of Fallout 3! A game that inspires heated debate, and has two very polorized camps surrounding it - seems you either love it or hate it. Continue on to the article, see the issues involved and hear the final verdict in 'An Attempt At Balanced Commentary'!
Posted by charlie on December 21st 2008, 05:17 PM
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Indiana Jones - Target Clearance

I appreciate a good sale as much as the next guy - heck maybe even a little more than the next guy. That's why the screaming clearance special that Target is running on the new Indiana Jones figures (remember that they were nearly $8 for a while), that we discussed here a few days back, is so bittersweet. Sure I can't pass up the bargain basement prices, especially when I was able to complete the Last Crusade collection for the Preserve by scoring Elsa for less than I'd have paid were it more widely available. But still, to see this on toys is never a good thing:


...since it always means trouble. Such great placement of the tag too - no respect! Or, given the respect it is due?

Sure you expect to see it happen to most movie tie-ins, but we all hoped for more here. At the end of the day, I guess it's just another Speed Racer, Hulk or Superman cousin, finding the way to the bargain bin. I'm sure that somewhere in this great land, someone has been able to score the Temple of Doom wave at Target lately, and we salute you!

One more point about the later waves - along with the poor performance of the new film, something that really hurt these figures was the very low quality control of the initial waves. You were more likely to find an Indy or Sallah with his "eye on his cheek" rather than a proper paint job, it seemed. This of course turned off a lot of the collectors, and people would paw through stacks of figures to find the few that looked reasonable. Ordering on line then became even more unpleasant, as you were unable to pre-examine your figures, and so customer sentiment fell further and further.

The buzz, to the contrary, had been that the Last Crusade and Temple of Doom figures had corrected these problems, and in spades! They are lauded as some of the finest work Hasbro has done in ages, and as such makes it that much more painful that the line is ending. I was struck by how solid and careful the paint work is on our Elsa figure, so wanted to finish with a nice close up, supporting the claims that Hasbro got their act together, though only too late! Click this image for a hi-res look (the pic makes her look a little lazy-eyed, which isn't actually the case).



Posted by charlie on December 20th 2008, 11:22 AM
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Indiana Jones - Col. Dovchenko 12 Inch

Opinions on the movie may have certainly been mixed - I know that I keep my own council on the thing - but at least the Crystal Skull Indy movie from the summer of 2008 spawned the best Indiana Jones toy line to have yet been made. Of course we've mentioned again and again that the line has been prematurely canceled due to low sales figures, thanks in part to luke warm reaction to the movie by the public. The figures in the final waves are nearly impossible to find, so while we don't have the last wave of 12" figures, we were able to secure a Col. Dovchenko covered with fire ants from hasbrotoyshop.com!


This figure will probably never turn up in my local stores, so it was fortunate that it was available through standard channels. I think they did a pretty solid job on the sculpt, and the packaging is fun with the ants mounted all over. The product ID numbers would indicate that he should have been part of the first wave of figures to be released, which would have made sense, but there must have been some sort of trouble that required a delay in the release.
Collector Tip: Remember, if you see the 12" Indy in German Disguise figure, grab it!
Posted by charlie on December 19th 2008, 12:51 AM
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Transformers Universe - Sideswipe

We posted his brother Sunstreaker what seems like ages ago, though in fairness he was a part of wave 1 of the Transformers Universe Deluxe figures. Well, today let's give him some company with Sideswipe, the other half of the dynamic duo!


A part of the 3rd Deluxe wave of this great Universe line, Sideswipe is a great looking figure, complete with his Flare Launcher and natural battle skills. It even looks like the top of the car is used as his jet-pack when in robot mode - nice work!
Posted by charlie on December 18th 2008, 07:33 AM
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G.I. Joe Modern Era - Target Exclusive Large Vehicles Wave 2
G.I. Joe Modern Era - Target Exclusive Large Vehicles Wave 2
Press Release - Hasbro has sent us packaged and loose images of two upcoming Target Exclusive vehicles from the G.I. Joe Modern Era collection! They are repaints of the first wave of two vehicles from a few months ago, but they look great!

Of particular interest is that the pictures indicate a fully sealed box, with spectacular art! They had been using the 'window' method lately, to show the toy on the shelf, but at the cost of the '80s style giant eye-popping art. It is wonderful to see a change, and hopefully that design makes it to final release in late February 2009! Click the link for larger pictures of these excellent vehicles.  Read More
Posted by charlie on December 17th 2008, 07:40 AM
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Masters of the Universe Classics Wave 1

Finally at the end of their long journey from, apparently, Ontario Canada, the first two figures in Mattel's Masters of the Universe Classics line have arrived! Well, technically the King Grayskull figure which was exclusive to the San Diego Comic Con was the first figure in this line, making He-Man and Beast Man figures #2 and #3 respectively.


They are really a sight to behold, and everyone better enjoy that removable armor which is ostensibly why they were several months late in shipping. Skeletor will join the ranks soon, as he is the January 2009 figure and that will be here before you know it. Shipping woes aside, this is a great start to the line, and I hope that Mattel is meeting the sales figures that they had set for themselves in order to keep this party going!
Posted by charlie on December 17th 2008, 06:29 AM
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Stylez G. White

In 1980s movie related sports tie-in name changing news, Buccaneer player Greg White has officially changed his name to Stylez G. White in what is, yes that is correct, a direct reference to Teen Wolf. Check this article for barely more information but credit where credit is due, and of course credit to The Uncle for turning up the story!
Posted by charlie on December 17th 2008, 01:57 AM
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Master of the Universe Classics finally arrive

Update on the Mattel shipping woes - the Masters of the Universe Classic figures have arrived! In fact, they probably arrived yesterday but timing didn't let me get to the post office, so let's call that December 15th. So that is 13 days from order, and 11 days from shipment. For $8.95 shipping and $20 per figure, that's pretty rough - I think most everyone who stays with this line into January will probably try out the UPS shipping if they did not already, and we'll see.

I just hope that Mattel hasn't killed this line before it even had a chance to begin. So rarely will something like this get a second chance, which is exactly what this is - I don't think it'll see a third chance if they fail again.
Posted by charlie on December 16th 2008, 07:12 AM
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MattyCollector.com He-Man Shipping Delays

You may remember that back on December 1st the first wave of (non-exclusive) Masters of the Universe Classics figures were made available for sale over at mattycollector.com. Well, we ordered up a set of the figures on December 2nd, and they supposedly shipped on the 4th. Now, with still no sign of them, you do start to wonder about the viability of this new experiment that Mattel is conducting (an exclusively mail-order line). I want so badly for this to work out, but they seem to have a number of bugs to iron out of their online system.

Various message boards indicate that some people are still waiting, while some received the figures in a much more timely manner. In fairness, there are several shipping methods, one being 'UPS' and one being 'economy'. With prices already near $9 for shipping, you better believe we went economy, but next month may be a different story! Hopefully any Preserve readers who ordered these excellent figures have had greater luck with their mail, and hopefully we'll see a Christmas miracle for those of us who continue to wait!
Posted by charlie on December 15th 2008, 10:42 AM
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GI Joe Modern Era Wave 13

We have a hot tip, direct from an astute reader of the Preserve, about wave 13 of the G.I. Joe Modern Era figures. Seems that yesterday they all went live on hasbrotoyshop.com and the 'holiday25' coupon code still works! Now, you would have noticed that had you added all 6 of the figures to your cart (find them by entering 'resolute' in the site search box) that it was under the needed $50 to get the free shipping deal which makes this truly excellent, but I'm sure you can find a few more things to buy there!

Now, sadly, this morning it appears that both Blowtorch and the Resolute Cobra Trooper have sold out! Well, so you can't get a full set, but 4 of the figures remain. I always have some remorse about buying on line, as it undermines the fun of the hunt, so at least this way you can still try to find some figures at retail! Certainly WalMarts in larger cities have been flooded with product, so this online ordering will not be necessary for many people, but things in my town have been so sparse that the chance to pick up the full wave at 25% off was too good to pass up.

If you are still hoping to score all 6 at once, check throughout the day today - often the in/out of stock status will fluctuate, and you just have to get lucky!
Posted by charlie on December 14th 2008, 08:43 AM
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Bravestarr - Fort Kerium

Does anyone remember Bravestarr? Well, it was an awesome show, and is now even available, in two volumes, on dvd! Well, The Uncle met with some solid success on eBay, managing to acquire a beautiful boxed example of the Fort Kerium playset from this excellent line of toys. We don't have a complete write-up on it yet, but for now enjoy that spectacular art on the box front. Remember when toy aisles looked like that? I sure do, and as hard as Hasbro and Mattel try to be awesome these days, nothing will quite equal the heyday.


Fun Fact: Sue Blu provided the voice of Judge J.B. McBride for the cartoon. You may also know her as Arcee in the Transformers universe, and she is now the voice director for the Transformers Animated cartoon!
Posted by charlie on December 13th 2008, 12:05 AM
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G.I. Joe Modern Era - Comic Packs wave 7

Word is that WalMarts across the land are receiving a simply obscene amount of G.I. Joe product - really filling their holiday coffers with joy as we race headlong into the holiday season. Reports are coming in from all over that all of the new waves, including figures, vehicles and comic packs as well, are arriving in great numbers. We sadly haven't seen any figures beyond wave 10 still, in this little town, but were able to find the wave 7 comic packs!


Of course, wave 6 is still no where to be found, but these look great! They will be added to the Preserve in greater detail soon, but for now get out there and see if you can flesh out the your collection!
Posted by charlie on December 12th 2008, 09:21 AM
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KB Toys files for Bankruptcy...again



KB Toys

In grim Corporate news, one of the few remaining toy retailers, KB Toys, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This is not the first time they have gone down this road, having also filed in 2004 and changed their name from Kay Bee, but it sounds like it is sadly the last time. Word is that 'going out of business' sales will begin at their 277 mall stores and 114 outlet stores almost immediately.

I certainly have fond memories of scouring the local Kay Bee in Plymouth Meeting mall near my childhood home outside of Philadelphia - building with my father what would in later years come to be the Preserve. It was always especially great this time of year, with overflowing shelves and a whole pen full of mechanical animals squeaking and bumping around as you walked in the store. People always jammed the aisles, and everyone had a look of wonder in their eye. It is especially sad to have this news hit in the holiday season, and reminds us all to appreciate good things while they last. Head down to your local KB, get a figure, and save the soon-to-be historical bag. Check out the details here and get another article here with some thoughtful comments.
Posted by charlie on December 11th 2008, 05:29 PM
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Target Indy Figure Clearance

Another nail was pounded into the coffin of the Hasbro Indiana Jones line today at Target, where the single carded figures have finally hit clearance. 3 3/4" figures are down to $3.80 each, and the remaining 12" figures were ringing in at about $10. If you're still missing anything from the first two waves, or want to do some troop building, this may now be the time.

What will really be the win is for anyone who can score a case of Temple of Doom or Last Crusade figures at these prices - I know they are out there! Best of luck to everyone, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Akator Temple playset that everyone is avoiding at my local store will get a nice red sticker on it soon, allowing the Preserve to at least come that much closer to a complete collection.
Posted by charlie on December 11th 2008, 08:43 AM
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Indiana Jones - Cargo Truck with Fabric Canopy

Featured in a group shot a few days ago with the excellent G.I. Joe Modern Era F.A.N.G. and C.L.A.W vehicle set, the Indiana Jones Cargo Truck 'with real fabric canopy' now has it's own entry and pics.


As mentioned, this vehicle represents the end of the 2008 Hasbro Indy vehicle line, with all other potential 2009 entries either having been shelved or scrapped. It still puzzles me that they released this as a very slight modification to the wave 1 cargo truck, but really, you can never have too many of these things! Be sure to pick up some spare German Soldier and Cairo Henchmen 2-packs as the line goes through it's termination this holiday season. Hopefully those figures from Raiders and (especially) KotCS (Russian Soldiers!) will be super-discounted, so keep your eyes open for mounting sale values as the weeks go by! With luck, everyone can do some troop building without breaking the bank. That cargo truck has a lot of room in the back, after all!
Posted by charlie on December 10th 2008, 04:40 PM
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Transformers Q&A #2

Hot off the Hasbro presses, here are the responses to our 2nd Transformers Q&A! (direct link)


Transformers Q&A #2

Preserve: In the Gi Joe line, there was a recent figure homage to Matt Trakker from M.A.S.K.. Is there any chance of a homage to a classic M.A.S.K. vehicle in the Transformers line? Thunderhawk would make a great flying Autobot car...

Hasbro: One of our designers was a big M.A.S.K. fan as a kid and Matt Tracker teamed up with the Transformers in his toybox all the time. He thought the GI Joe figure was a great nod but nothing is currently planned for a T-Bob crossover though.

Preserve: Target has had exclusive "Ultimate Battle Packs" of Gi Joe and Star Wars in recent years, which have been awesome. Is there any chance of a Transformers set of this size and quality?

Hasbro: Everything is certainly always on the table when we are discussing possible exclusives for our retail partners. Each exclusive needs to meet that specific retailers plans, so when the time is right we hope to be able to do some great things like that. Needless to say, I would keep your eyes open for some great exclusives next year.

Preserve: With the 25th Anniversary figures announced so far, we have two of the seven classic Beast Wars Maximal crew coming. Any chance of seeing any more of them in the 25th line, or perhaps some of the Predacons? Note: we need a new, non-Transmetal Rattrap!

Hasbro: The 25th Anniversary is meant to celebrate the many eras and fantastic spectrum of characters that Transformers has had in the last 25 years. We were only able of pull a few Beast Wars characters from that era for the 25th Anniversary. Cheetor makes sense because he's a popular character and our design team wanted to create a more realistic Cheetor. Dinobot was another good choice because kids love dinosaurs and fans seem to really like Dinobot as a character. But we currently have no plans on adding more Beast Wars to the line.

Preserve: Why did Universe Sunstreaker and Sideswipe not get chromed spoilers and engines? Is it a cost issue or does Hasbro think kids don't like chrome?

Hasbro: Overall, the decision to or not to vaccum metalize or ""chrome"" an item comes down to a couple of things. First, plastic does not take well to vacuum metalizing. When a piece of plastic begins to flex, the metalized pieces can begin to flake taking away from the aesthetic of the toy. Additionally, in certain cases the vacuum metalized process can actually weaken the plastic leading to higher breakage of certain pieces.

As a result, in those instances where we feel it makes sense to add the vacuum metalized pieces without compromising the aesthetic or safety of the product we will certainly do so.


Preserve: There have been a number of updates already announced for the 25th line to concepts which have long been extinct - Targetmasters, cassette alt-modes. What are the chances of trying to make a cool Pretender figure in the 25th?

Hasbro: I would have to say not good for the Pretenders in the 25th Anniversary line. While Pretenders are certainly a cool part of the heritage of the brand, we felt that there were other eras that were better suited to celebrate in the 25th Anniversary.




Thanks to everyone for the great questions! Start thinking up some more for the next Q&A round - submission deadline is Monday, February 23, 2009!
Posted by charlie on December 9th 2008, 11:35 AM
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Transformers Universe - Mini-Cons
Transformers Mini-Cons: Blight
Press Release - The excellent KMart Exclusive Transformers Mini-con 12-pack figures are seeing re-release on single cards as part of the 25th Anniversary celebration! Click the Read More link to see loose and packaged shots of Blight, Bodyblock, Boltflash, Brimstone, Cosmos, Makeshift and Suppressor!  Read More
Posted by charlie on December 9th 2008, 07:17 AM
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Indiana Jones - Colonel Vogel

Despite our efforts to find the Indiana Jones Last Crusade figures, the Preserve collection is still one Elsa short of a full deck! Don't even get me started on the Temple of Doom figures - we have never seen a single one at anything approximating retail! Granted we're not trying as hard as the great Masterpiece Starscream hunt of ages past, so the prospects of finding these fantastic figures at retail are looking pretty grim. It was therefore a delight to stumble upon this Vogel figure, all alone on the peg without his matching Elsa sadly (but certainly with plenty of Crystal Skull Mutt warmers to keep him company).


This is yet another great figure that shows the true tragedy of Hasbro canceling this line after only one wave for each movie. Granted we really got a ton of great product over it's short life span, and everyone should be thrilled about that, but they stepped up their game so much for the Last Crusade and Temple of Doom figures that it's just heartbreaking to have the line killed just as it reached it's stride. Well, you can click the image above to check out Vogel, and I hope that Preserve readers across the country are having better luck tracking down the last few figures than we are here!
Posted by charlie on December 8th 2008, 10:14 AM
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Press Release: G.I. Joe Modern Era - Mighty Muggs Wave 2
G.I. Joe Modern Era - Mighty Muggs
Press Release - Mixing it up a little bit from our barrage of Transformers coverage direct from Hasbro, today let's take a look at the first two waves of Mighty Muggs to be added to the ever growing G.I. Joe Modern Era series! Click the link for pics of the first 6 figures to join this set!  Read More
Posted by charlie on December 8th 2008, 12:58 AM
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Sega Master System - Dead Angle

Let's celebrate a lazy Sunday with a classic game for the Sega Master System. This time, we're taking a look at Dead Angle, a classic story of a hard boiled detective who put the wrong dude behind bars. Now his girl is missing and he's fully engaged in a PMoV! (Psychotic Mission of Vengeance - it's important!)


Careful reading of the back of the box points out that this game was licensed from SEIBU KAIHATSU, another Japanese game company. They are best known for their Raiden series of titles, though also created the Dead Angle game, one year before Sega of America would get the rights to bring it to the states. This is a fun game, and definitely worth picking up!
Posted by charlie on December 7th 2008, 01:40 PM
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Press Release: Transformers Robot Heroes 2009 waves 2,3
Transformers Robot Heroes - Prowl vs. Laserbeak
Press Release - The Transformers updates continue with a look at four upcoming Robot Heroes sets! We hadn't seen the Laserbeak figure until Hasbro sent us these pics directly, and it's really great. Click the link for some beautiful shots of Robot Heroes waves 2 and 3 from 2009!  Read More
Posted by charlie on December 6th 2008, 01:50 AM
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Press Release - Transformers Animated Waspinator and more
Transformers Animated - Target Exclusive Sunstorm and Ratchet set
Press Release - Hasbro has sent us a whole raft of new fantastic official images of upcoming Transformers products, so let's start paddling that to shore! Click the link for a look at new figures in the Animated line, including Waspinator and a cool repaint/retool of Prowl!  Read More
Posted by charlie on December 5th 2008, 04:37 PM
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G.I. Joe Modern Era - Wraith

Thanks to the tireless toy hunting efforts of local G.I. Joe fan Rudger, the Preserve has finally managed to add a Wraith to the collection, at last completing wave 10 of the Modern Era. As we've mentioned before, the Wraith comes in a limited variation of a clear figure as well, though it is supposed to be extremely hard to find. For now, click the image below to learn more about this great looking figure!


To date, still not a single figure from any wave greater than 9 has been seen in this town, and it was necessary to find it over 20 miles away! While Hasbro claims to have improved production numbers from their earliest shortfalls, I think we're back in a cycle of underproduction and rarity. Who can blame them, really, with the current economy, and honestly that will make it even cooler to find wave 11, 12, 13 (I hope!) in stores...some day.
Posted by charlie on December 5th 2008, 08:10 AM
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GI Joe and Indy Toy Haul

What a great looking stack of product these two vehicles make. Hasbro continues to turn out the awesome with the F.A.N.G / C.L.A.W. set from G.I. Joe Modern Era collection, and the fabric covered Cargo Truck from the now terminated Indiana Jones series.


The Cobra vehicle 2-pack is really an amazing deal. Giving you two figures and two small vehicles for the $15.99 price is just out of whack in a world that tries to charge $7.99 per single carded figure. As mentioned earlier, stores seem to be adjusting that price down slightly, as they somewhat overshot the customer price tolerance as indicated by the languishing figures on pegs across the land.

Also somewhat puzzling is the Indy vehicle. While I do love this Truck, and the packaging is 3-D and gorgeous, it is funny in a line with only 3 distinct vehicles to re-release one with a fabric rather than molded plastic top. The result is awesome, and of course was easy for them to achieve (no need to make an entirely new vehicle) but it joins the list of confusing decisions which surrounded this line.

Overall, though, two great items, and both somewhat rare. The recent cancellation of the wave 5 G.I. Joe vehicle line by Hasbro has yet to be explained (hopefully it is just postponed), but it is sure to make the existing released vehicles that much more desired.
Posted by charlie on December 4th 2008, 12:46 AM
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G.I. Joe Modern Era - Cobra Para-Viper

Zeroing in on completing the coverage of G.I. Joe wave 10, we take a look today at another fantastic figure, the Cobra Para-Viper!


Packed with detail and accessories, this is another one not to miss. Great for the troop builders too, of course, it's likely that this one won't stay on the pegs long, especially with many retailers rethinking their $7.99 prices. Now all that remains is the Wraith, and it sounds like friend of the Preserve Rudger has a hookup for us! What seems to be super-rare is the Hasbro official variant of a clear Wraith.

Collector Tip: If you ever do see one of these clear Wraith figures (more like blue translucent Wraith) be sure to pick it up. Reports are that whole stacks of searched wave 10 cases turn up zero of these figures, so they seem to be super rare!
Posted by charlie on December 3rd 2008, 06:55 AM
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G.I. Joe Q&A

The Hasbro G.I. Joe team has returned their answers to our latest questions for the last round of Q&A in 2008! Special thanks to Michael Ritchie, Global Brand Marketing Director for G.I. Joe for providing the answers for us. (direct link)

G.I. Joe Q&A

1) The DVD Battle packs are fantastic - any plans to release the original G.I. Joe movie in a similar format?
Our entertainment team is looking at finding the best use for the GI Joe movie. There is no plan to release it right now.

2) With the success of the current vehicle sales, can you give us any hints as to the possibility of something like the USS Flagg hitting stores in the future? If you cannot reveal that in particular, then in a general sense are other large-scale vehicles or playsets perhaps in the pipeline?
The USS Flagg will not be making a comeback in the foreseeable future. Larger scale vehicles are coming with the movie, but nothing we can discuss yet.

3) The new Target exclusive Ultimate Battle Pack is indeed most ultimate, and is a real achievement. Depending on how it sells over the holidays (and we expect it will sell out immediately!) would you consider other large multi-packs of that format?
Large battle packs will be considered based on the success of the Ultimate pack. There are currently no plans for another set like this in 2009.

4) The vintage MOBAT from the Ultimate Battle Pack is great - any plans for more motorized vehicles, either vintage reissues or new creations?
There are currently no plans to issue more of these in the near future.

5) Fan opinion seems surprisingly mixed about Matt 'Specialist' Trakker. I myself am a huge fan of the M.A.S.K. line and was ecstatic that you chose to include him - so I mainly want to thank you for that! I have heard it said that he was definitely a one-shot, and not intended to lead into a revival of the M.A.S.K. line. Given that, are other cool one-shot cross-over or 'novelty' figures being discussed currently (C.O.P.S., mass release Roddy Piper, etc) or is it back to strictly Joe business now? (Personally I'd be thrilled about another Piper figure :-)
The Matt Trakker figure was in fact a one shot and we are now back to the business of GI Joe and not looking at other novelty cross overs. We thought Matt was special enough to bring into the line.


Thanks to everyone for the great questions! Start thinking up some more for the next Q&A round in 2009!
Posted by charlie on December 2nd 2008, 06:49 AM
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Lego Advent Calendar, 2008

How better to celebrate the happiest time of year than with a Lego Advent Calendar! Sure many of us remember these from years past, with each passing day giving us a small piece of chocolate or a relevant bible verse as we counted down to the Big Day, but Lego really turned it up a notch. Everyday you get a new Lego structure or figure, and they all go together along a theme so that when you are done, you have a whole diorama! It is loads of fun, and can often be found at your local Borders Books in late November, or of course on lego.com. Get yours quickly, since they always sell out!


We've had one of these for each of the past few years, but hadn't gotten a chance to post it to the Preserve. Well, this year we hope to keep up with every day, and do the countdown to Christmas! Click the image above for information about the set, and for a link to the first figure on this fine December 1st!
Posted by charlie on December 1st 2008, 12:43 PM
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