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Journal Archives from June 2008
 
Transformers Movie 2007 - Premium Bumblebee

We finally finished up with the Transformers Movie 2007 Deluxe line, having at last posted Premium series Bumblebee to the Preserve! Having been lucky enough to score this one several weeks ago, it remains the only example of this figure we've ever seen in stores! As a line draws to a close, the final figures are always going to be harder to find, and potentially in greater demand down the road. We still have not seen a single example from either the final wave of Real Gear figures, or Robot Heroes, and they are even in short supply on eBay! Fortunately hasbrotoyshop.com still has them in stock, so anyone who is looking to complete this entire set might do well to abandon the hunt for these end-game figures. Click the image for more views and the retool-justifying bio.


This should complete the list of Deluxe figures, at a staggering total of 29 bots! Now, there are still some exclusives trickling out here and there, like the second wave of WalMart exclusives that are supposed to hit later this year, but barring any funny stuff from Hasbro they really should put this line to bed and get on with the amazing Animated and Classics 2.0 lines, which are hitting stores now!
Posted by charlie on June 30th 2008, 07:39 AM
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Transformers Animated - Lockdown

Well folks, for a time we considered sparing ourselves from the next large Hasbro line that we would, undoubtedly, insist on purchasing in it's entirety, by not falling prey to that one Pandora's Purchase that always kicks things off. For better or for worse, seeing the figures in stores at long last proved too strong a temptation to avoid, and we left with the Lockdown and Blackarachnia Deluxe figures. Click the image of Lockdown for his detail page!


Anyone who has been watching the cartoon and has even a passing interest in toys and collectables will probably be sucked into this line. By and large they are doing a really fantastic job with that show, and that the accompanying action figures which make up this line are nearly perfect copies of their on screen counterparts, in both robot and alternate mode, makes it almost impossible to say no. The sky is probably the limit with this line, since the show is being well received - so far the list of released and planned figures isn't giant, but I have my private suspicious as to what the future holds. Oh that Pandora's Purchase is a tough pill to swallow sometimes!
Posted by charlie on June 29th 2008, 12:39 AM
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Press Release - GI Joe Hall of Heroes
GI Joe logo
Press Release - This just in from Hasbro - the winners of the Hall of Heroes online poll have been announced! Click the link for the list of the 10 figures we will see released in the spring of 2009 with special decos and commemorative packaging.  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 28th 2008, 03:47 PM
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Night of the Comet

The movies on tap last night at the Preserve were a great time for one and all, and as such I feel that I would be remiss in not passing along my hearty recommendations for their viewing. The two films were vastly different, though both enjoyable on their own merit, as is so often the case.
 
First we saw Night of the Comet, which is a fantastic end-of-the-world type movie that I used to see all the time as the Movie of the Week in the '80s. Hailing not only from the Greatest Decade, but in particular from our favorite year of 1984, it features a host of girls with awesome hair, and a hero in the form of a young Chakotay from Star Trek Voyager (aka Robert Beltran). A comet that is on a 65 million year track past the Earth returns - the first time it wiped out the dinosaurs overnight, and now it wipes out the silly humans! Anyone not inside of a steel structure when the comet passed by turns into an awesome pile of orange dust with their clothes layed out in amusingly perfect human-shape fashion on the dust. Of course you have some zombies, who didn't get all the way dust-ified, and the 'scientists' who are so often the bad guys and sure were here. But never fear, Chakotay is on hand to save the day!
 
Nothing says follow-up to 80s sci-fi horror like the 1976 motorhead comedy opus of The Gumball Rally, staring Preserve favorites Gary Busey and Raul Julia! It's good fun from minute one to minute 105, and includes a whole host of quotables like "sometimes your best just isn't good enough" (a Preserve by-line) and the toast to internal combustion! While an unlikely pairing, the two choices kept things interesting, and you should be sure to check them out*!
(*Remember we have very dubious taste in movies - you have been warned!)
Posted by charlie on June 28th 2008, 08:46 AM
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Press Release - NECA - Bionic Commando
NECA - Bionic Commando
Press Release - NECA shows us another fantastic figure, and one that all us gamers should be very excited about - their excellent 7" Bionic Commando figure! Click the link for a larger image, and to learn more.  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 27th 2008, 08:40 AM
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Press Release - NECA Gears of War Exclusive
NECA - Carmine Exclusive
Press Release - Just in from NECA, packaged shots of their San Diego Comic Con exclusive Carmine figure from Gears of War. Click the link to see more pics and for a link to their full release.  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 27th 2008, 08:32 AM
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Air Raiders - Man o War

As promised several days ago, an expedition was made to the Preserve archives and the massive Air Raiders Man-O-War was discovered and rescued!


What is even better, as you can see, was the discovery of the box with the vehicle. In still more amazing news, the box still contained all of the original pack-in material, including unused sticker sheets, instructions and a beautiful Air Raiders catalog with pictures of an unreleased playset! All of that material will be posted to the Air Raiders section of the Preserve but I wanted to at least get the basic picture of the newly re-discovered Man-O-War up for display. Yes, it's very dusty, original dust from 1989! I will be cleaning it for the next photo shoot, promise.
Posted by charlie on June 26th 2008, 08:05 AM
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Indiana Jones mail away check cashed

In Hasbro Mail Away Exclusive news, we are very excited that the check for $9.99 that was sent in for the Indiana Jones Mail Away 12" scale Ark has been cashed! Much like with the GI Joe Doc offer, this at least means that the system is working, and we've gotten this far - always a relief! Hopefully we can expect to start seeing the Arks arriving in the mail in 3-4 more weeks. Now they just need to make another appropriate 12" figure that can carry the ark with Indy - can't have some German Officer helping Indy raid the Ark, come on!
Posted by charlie on June 25th 2008, 12:39 AM
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Walmart Exclusive Tfs

An interesting discovery was made in the local WalMart several days ago. Somehow they had gotten a hold of what appeared to be at least two cases of WalMart Transformers Deluxe Exclusives from several months back, and they were the majority of the Tf figures on the pegs! I was mighty surprised to see them there, though as I suspected the moment they caught my eye, Grindcore was nowhere to be seen. Big Daddy was in abundance, though, so hopefully a few collectors who may have missed him the first time around also got to WalMart before the few local scalpers.
 
I have not done the research necessary to determine if this was a more wide-spread phenomenon than just in my small town, but if you did miss out on these exclusives, you might want to take a look. It's possible that they had held back some cases, and now are bridging the gap between Movie2007 and Animated, in much the same way that they tried to fill the empty shelves with old Cybertron figures during the ridiculous figure shortages last year at the height of their popularity.
Posted by charlie on June 24th 2008, 08:27 AM
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Press Release - NECA Ninja Gaiden II

Press Release - New from NECA, check out their fantastic 7" Ryu figure from Ninja Gaiden II! Follow the link for a larger image, and a path to their site with more information!  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 24th 2008, 05:14 AM
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ebay Watch - Air Raiders man-o-war

One of the toys that we love around here at the Preserve is the Air Raiders line, hearkening from that strange spot at the end of the 80s when Transformers were sort of running their course but there were still other cool, much more obscure, toys to be had, supported by their own short lived cartoon and/or comic pillars. We haven't done nearly the job of coverage that I'd like of this line, as most of the collection is still buried in the archives, but hopefully in the fullness of time the entire set will be on display.

One of the pieces that we have located, though sadly without box, is the gigantic Man-O-War - a truly epic toy of the sort that only the best of the 80s can bring. This is topical, because today's eBay Watch finds a very rare instance of the Man-O-War, in a sealed box, looking to be in pretty excellent condition. We watched this auction for it's duration, curious to see where it ended up, and it was astonishing to see the price leap to $891 in the final moments of the sale. (The person who bid on the 13th was the eventual winner on the 22nd, even with the huge run-up, so they were certain of their plans even a week before the end.)

In celebration of this fantastic price, and the legitimacy that it will no doubt lend to the Air Raiders line, we will fish the Man-O-War out of the archives, and get a gallery added for everyone to check out!
Posted by charlie on June 23rd 2008, 12:00 AM
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Gi Joe 25th - Major Bludd

A left over from wave 6 of the Gi Joe 25th Anniversary line, but a vitally important figure for a number of reasons, today we take a look at the long awaited and still in very very short supply, Major Bludd!


For a time, all publicity shots that may have included this figure had the face all blurred out, conspiracy style! It led people to really debate and speculate as to what was going on, and it's a little bit of a letdown now that it's all been revealed. This production/design delay on Hasbro's end, though, caused them to hold the figure back from wave 6 where he was intended, all the way until wave 8, where he didn't really belong. You can see from our handy Product Codes chart that he fits right into wave 6 with all numbers pointing the way.
 
All of the other wave 8 figures are on the new cardbacks, which we saw an overview of in the group shot several days back. We have lost the silver foil and the '25th' logo, and going forward we will be tracking those products as 'Modern Era' - officially bringing the coverage of 25th Anniversary to a close! It is likely, barring any sort of Hasbro shenanigans, that Major Bludd will be the final main-line 25th Anniversary single carded figure. There will be the DVD packs and a few vehicle packs, and of course the SDCC exclusives in July, but it really feels that the Major is the cherry on top of the figure line. Sadly he's still super hard to find in stores, we're hearing, so keep your eyes sharp and stay frosty - he's going to be an important piece for your collection!
Posted by charlie on June 22nd 2008, 12:49 AM
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Press Release - Mezco Gomez

Press Release - Mezco unveils their top secret super spy and mascot, with the first non-shadow picture of Gomez! Click the link to learn more, and see a properly large image.  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 21st 2008, 12:34 PM
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NYCC - MindStyle

A blast from several months in the past, I wanted to point everyone to the very large gallery of the most wonderful and product-packed MindStyle booth from the New York Comic Con!


It was really astonishing to me how many different figures, of all shapes, scales and colors, they had jammed into their beautifully laid-out space. Every shelf contained enough detail and design to occupy many thoughtful minutes of study, and while my pictures are rarely the best, I hope they in some way can capture this for everyone at home. I just wanted to make sure this gallery didn't pass by without a front page feature - hopefully we can get some more shots of their awesome wares in San Diego!
Posted by charlie on June 20th 2008, 12:45 AM
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Punisher: War Zone

The goodly folks over at eNewsi.com have just put up a trailer for the next Punisher movie "Punisher: War Zone" which is slated to be released December 5th of this year! Drawing the name from the third of the big original Punisher comic series it looks like some of the plot may not be too far afield from that series as well. Being that the Punisher is one of our favorite things around here at the Preserve, this trailer delighted us and we're looking forward to the movie. Check it out here!
Posted by charlie on June 19th 2008, 07:20 AM
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GI Joe 25th Wave 8

The Preserve was fortunate enough to discover the very latest wave of GI Joe 3 3/4" figures on the pegs at good ol' Target several weeks ago.


The interesting thing about this wave is that we see the first indications that Hasbro is wrapping up the 25th Anniversary line. The long awaited Major Bludd, which was delayed from the last wave, arrives on a 25th anniversary card, but we see that the other seven figures in the wave are all packed on the new style of card. The 'GI Joe' logo itself is flat white rather than the wonderful silver foil we've come to expect, and the '25th Anniversary' logo in the upper right has been replaced by various icons indicating where the character harkens from: 'GI Joe Cartoon', 'Comic Book', 'Python Patrol', 'Tiger Force' - lots of variation! We also see a repackage of Cobra Commander with the Mass Device crystal, and of the Cobra Viper on a non-25th card.
 
We will likely be starting up a new section at the Preserve to track this ongoing line, and taking a cue from hisstank.com will refer to it as 'GI Joe - Modern Era'. With the inclusion of several more vehicle sets and probably a few exclusives here and there, we can probably wrap the 25th line, and have a nice complete section for everyone to enjoy!
Posted by charlie on June 19th 2008, 12:34 AM
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Transformers - Real Gear Hacker X-3

Continuing on the loose-end journey that is vital for any long running, some would say too-long-running, series, we turn our attention back to the Real Gear products from the 2007-2008 Transformers movie line. We have yet to add the 5th wave of these figures to the Preserve, and the 6th wave of figures has never even made it to this town! It seems that they aren't really popular enough for them to leave the Hasbro warehouse, either that or they still haven't hit wide distribution - either way the Preserve is still missing the last part of this sub-series, and may have to visit the ol' online Hasbro storeplace to fix that. Either way, feast your eyes on yet another repaint, Hacker X-3!


I find that I have a soft spot for these guys, and enjoy that another Autobot has been added to the ranks, as a repaint of the Decepticon Power Up VT6 no less! Sounding like a good Robin Hood type of hacker from his bio (and, well, from his name) it's hard not to like the aims of this character, and maybe we'll even see the growing ranks of the Real Gear characters used elsewhere in the continuity eventually!
Posted by charlie on June 18th 2008, 12:18 AM
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Stan Winston

This has been a hard week, given the wide range of interests that we have here at the Preserve, and the people who represent them. First with the loss of Tim Russert who made politics and world issues understandable and fascinating to follow, and now The Chase has just informed us that Preserve favorite Stan Winston has also moved on! Follow this link for more information about Stan, and a nice tribute by none other than the current Governor of California.

Tim Russert and Stan Winston


Posted by charlie on June 17th 2008, 12:31 AM
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RollerDerby vs. Utica

The toughest girls in Ithaca were at it again last night, with their second ever home game in the newly launched Roller Derby spectacular! It was a hard fought, high scoring and victorious match, with a bittersweet end - click the link for more!  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 16th 2008, 12:43 AM
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GI Joe 25th - HISS Tank

Today we finish up the excellent set of three Target Exclusive vehicles that graced the checklane end-caps some number of weeks ago. Cast your excited gaze upon the fan favorite Cobra H.I.S.S. Tank!


Packed with a 'Cobra Driver', it would not be long before the 7th wave of figures hit with the official Cobra HISS driver, so everyone was free to come up with their own best strategy. Of course, the one Hasbro was betting on was that everyone would need a driver for their HISS that had matching serials, so to speak, so chalk up another figure sale, and in cases of our army builder friends, the sky was the limit! Of course, I believe that The Uncle has yet to find one of these figures in the wild, but we keep hearing that production is still ramping up. Well, I'm just glad I found a set for the Preserve, and can't hold my breath that we'll see them dripping from the shelves anytime soon! So, enjoy the HISS tank, as we all prepare for the next round of vehicles which are just now hitting stores!
Posted by charlie on June 15th 2008, 12:27 AM
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Press Release - NECA SDCC TMNT Exclusive

Press Release - NECA also brings us images of their latest San Diego Comic Con exclusive, the black and white TMNT set! Featured in oversized form at their Toy Fair booth, check out the shots of the finished product, and get ready to open your wallets again for yet another amazing set that NECA brings to the table of this great summer event.  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 14th 2008, 12:20 AM
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Press Release - NECA Jareth Hoggle 2-pack

Press Release - We have a pair of fantastic NECA product announcements for you today, and we'll start off with the excellent and highly anticipated Jareth and Hoggle 2-pack set from the Preserve favorite movie Labyrinth! If, somehow, anyone within the sound of my voice hasn't seen this important film, then fire up your media delivery of choice and fix that right now...immediately even!  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 14th 2008, 12:12 AM
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Botcon 2007 pics

It's almost an unforgivable sin of failure, how I let it go for nearly a year, but it has been such a whirlwind of products and events and Preserve work that these things just happen! Well, fortunately I was spelunking around the stash of images which are patiently waiting to find a home here on the site, and came across the 86 precious images from Botcon 2007!


While we had featured some of the shots here and there in our discussions of the event, we never laid it all out for the folks at home, so here at last is the convention-style gallery of that great event! Now that we've learned a lot more about such things from Toy Fair and Comic Con, it was a delight to be able to get the pictures up for viewing, and reminds us that maybe Botcon 2009 shouldn't be missed. We took this year off, but having let that field lay fallow for 12 months it'll be time to get back in the saddle, and hit it just in time for the 2009 movie release - you can bet that'll be something! In the mean time, enjoy the pics of the best Preserve trip to date, and the great sights that The Uncle and I were able to enjoy for those excellent few days.
Posted by charlie on June 13th 2008, 12:19 AM
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Press Release - NECA Gremlins

Press Release - Another great product graces the front page from NECA, this time an amazing Gremlins three pack! Click the link to see larger pics of this excellent set, follow a link to the official release, and don't feed them after midnight!  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 12th 2008, 12:39 AM
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Press Release - Shocker Toys

Press Release - Shocker Toys shows off another fantastic exclusive for the San Diego Comic Con, coming to you in just a few weeks! Their new Maxx mini follows in the oversized footsteps of the Maxx Indy Spotlight figure and launches their mini vinyl toy line! Click the link for more details on these new products from the inimitable Shocker Toys!  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 11th 2008, 07:25 PM
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Press Release - NECA Cult Classics series 3

Press Release - NECA brings us images of the three figures in their upcoming Cult Classics Series 3 set. You get Captain Spaulding, the Crow and be-sheeted Michael Myers, good stuff! Click the link for some bigger pics and a link to their full release.  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 11th 2008, 06:08 PM
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GI Joe 25th - AWE Striker

Let us continue our romp through the set of Target Exclusive vehicle packs that came out several months ago, today featuring the A.W.E. Striker! This vehicle is fondly remembered from the original toys in the 80s, prompting a friend of the Preserve to even remember the driver Crankcase after all these years. He was delighted when I informed him that in fact Hasbro stepped up to the plate and included Crankcase in this new set as well! Click the image below for more info and images!


Another $9.99 masterpiece, you get this fantastic vehicle and a great new figure. The bio for Crankcase is another excellent example of someone deep within Hasbro having a good time keeping the vintage alive, and seems to be even longer than average. With a swiveling roof-mounted cannon and a removable detailed engine and a skilled driver ready for a high-speed chase, you can't beat this set! Just toss a teammate in the passenger seat, or better yet manning the top gun, and you're ready for action!
Posted by charlie on June 11th 2008, 12:40 AM
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Transformers Animated - Grimlock

The first character from the new Transformers Animated series joins the Preserve today, complete with an excellent review from The Uncle! Click the image below to go to the detail page for Voyager Class Grimlock that is packed with info and pictures, and don't miss the review after the fold.


Stay tuned for more excellent features and reviews about the new Transformers Animated figures, coming to you live and direct from The Uncle!
Posted by charlie on June 10th 2008, 12:02 AM
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GI Joe - Target Exclusive Night Specter

After the big deal we made around here about scoring the amazingly fantastic Target Exclusive GI Joe 25th Anniversary vehicles several months ago, you'd think that we would have gotten around to featuring them before now. Well, not so! At long last, here is the first of the three in that bargain priced and super limited set, Night Specter with Grand Slam!


For the $9.99 price it really is amazing what you got with these sets, given that a single carded figure is over $7 by itself in most cases now. Something to remember, though, is that Hasbro is forced to cut some serious accessory and quality corners to deliver so much for so little. While I applaud their efforts to continue to provide as much product for as little cost as they can, I do wish in the very back selfish corners of my mind that they would also produce some really quality product going forward with the understanding that it may come at somewhat of a premium. That said, I have no doubt that they have some amazing things planned for the summer and holiday season. Also, much like Transformers, the movie next summer will bring with it a wave of products. If it does well, the franchise will be strengthened all the more, and we can be sure of seeing a whole range of products start to appear, from Hasbro and anyone who is able to license the brand.
Posted by charlie on June 9th 2008, 01:08 AM
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Italian Horror and Dinner

Today, friend of the Preserve Steen is holding a fantastic Italian dinner and horror movie event - the Feast of Fear! He is much more energetic than we are around here at the Preserve; it's about all I can do to keep the dvd's playing and enjoying some fine Old Milwaukee let alone making a fantastic pan of lasagna, but I certainly won't complain about that scenario for one micro-second! The lineup looks like:
  • City of the Living Dead (a.k.a. "101 Ways to use a drill press")
  • Suspiria (a.k.a "Why is there all this barbed wire lying around in here?")
  • The Beyond (a.k.a. "What the hell do Italians have against blind people?")
It should be an excellent time, and if you yourself are a horror fan, and for some reason haven't seen any of those three films, I can already assure you that they are worth a look (even though I haven't seen two of them! I just know Steen knows what's up.)
Posted by charlie on June 8th 2008, 07:10 AM
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Press Release - Revoltech Detroit Metal City

Press Release - Organic Hobby announces three new additions to the Revoltech line, the characters from the manga Detroit Metal City! Click the link to see some excellent pictures of Krauser II, Jagi and Camus - these figures are metal!  Read More
Posted by charlie on June 7th 2008, 01:43 AM
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Transformers - Target Exclusive AllSpark Barricade

Today we feature one of recent Target Exclusive Transformers figures that got to share the excellent check-lane endcap with the exclusive GI Joe vehicles and the Order 66 Star Wars tubes. There are four of these repainted figures, all packed in robot form in the distinctive tubes. They caught some amount of flack for being just a phoned in repaint with some of the 'AllSpark blue' tossed around, but they still seemed to sell pretty well around here! Preserve readers may remember that the Jazz figure had sold out so quickly, it took a fortunate restock for the Preserve to score one, and all the rest re-sold quickly until all that was left was, sadly, Barricade. So, of course, we feature Barricade today! Click the image below for more pics and details.


Much like the Premium series re-tools that hit the line here at the end, they have updated the bios to at least partially explain why we're getting yet another release of the same figures. The bios on these are pretty short, I guess necessitated by the smaller package, but at least we get some sort of bio, and the consistent tech specs as well!
Posted by charlie on June 6th 2008, 01:39 AM
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Wounded Ronin - Last Months in Vietnam




Wounded Ronin delivers another excellent article on the tougher side of gaming, with a fantastic review of "The Last Months in Vietnam" campaign for Operation Flashpoint. Read on for his reviews of the highs and lows of his gaming experience!
Posted by charlie on June 5th 2008, 01:33 AM
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Indiana Jones - Cargo Truck

The third and final vehicle from the launch wave of the new Indiana Jones toys is everyone's favorite, the Cargo Truck! This, like the Troop Car, is from one of the most memorable scenes from the Indy franchise, and Hasbro has done a simply wonderful job with this piece. From the astonishingly great packaging that converts into a diorama, to the solid and vintage feel of the toy itself, and the great action features of the fold-down grille and rear whip to drag Indy along, it is well worth the $19.99 that you can hope to find it for in a store near you. Click the image for more pictures and the long 'bio' that describes the scene in case anyone has forgotten.


For a time it seemed that the vehicles were becoming more available, but now they have again vanished at least from the shelves in my town. Either way you can be sure they won't be around forever, so you really should consider picking this one up if you are any sort of fan of Indy or of toys in general, and I assume probably both since you're here at the Preserve! Of course, once you get this truck, you'll be 100% compelled to pick up at least one of the German Soldier 2-packs, so that you can properly staff your new truck. Then of course you'll need an Indy figure to battle with those Germans, and heck, you might as well pick up a few more while you're at it. So go forth, and find this great toy - you'll be glad you did!
Posted by charlie on June 4th 2008, 01:18 AM
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Transformers - Premium Barricade

To shift gears back to Transformers for a little while longer, today we take a look at one of the very last regular series Deluxe figures to be included in the series, the Premium series Barricade figure.


Still somewhat difficult to find on store shelves, at least around here, this Barricade has a cooked up bio to try to explain his premium status, which basically boils down to being bored so keeping himself in peak condition, in hopes that Megatron will return to lead the Decepticons to victory!
Posted by charlie on June 3rd 2008, 01:30 AM
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Indiana Jones - Jungle Cutter

The second vehicle we feature in the trio of excellent releases in this first wave of Indy product is the Jungle Cutter, from the new movie which is still doing just fine in theaters. It doesn't have much screen time, but at least Indy blows the heck out of it with an RPG - good thing they even made an RPG-weilding Indy figure for your re-enacting enjoyment! Click the image for more pics.


While perhaps not as cool as the set of German vehicles that made up the Ark convoy from Raiders, they did try to come up with a cool design for this one, and it translates pretty darn well to toy design. It's almost like they planned it that way - clever...!
Posted by charlie on June 2nd 2008, 01:28 AM
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Indiana Jones - Troop Car

The Indiana Jones product shots continue today with the first vehicle to join the Preserve! Fans of Raiders will certainly recognize the Troop Car, which dogged Indy as he hijacked the Cargo Truck that carried the Ark. While it was full of heavily armed German soldiers, we all know that Dr. Jones had little trouble sending them all down a cliff to meet their fitting end! Click the image for more pictures.


Two vehicles remain from the launch of the line, and will follow shortly!
Posted by charlie on June 1st 2008, 09:56 AM
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