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Journal Archives from April 2011
 
Underground Toys Doctor Who TV Spot

Watching the 2nd part of the epic Doctor Who goes to America premiere tonight on BBC America, I was astonished to see an actual ad from Underground Toys for their Doctor figures!


Pretty lousy quality and quiet sound, but that's the best the iPhone could do in a pinch. At least it's captured so I don't think I imagined it all! Or, as is more typical for me, forgot about it as soon as I turn around.

Posted by charlie on April 30th 2011, 07:15 PM
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Tron Legacy - One Man Light Jet Diecast Vehicle

Weeks, even months after I declared the end of this promising line of toys from Spin Master, I was astonished to find the series 2 diecast vehicles at my local Target, and the series 2 basic figures at the downtown KMart! Well, here is the One Man Light Jet from the 2nd and, one assumes, last line of vehicles from this line - even though the back of the card assures us that series 3 is coming soon! Click the image below for a few more shots of this vehicle, and check out the cardback for the full set of series 2 vehicles - most of which are re-cards.


Speaking of which - that's the interesting thing about the series 2 of this line. I've been known to complain when companies cut corners and re-use generic cardbacks for multiple figures in the line. Not only does this assure that no one gets a unique bio, but often the bar codes and item numbers are even the same - I can't imagine doing inventory control on those lines! A good example of this is the Jazwares A-Team line from last year, which got a lot of mileage out of that one cardback. Well - here we have a polar opposite - where Spin Master took the effort to put figures from series 1 on series 2 cards, complete with different item numbers and barcodes. Even more amazingly - the basic figure series 2 cards are larger! Well, it's an interesting line to be sure, and I'm glad I could see some of the series 2 product so I could at least appreciate those variations.
Posted by charlie on April 29th 2011, 02:42 AM
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G.I. Joe Q&A #1 - 2011

GI Joe logo

This just in! Our replies from Hasbro for the latest G.I. Joe Q&A have just arrived, so read and enjoy. All three of our questions were answered - thanks! Check them out below:

G.I. Joe Q&A #1 (2011)

Preserve: Snake Eyes and Timber, Shipwreck and Polly, the Master and his Croc - does the brand team ever discuss other pets / sidekicks that might be a good match for other characters in the G.I. Joe universe?
Hasbro: We've all got our favorite pets. One of the designers on the staff actually has a cat that is similar in stature to the famous bobcat "Max". Despite our enthusiasm, there are no more plans for expanding "pets" at this time.

Preserve: Does the team keep vintage figures and vehicles around the office, or do they prefer to be inspired by the new media of Renegades and the movie(s) to keep the ideas fresh, only dipping into the past for special projects?
Hasbro: Great question. Actually, it's a careful balance of both, at least for the design of the 30th anniversary. We do have a reserve of old vehicles as well as some recent releases. Oftentimes an old vehicle is "hacked up" to create a new vehicle. It is a strangely satisfying feeling to send a small plastic tank through the bandsaw, knowing that it's demise will lead to a new and possibly more awesome new vehicle.

Preserve: With the re-introduction of the 12-inch scale might the concept of 'outfits' that could be separately purchased re-emerge from the distant past, or does that still come too close to the 'doll' rather than 'action figure' concept these days?
Hasbro: Sorry, they are not part of the current plan for 30th Anniversary.




Thanks to the team at Hasbro for their great answers!


Posted by charlie on April 28th 2011, 07:37 AM
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Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Preview Optimus

I returned to Preserve HQ this evening to discover a surprise package from our press buddies at Hasbro. What was inside? Why, the first and only preview figure from the imminent new Transformers line to support this summer's third live action movie!


The first wave of figures will be hitting stores in a coordinated blast on May 16th, though some stores have gotten this limited preview Optimus Prime ahead of time (as they were supposed to). Since my lame local stores have not, it was a welcome surprise to get to see this figure at last! This version of Prime is from the new Cyberverse label, and is 'Commander' scale, which is sort of what 'Scout' is becoming going forward. Conveniently it even comes with some great 3D glasses, so you can see exclusive content on transformers.com - or feel like you're at a screening of Freddy's Dead in 1991! I think for the upcoming Dark of the Moon movie, though, I'm going to spring for the Optimus Prime 3D mask - pictures of me wearing that at the preview will follow in the fullness of time.


I'll open him up soon, but wanted to get the post done as soon as possible. Also Hasbro wanted to remind you all about their 16 Weeks of Cyber Sweeps contest which will keep the excitement high until the movie hits theaters on July 1st!

Posted by charlie on April 27th 2011, 06:12 AM
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Transformers Power Core Combiners - Steamhammer & the Constructicons

It wouldn't be right to post the Dinobots without posting their wave-mate, Steamhammer and the Constructicons! Something I found particularly interesting in the bio for this figure is that it directly addresses the G1 Constructicons team, and lets us know that they are two different entities! Click the image below to check it out for yourself!



Posted by charlie on April 26th 2011, 08:43 PM
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Transformers - Power Core Combiners - Grimstone and the Dinobots

While sounding like a Milwaukee doom metal band, the Grimstone and the Dinobots set is actually very creative and a fantastic realization of the Dinobots-Gestalt that fans have discussed for years. Sadly Hasbro wasn't 100% on target with the Power Core line, at least so the sales numbers will tell us, but they did present an interesting idea and at least tried something new, and this particular figure deserves no small amount of notice. Click the image below for the full gallery of the Dinobots PCC 5-pack, and the bio for Grimstone himself.



Posted by charlie on April 25th 2011, 09:01 PM
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Transformers: Generations - Kup

In keeping with the theme of the 1986 animated Transformers film, which simply based on the lack of Autobot Heaven may well be seen as the best of the Transformers films, we'll finish up the week with another figure from that drama. Here we have the 2011 version of Kup! We've all been waiting for a new version of the grizzled, story telling warrior for years, and it was very exciting to see him finally show up in wave 6 of this fan-favorite line. He's looking tough as always, and has the bio to prove it. Click the image for the gallery of this ageless, and ancient, Cybertronian warrior!



Posted by charlie on April 22nd 2011, 06:22 PM
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Transformers Generations - Scourge

So I've been looking around for wave 6 of the Transformers: Generations line for what seems like ages, and was all excited and proud of myself for finally tracking down both Scourge and Kup in the past week. Then I stop by Walmart this evening, and see three of each clogging the pegs - never fails! Well, they are still super cool figures, and continue this classy theme that Hasbro did for the late winter / early spring of focusing on characters from the 1986 animated feature film. Click the image below for some more angles of Scourge, the tracker!


You'll have to buy a lot of duplicates to replicate his huntsmen...the Sweeps! You want me to gut Ultra Magnus!?
Posted by charlie on April 21st 2011, 08:20 PM
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Captain Power - on DVD!

If you read this site, then chances are that you're also a fan of Captain Power! Well - great scott - have I got some news for you! It seems that there is a brand new official Facebook page as well as an amazing new site, captainpowerreturns.net - watch the video!

But the crowning awesomeness is the new posting on tvshowsondvd.com that tells us that our favorite interactive series will be available on official DVD...in 2012! Well, it's a lot of news to be sure, but all very exciting - let's hope it goes as planned, and that there is a renewed interest in this great, overlooked show! Power On!



Posted by charlie on April 20th 2011, 06:42 PM
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Ghostbusters - Vinz Clortho

I know that it may be easy for some to forget, what with the on-again off-again and non-monthly nature of the Mattel Ghostbusters figures over the last year+, but the really remarkable thing is that Club Ecto exists and will regularly deliver a shiny new repaint to your door on a bi-monthly basis! Well, even more astounding then is the brand-spanking-new figure of none other than Louis Tully, aka Vinz Clortho, Keymaster of Gozer! He comes with some hilarious extras, and a bio chock-full of words I'd always wondered how to spell. Click the image of Vinz to see the full gallery of this figure, and refresh your memory on just what role he plays in the GB universe!


Do you think it's too warm in here for the brie?


Posted by charlie on April 19th 2011, 07:05 AM
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Masters of the Universe Classcs - King Hssss

In celebration of the April sale at Mattycollector.com I figured I'd continue my efforts to catch up with the huge backlog that I've dug for myself of this fantastic line. Working backwards, it only makes sense to post King Hssss from March 2011, another great classic character that has been perfectly re-imagined by the Horsemen. Click the image below for the bio, the mattycollector notes, and more images of this long-lived leader of the Snake Men!



Posted by charlie on April 18th 2011, 03:50 AM
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Press Release - Mezco Toyz Mini Mez-Itz Wave 2
Mezco Toyz - Mini Mez-Itz Assortment 2
Press Release: Our pals at Mezco Toyz have sent along an image of their just-announced assortment 2 in their Mini Mez-Itz line! Click through to learn what characters you can look forward to in this wave.  Read More
Posted by charlie on April 15th 2011, 05:42 PM
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Tron Legacy - Kevin Flynn's Deluxe Identity Disc

Several days ago we took a look at the Rinzler Identity Disc from 'Series 2' of the dwindling Spinmaster Tron Legacy line. While that disc is pretty hard to find, it seems that the Kevin Flynn one tops the demand charts, with eBay as our guide at least. Not too hard to figure out why - probably not a lot of them around (until they hit Ross stores in a month, perhaps) and it's a pretty cool art decision to have the back of the Dude's head as the art. Rare to see that angle, especially on a retail product!

Here then is that disc - I'm amazed that one turned up my small town and that I was able to snag it. I suppose having shifted my schedule back into daily Target runs has something to do with it. Click the image for more angles of what is proving to be a pretty rare piece!



Posted by charlie on April 14th 2011, 07:03 AM
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Fairchild Channel F: Videocart-1

In celebration of the life and work of Jerry Lawson, I've finally established the Fairchild Channel F gallery here at the Preserve! As the narrator says, let us begin at the beginning, and here we have Videocart-1, which means it is a very historically important artifact indeed. Click the image below for more shots of this beautiful piece of history, to read details about the four games it contains, and even browse through the manual.


My favorite part of the outer package text has to be this simple yet profound statement:

This preprogrammed cartridge plugs into the console of the Fairchild Video Entertianment System for more TV fun with these exciting solo games.

Posted by charlie on April 13th 2011, 02:41 AM
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Game Designer Jerry Lawson: 1940 - 2011

You might not recognize the name, but Jerry Lawson was instrumental in the development of console gaming as we all know it. He invented the Fairchild Channel F system, and if you've been paying attention that's supremely important because it featured the first programmable game carts. This was the revolution, and led to the ability to extend the game library of a home system without end. He passed away Saturday and I felt it is something you should know, so we can all take a moment to celebrate his accomplishments.

Check out the story at 1up.com for some links to more information, and vintagecomputing.com for a detailed interview with this brilliant gamer.



Posted by charlie on April 12th 2011, 08:11 AM
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Tron Legacy - Rinzler's Deluxe Identity Disc

It would seem that the Tron Legacy toy line didn't get the memo that not only was it not selling well, but the movie was quite some time ago. Spinmaster must have made quite the deal with Target to keep their spot in the boy's section as long as they have, though I suppose it could be attributed to Target's extremely disinterested stance on all things Action Figures that they appear to take every late winter and spring. For whatever reason, Tron persists, offering up the same dusty die cast and deluxe figures that made it safely through the holiday shopping season.

However, eBay teaches us that the West Coast of this fine country is getting something magical known as 'series 2' of this line - go figure! While I don't expect to see very much of that around here, the two later-day Identity Discs have in fact shown up. Let's take a look at Rinzler's, why don't we.


Seems, against all odds, that this disc and especially the white one of The Dude are in some manner of demand, so if you enjoyed the movie or the toys, do keep an eye out for them.

Posted by charlie on April 11th 2011, 08:10 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Hasbro: Transformers

I've finally mixed down our Transformers video! We took a handful of footage from the uber-crowded Transformers alcove in the Hasbro gallery and here it is!


I opted to leave the audio on in this one, rather than some awkward music. I really do love the background noise of these clips from the show in general, and as near as I could tell there was nothing sensitive or lame that can be overheard here - feel free to listen close and tell me! The Dark of the Moon figures should be hitting stores in a few weeks (ok, maybe a month) and we'll cover then when they do!
Posted by charlie on April 8th 2011, 07:53 PM
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Masters of the Universe Classics - Battle Armor Skeletor

One of my strongest tactile memories of playing with toys when I was young turns out to be the 'battle damage' cylinder in the chest of He-Man and Skeletor from the 1984 (the greatest year!) line of figures. For those who may not remember or who may not have ever had the experience, a push on the chestplate would disengage a small internal clasp, allowing the cylinder to rotate, displaying an increasing amount of 'damage' to the armor. It was super cool, and wonderfully engaging - a nice example of a play feature that doesn't get in the way of imagination or creativity, as so many voice chips and more complex items do in my opinion.

So it was with great rejoycing that Mattel included both the He-Man and Skeletor Battle Armor figures in their ongoing, fan favorite line of Classics figures. The one down side? Well, it turns out that the '80s really were magical, because now days it's basically impossible to do great action features like that - so we're told - even at a $20 price point (yes, volume, I know). For those wanting to somewhat recapture that particular feature experience, check out the Kryptonite Collision Battle Pack from the Batman: The Brave and the Bold line. The chest plate of Metallo does a very good impression of this 'impossible' vintage feature! As for fantasticlly updated versions of the figures themselves, you can't go wrong with the new offerings by the Horsemen, and here we have Battle Armor Skeletor, released on March 15th, and finally unearthed from his shipping container here at the Preserve last night!


Yes, I'm going to actually open him, just didn't have a chance to as yet. Though more to the point may be digging out my old figure, and seeing if that plate still knows how to spin!

Posted by charlie on April 8th 2011, 11:53 AM
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Commodore 64 Goes on Sale

Well, it's April 2011, so it's time for the Commodore 64 to go on sale! While the reviews for this device aren't 100% favorable, being that it's both expensive and a little slow (like the good old days!) you really can't deny it's panache. Click through to learn more about this cool replica device, and what it can do for you!



Posted by charlie on April 7th 2011, 07:00 PM
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Star Wars Miniland Grand Opening
Lego Star Wars Miniland
Press Release: Several days ago, the brand new Star Wars Miniland was grandly opened at Legoland in California. Our friends at Lego sent along some great information about the event, and some outstanding pictures. Guest of honor? How about Carrie Fisher? Yeah, cool I know! Click through to learn more about the event and see the pics.  Read More
Posted by charlie on April 6th 2011, 08:49 AM
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Press Release: Mezco Toys Living Dead Dolls Series 22
Mezco Toyz - Living Dead Dolls Series 22
Press Release: Just unveiled by our pals at Mezco Toyz we have a fresh look at their decaying darlings in Living Dead Dolls series 22! Click through for a few more words about these new figures, and a pre-order link.  Read More
Posted by charlie on April 5th 2011, 11:01 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Hasbro Gallery: G.I. Joe

Next in our lineup of 2-month old videos, here is a musical montage of the G.I. Joe figures that Hasbro had on display in their showroom!


I'd say something about how the video is so late that the new product is already on the shelves, but that sure isn't the case! In fact, I'm finding a total lack of new Hasbro figures across all of their brands, at least in my local stores. There's always a lull this time of year, but it's really a little extreme. Of course, could just be my location, and maybe gas prices are effecting shipping - who knows!

Posted by charlie on April 5th 2011, 08:52 AM
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Toy Fair 2011 - Playmobil Video Tour

It seems that this next video has already become popular without my having to advertise it at all, drawing a number of views on youtube since the moment I put it up....even though it's about 2 months late! Well, I'm glad that people are finding it useful, so here officially is our video of our tour through the Playmobil booth!



Posted by charlie on April 4th 2011, 07:42 AM
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