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Journal Archives from July 2008
 
GI Joe Modern Era - Roadblock

As much as I'm sure that everyone would like to hear about the kayaking trip today, and the non-trivial number of sea lions which frolicked along side of the boats, instead I'm going to at least pull things back to the Preserve mission a little bit. Today let's take a look at the last figure from the Wave 1 GI Joe Modern Era collection, Roadblock!


In the GI Joe panel at the San Diego Comic Con, someone asked the writer (Stuart Beattie) of the new GI Joe live action movie (coming out in 2009) how they decided between Heavy Duty and Roadblock. Ignoring the rather crass nature of the question, we can at least spring from it to address the fact that Roadblock, while indisputably an awesome character, is somewhat of a characture, speaking in rhymes and with a secondary specialty of 'cook'. It's good, in some ways, that Heavy Duty addressed some of these rather unfortunate characteristics with more reasonable behavior - trading cooking for a love of 'classical guitars and Bach' - you might say a little too heavy handed a repair even. This character difference may well be why he's featured in the movie, though the writer wouldn't say as much, stating only that he loved both characters, and that it just felt that Heavy Duty was a better fit overall for the tone that he was going for. We're all certainly very interested to see what happens on August 7th, 2009 when the movie premieres!
Posted by charlie on July 31st 2008, 12:38 AM
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Hearst Castle

Publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst built for himself a massive home, more fittingly called a castle, which we visited yesterday. The more I learned about the place the more I liked it - he was an avid collector, and had rare pieces of history and art from around the world. The home is, in many hundreds of subtle ways, designed to act as a showplace for his most prized pieces from his collection. Millions of dollars, decades of time, and many false starts later, what he left behind was a still-unfinished but amazing creation that is difficult to sum up in words and pictures. However, here are a few more of both, so that you can get an idea. Also be sure to ask the ol' wiki about W.R.Hearst and his castle!


A further amazing thing about the place is that he tried to design various areas of the compound like various parts of Europe which he had visited as a boy. His trip there apparently blew his mind (understandably) and he wanted to re-create what he saw at his own home - and in many ways he was successful! Above is the main house, where dinner was served and where he lived for much of his time at the Castle. It is styled after the many small-town churches that are scattered across Europe, but in particular with an influence from Spain. There is a set of bells in and near the towers which still work, as it played 'to everything there is a season' as we approached. The guide told us that they are only ringing them for the anniversary, so it was fortuitous!


The Neptune Pool is just a spectacular thing to see, and made even cooler when you learn that it is all to showcase his relics that make up the Greek structure at the far end. About 1/2 of that is original - the columns and the statuary - and he wanted a pool to do it justice. Interestingly, this is the third incarnation of the pool; as happened often in his project, he would be unhappy with how something worked out, and simply tear it out and start over.


Not to be boring with yet another pool, but along with the Neptune there was an indoor pool that was just astonishing. All of the small tiles in that picture that may seem gold in color, were of course covered with gold leaf that had been melted into the glass of the tile. There is even a 10 foot high platform that you could use to dive into the pool, the bottom of which is decorated with stars (again the gold leaf tiles). Once you dive into the starfield, you surface and look up to see fish painted on the ceiling. Good thing Hearst didn't allow his guests to drink to excess, or there would be some mighty confused swimmers in the wee small hours! A cool place to visit, and recommended for anyone who has ever wanted to make for themselves a huge house to showcase their collection - hits close to home for me I guess!
Posted by charlie on July 30th 2008, 11:34 AM
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California Trip - Chinese Theatre

The Preserve remains on vacation in California all this week, and as threatened we're taking a few days break from the constant deluge of toys and games to check out other interesting things along this journey. Today brought with it a trip to Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the site of many fantastic movie premieres including, we learned today, Beverly Hills Cop!


We also managed to stumble upon several amazingly awesome 'stars' in the sidewalk near the theater - imagine my surprise and delight when this was one of the first things I saw upon looking at my feet.


The interior of the place is spectacular as well, with hand painted wall sized murals by Master Po from Kung Fu (Keye Luke, aka the shop keeper from Gremlins!), and various important furniture and statuary simply sitting near the popcorn and twizzler vendor. The theater itself boasts the largest standard screen in the country, we were told, and the room is cavernous and ornate beyond description.


I was astonished to learn that when it is not a media circus outside, with various celebrities arriving for a premiere or sticking their faces into wet cement, that any regular joe can come in off the street and pay for a movie ticket and catch the latest flick. Amusingly, they are showing X-Files currently, for several weeks, and then will be showing Death Race! Man would I love to see that at the Chinese Theatre - absurd! We even learned that there is a small 'VIP' screening room upstairs that you may also simply pay a very reasonable fee to enter - it really is astonishing to me the sort of services you can make use of around here - some pretty cool differences from the world I'm used to on the East Coast, in many ways. I suspect I'd spend more than one evening renting out the entire VIP room at the Chinese theatre to watch an Under Siege marathon...just because.



Posted by charlie on July 29th 2008, 03:17 AM
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SDCC - End

The 2008 San Diego Comic Convention has finally wrapped up, and it was a fantastic time! While difficult to do everything with a small crew and vs the huge crowds, we managed to take in an amazing amount of content and information over the last 4.5 days, and saw a great number of new and newly released products on the shelves of our favorite manufacturers. The Preserve is taking a little extra vacation time in California now that the convention has finished, so will be back to a regular schedule after about another week (though we hope to stay daily even through the vacation, but the pics might be of burger joints and flamingos). We'll leave you today with a few more favorite pictures from the show, and will continue to work on building out the galleries soon.
 

First let's check out the new, expanded Lego Indiana Jones special set that was available from the Lego booth. An expansion of their Indiana Jones Brickmaster set #20004 that we've cataloged on the Preserve, this set was in very limited supply, and due to the astonishing demand for toy exclusives at the Con, they were forced to conduct a raffle every morning of the show. Since the production for this piece was 400 pieces, they would raffle off 100 pieces a day, and of course the line for the raffle was very long even at the crack of 9am! So, for now this picture will have to do.


A company we always enjoy visiting at these shows is UglyDoll, as more long time readers will remember from the shows earlier this year. They had another fun and colorful booth set up, and their Ice Bat convention exclusive figure was a really great creation! The bio is fun too, as usual, but will have to be shared later - patience fair readers!


This last image for today is of the extraordinarily rare 'Spirit of Grayskull' figure, which is a clear/blue variant of the Mattel convention exclusive King Grayskull figure which was in super high demand. They informed us that only *2* of these figures have ever been made. One they raffled off Saturday at 1pm, and the other is being saved for a charity auction. At least we got a few shots of it, as you are never likely to see it again!
Posted by charlie on July 28th 2008, 03:52 AM
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SD Comic Con Day 4

Saturday at the San Diego Comic Con has wrapped up, and it was a pretty great day all things considered. An interesting thing that we all noticed about today is that, while usually being a really strong day for a show, today felt almost like things were petering out due to the extreme front loading of the event since the Wednesday evening Preview Night. Already in the afternoon today the expansive dealer room was starting to slash prices on their goods, and the crowd even seemed a little thinner than in several days previously. In spite of the strange winding-down feeling, it was still a very productive day for meeting a few of the key people we'd hoped to meet, and here is a round up of the fun that we had!


Having been enjoying the comic Locke and Key very much over the past few months, a big goal was to chat with Joe Hill (w) and Gabriel Rodriguez (a) about their good work. After the IDW panel we had a chance to catch up with them and share our thoughts on their book, as well as our excitement (which they shared) at the news that it has been extended to a monthly contract for 24 more issues over the next two years! Joe Hill plans to finish up the current plot arc with another 6 issue series, and then launch into the 24 issue run which will explore the house and the dark backstory in much greater detail. Both of the guys were super nice, and it was fantastic to have the chance to meet them.




We were very glad to see that Hasbro had put out the upcoming 'Specialist Trakker' figure, which is a 100% homage to the Preserve favorite MASK line from the Greatest Decade. The logo in the top corner of the card is even of the MASK logo, and the figure comes with a helicopter-jet pack just like the 2-figure sets from the original MASK series!


There were, of course, a lot of great costumes at the show, and we'll be making an effort to highlight as many as we were able to photograph in an upcoming special section of the Preserve coverage of the event. In the meantime, though, for today, I wanted to feature a group costume for which I always have a soft spot, being the Ghostbusters crew. It's interesting that these sort of costumes usually go one of two ways - placing the names of the actual characters on your jumpsuit, or using your actual name. These guys were true to the franchise characters and did a fantastic job!


Lastly for today is something about which I was very happy, which was getting to meet Larry Hama. I was just checking out the Devil's Due booth to see what was new with the Voltron comic, when I realized that Mr. Hama was sitting right there autographing with no line! Having not yet managed to get a copy of #0 of his Spooks comic, that was quickly fixed and brought to him and the pencil artist and concept creator, who shared the table with him. Before he signed, though, an amazing troop of Cobra costumed people came by, and someone at Devil's Due was very insistent that they pose with the Godfather of GI Joe, and the rest is history!

We will have more images in our full gallery eventually, but hopefully this brief taste gave you an idea about the show and what you can expect in our additional coverage!
Posted by charlie on July 27th 2008, 05:31 AM
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SDCC - MST3K

Reporting from the San Diego Comic Con 2008. I managed to get a 3rd row seat in the MST3K 20th anniversary panel today. It was fantastic. Look forward to the 20th anniversary box set which will include 4 episodes--"First Spaceship on Venus", "Laser Blast", "Werewolf", and "Future War"--, interviews, a copy of this evening's panel, and an awesome looking miniature of Crow! Amazon.com has the pre-orders page up already.

 Mystery Science Theater 3000


I also had a chance to stop by the RiffTrax booth yesterday and chat with the guys there. I learned that they have developed a movie player (free download) that will automatically sync your DVD and RiffTrax track (RiffTrack?), allowing for seamless rewinding, pausing, etc. I'm very excited to try it out.

And, of course, we'll be attending the live RiffTrax riffing event tomorrow night. I wonder if and how DisembAudio will make an appearance.
Posted by chase on July 26th 2008, 02:04 AM
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San Diego Comic Con day 2

The first full day of Comic Con was jam packed with awesomeness, exclusive toys, and first-run movie viewings galore! Below we feature several more pictures which highlight the day's events, along with a little additional description to help get you in the spirit.

On the way out of the hall today, we actually caught this mashup of two groups, showing us what happens when the crew of the Enterprise runs into a flock of Jesus. I don't really think that's an accurate interpretation of what is going on there, but it is an awesome picture.


After becoming gravely concerned about the ability to secure any of the Toy exclusives when Preview Night on Wednesday was too busy to accomplish a blessed thing, we bit the bullet today and sat in the Hasbro line for two, count 'em two, hours and were eventually victorious! They had not even sold out of any products by the time we reached the counter, so both versions of Cobra Commander have now joined the Preserve! Additionally, the line to NECA was non-existent in the morning, so Bronze Conan and the much anticipated Mouser 3-pack were also secured, with much rejoicing! Sadly the Watchmen t-shirt that we pictured several days ago seemed a little steep at $30, so we have reluctantly passed on that for the time being. Perhaps if enough others do the price will become more reasonable before the end of the show.


As for the Hasbro line, though, not to get sidetracked, it is worth a short description of the madness that it involved, hopefully acting then as a useful tool for those who may read this and are at the show, and need to venture into the line themselves. First it is necessary to go to the 2nd floor and get a 'ticket' - which lists a time range during which you are 'guaranteed' a place in line. The next thing to do is to return to the booth at which time you are told that the ticket 'guarantees you nothing' and you are instructed to stand in a line which runs counter-clockwise around their booth. After about an hour, people are 'selected' from that first line, thereby winning the chance to sit in the second line, which then snakes through a long cattle herd gate and...and...eventually gets to the counter, where the friendly and good spirited staff help fill your order - a pretty absurd and long process to get the exclusives though, I'm amazed they had enough product to satisfy even the people I saw in line, let alone all others for the full convention time. An interesting side effect of spending so long in line, and having not eaten all day, is that by the time you get to the front you are dead-set on maxing out the checklist of items (and quantities thereof) you may buy, and we did just about that today!

The last thing of great interest from Thursday was the world premiere of Lost Boys: The Tribe which took place at 10pm, featuring the much-anticipated return of Corey Feldman as Edgar Frog! While the movie certainly had its rough spots, it had a solid intro and ending, and has already proved to be quotable enough to come up several times tonight since the viewing. An additional fun thing was the presence of a Jungle Lord pinball machine in the lair of the head Vampire. It didn't get destroyed in the final fight scene, and the victorious couple even pose in front of it, subtly in a similar pose to the two figures on the backglass! I was going to ask who was the Jungle Lord fan, as my panel question, but the Uncle hit it right out of the park, asking the Frog Brothers on the panel "if it wasn't a tactical error, invading the hive of blood suckers, at night, in the dark" Both brothers rose from their comfortable seats, and issued various challenges and declarations towards the Uncle, but it was clear by the reaction of the crowd and even of the director that the Uncle had won, this day,



Posted by charlie on July 25th 2008, 06:40 AM
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San Diego Comic Con - Day 1

The San Diego Comic Con has begun, and Preview night was fantastic! Well, at least it was full of fantastic things to see and potentially purchase, but it was also packed to the gills with attendees, which made it difficult to move, let alone secure the excellent show exclusives that have been reported on for some number of weeks and months. None the less, many excited show-goers got their hands on the likes of King Greyskull from Mattel and the Snake Eyes/Timber Combat Heroes from Hasbro, and we'll hope to soon! In the mean time, check out some of our great images from the show, and be sure to keep an eye on our main San Diego Comic Con page for new updates!
 
Mattel has a simply amazing booth, being a beautiful replica of the front of Castle Greyskull to coincide with their stunning King Greyskull show exclusive that they are offering, which serves as the re-launch of the Masters of the Universe line!


Also, we have finally learned the secret identity of their new website, through which you will be able to purchase the new Masters of the Universe figures - check out mattycollector.com which will launch in 4 more days, for all of your Mattel needs!

Additionally, Hasbro had some new Mighty Muggs on display, finally extending the line of their take on urban vinyl into both their GI Joe and Transformers brands.


Since we're fans of both the Muggs and of course those brands around here at the Preserve, it was a welcome sight!


We also stopped by Jun Planning to see the cool stuff they had brought with them from so far away, and they did not disappoint with some great new Nightmare Before Christmas figures, as well as two Gremlins figures, which will be out in September and October!


Ok unfortunatly it is 4am so more pictures will have to wait. Tomorrow is a very busy day, and we'll have lots more to bring you soon!
Posted by charlie on July 24th 2008, 04:11 AM
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Indiana Jones - Mola Ram

Having landed in gorgeous LA yesterday afternoon, we set about renting the car that will be our home for the next several weeks and immediately asked the Garmin for worthy destinations. The first place we ended up was The Valley of the Dolls which is the only retail store for Pullip and Blythe dolls on this continent! We enjoyed seeing the products from Jun Planning at this year's Toy Fair, and it was neat and rare to see them actually on retail display. We'll be providing coverage of the Jun Planning booth, hopefully as early as tonight.
 
We then drove around Beverly Hills, bringing back strong memories of Beverly Hills Cop, as he is driving up Rodeo Drive in his crappy blue Chevy Nova. Granted our car was nicer, but my spirit of bemused wonder was, I like to think, identical.
 
As luck would have it, we drove right up to a Toys R Us, and it took very little debate to decide that checking out a few West Coast toy locations was absolutely the right thing to do. So, it is with great delight that the long awaited Mola Ram Mighty Mugg has been added to the Preserve, direct from the Beverly Hills Toys R Us!


The flaming vinyl heart accessory that comes with this figure was one of the favorite things we saw at Toy Fair, and the delay in the appearance of this figure in our small town back home was a source of considerable frustration! It was all worth the wait, though, for the exotic (to us East Coast folks) location that the figure can now be said to hail from. Now, it is time to head South to San Diego, and see what awaits us at the largest show of the year!
Posted by charlie on July 23rd 2008, 08:35 AM
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GI Joe Modern Era - Baroness

It seems unbelievable, Preserve readers, but the time for San Diego Comic Con is upon us! In 2 hours, we board an absurdly early flight that will whisk us across this grand country all the way to sunny SD, or thereabout, with enough time to snag some good food and beverage then start the wheels rolling on Wednesday 'preview' night. Since updates may be a little spotty today and tomorrow what with traveling, I figured what better way to keep everyone happy than by posting the Baroness from the new GI Joe modern era wave 1!


I found it interesting that out of the original '5-packs' that came out way back in early 2007, the Baroness was the only figure not to find release on a single card. That is even still true now, since this figure has a totally different deco than the one from the 5-pack, but at least Hasbro finally released her in some capacity on her own. Wiser men then I probably know the whys and wherefores that explain her absence from the 2007 25th Anniversary line single cards, but the fans have finally been served. If the reaction of the friendly stock clerk at the local Target is any indication, this figure will be in solid demand, and her devilish charm still works all these years later!
Posted by charlie on July 22nd 2008, 01:55 AM
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GI Joe 12 inch Dusty

Let's take a look at the first of the excellent Hasbro 12" GI Joe figures, the Joe's desert trooper, Dusty!


In a departure from the terrible way we often do things around here at the Preserve, we have actually opened up ol' Dusty so he can be better photographed, but those pictures are still in progress. For now check him out in his plastic prison, which still should let you get an idea of the high quality of the figure. The Uncle rightly notes that one trouble with these figures is the molded-on shirt. While doing it up with an actual cloth shirt would certainly have been much cooler, I fall back again on my price argument, and say that Hasbro still did a great job with these figures at $14.99, especially when the 3 3/4" figures are going for $7.99! Now, if only we could get some 12" scale vehicles....
Posted by charlie on July 21st 2008, 12:11 AM
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GI Joe 12 Inch FIgure

The hits keep coming, Preserve readers, as we discussed previously. The gloves are off and Hasbro is inundating us with new product left and right, making sure that I stumbled across the brand new GI Joe 12" figures yesterday!
 

This set of figures from Wave 1 of the new series is only missing the Cobra Tooper - small surprise as I'm sure those with an inclination towards troop building will be snapping up this great looking figure in whatever quantities they can manage.
 
As a side note, I've seen a lot of complaining on various corners of the Internet about the lackluster job that Hasbro did with these figures compared to the new GI Joe line that Sideshow Collectables is slowly releasing. Having now seen, purchased, and opened some of the Hasbro 12" figures, I am more than happy to take up the counter argument, pointing out that these figures are only $14.99 in stores, while you'll end up paying nearly $100 for the Sideshow versions, and don't forget about shipping! I think at the price we're seeing from Hasbro, they have done a spectacular job, and are making a line of figures in a great scale with really thoughtful detail and accessories. People would do well to take all factors into account, and give credit where credit is due. We'll be featuring these figures individually over the next few days, hopefully, though on Tuesday we travel to San Diego for the big event. Stay tuned for our coverage, rolling in Wednesday night!
Posted by charlie on July 20th 2008, 07:17 AM
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Hasbro tidal flood!

Well, gentle readers, after a wallet-friendly draught that lasted for seeming months, where new product was promised and dangled before us like carrots for a donkey or fake rabbits for a Greyhound, finally appearing everyplace in the country other than the Preserve home town, this week seems to at last be the tipping point. After discovering the Indiana Jones Titanium items yesterday, we were bowled over to find set 1/5 and set 2/5 of the new GI Joe DVD Battle Packs at Target today!


These astonishing sets were immediately purchased for the screaming discount price of $19.99 each, and for anyone who hasn't been keeping score, each set contains several figures, a piece of the M.A.S.S. device, and a DVD of classic episodes which form the mini-series that the pack represents! What a freaking amazing thing! Especially since the episodes are out of print on DVD and trading for absurd premiums on the eBay, that Hasbro has unearthed and released even a subset of the episodes makes the fans shoot their patriotic-colored lasers skyward with delight.
 
Not to be outdone, the Transformers section at Target, while still woefully understocked, had two copies of the gigantic 'Roll Out Command Optimus Prime' Supreme Class figure. This little number auto-transforms when pushed and pulled along a smooth surface, and commands the weighty price of $50. We encourage others to enjoy this piece, but feel that money is better spent on the Toys R Us exclusive Indiana Jones Lego set 'Peril in Peru'.
 
Since not enough awesomeness was seen yet today, a stop down at WalMart took place later, revealing the still needed Duke and Red Star Gi Joe Comic 2-Pack, as well as a shelf full of wave 3 Animated Deluxe figures. Remnants of Transformers: Classics 2.0 (or 'Universe') were also evident, with only Sunstreaker remaining, which has now joined the Preserve along with Animated Jazz. We continue to search for the Indy Mighty Muggs, but one thing is certain - this week the floodgates were cast open, and the tidal wave is a-comin' with Star Wars figures on the 26th. I hope everyone who cares has been saving their pennies, because it's gonna be beans from a can until Christmas when this is all said and done!
Posted by charlie on July 19th 2008, 12:22 AM
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Indiana Jones - Hasbro Titanium

At long last, the Titanium series for the new Indiana Jones figures from Hasbro has started to filter into my backwoods town! This will probably come as old news to all big city dwellers (at least in the US) who read the Preserve, but for us it was a great thrill to see some new Indy product on the shelves.


Now, there was also the Jungle Cutter, Mutt on his bike and a Jet Sled featuring mini figures of Indy and Dovchenko - but we took the high road and left all of the KotCS figures behind. I'm sure that we'll either live to regret that, or simply buy them in another week when the lack of completeness becomes unacceptable, but for now it kept us to only four.
 
"What, only four?" you say. "But in the Latin alphabet, there are five figures in the vintage set!". Well, you are quite right, there should be five pieces from the vintage films in the first and second waves of Titanium, and the missing figure was of course the coolest of all! Missing from the pegs were Indy and his dad on the German motorcycle, hands down the best possible piece from the set! Well, at least whoever got there first left a little behind for us, but that one is certainly the hot item from this lot, so Shopping Tip: if you're only getting one, get Indy and Connery on the bike - you'll dig it!
Posted by charlie on July 18th 2008, 12:51 AM
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Press Release: NECA Watchmen t-shirt
NECA: Watchmen t-shirt
Press Release - The releases keep on coming, since we're getting mighty close to the nerd prom itself, San Diego Comic Con. Today NECA shows us the first images of their Watchmen Mason Auto Repair convention exclusive t-shirt! Man, I want one of these, and I bet a bunch of you will too when you see it. Follow the link to see the larger image.  Read More
Posted by charlie on July 17th 2008, 05:28 PM
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Press Release: Mezco - Angel of Death
Mezco - Angel of Death
Press Release - Fresh from the smash hit new movie Hellboy 2, Mezco brings us their 13"+ tall Angel of Death figure! This is definitely a must-have for all of you giant-awesome-creepy figure collectors out there - click the link for the larger picture!  Read More
Posted by charlie on July 17th 2008, 08:17 AM
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Press Release: NECA Mouser 3-pack
NECA Mouser 3-pack
Press Release - Several days ago we brought you news of the fantastic Mouser 3-pack that will be exclusive to the San Diego Comic Con, and now NECA has brought us fantastic pictures of the front and back of the packaged set! Coming with a 'San Diego' manhole cover, this set rocks, and is really a must for any TMNT fan. Click the link for larger views!  Read More
Posted by charlie on July 16th 2008, 06:00 AM
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SDCC - Filtered Programming list



SDCC Logo

With the San Diego Comic Con an astonishingly short amount of time away, they have finally posted their final programming guide! There is so much good stuff listed, it's really hard to parse the whole thing, so we've done some of the hard work for you! Friend of the Preserve, Chase, has compiled a sub-list featuring panels that are Preserve worthy and should be of particular interest to our readers. Follow this schedule to have your best bet of seeing Grant Morrison, Stan Lee, the latest GI Joe and Transformers news from Hasbro, the whole Doctor Who and Torchwood team (well, except for the Doctor himself), Richard Dean Anderson, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 reunion and so much more awesomeness! We'll provide more specifics as they become available, and hope that a bunch of our readers can make it to the show!
Posted by charlie on July 15th 2008, 12:43 AM
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Press Release: NECA Half-Stealth Predator
NECA Half-Stealth Predator
Press Release - NECA brings us the first look at their Half-Stealth Predator in packaging, all dressed up and ready for the San Diego Comic Con! Click the link for more info and larger pictures.  Read More
Posted by charlie on July 14th 2008, 12:32 AM
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GI Joe Modern Era - Cobra Commander

We have been quietly building out the GI Joe Modern Era gallery, working on posting the two fantastic waves of new figures that Hasbro has hit us with. Just to make sure that people are keeping up with the goodness, today we wanted to feature an interesting, and somewhat sneaky, figure from the first wave of Modern Era - Cobra Commander with M.A.S.S. Device Crystals!


As was discussed briefly before, I believe, this figure was initially left behind on the toy run that found the wave 8 set in the store. However, the short-sightedness of this act was soon realized when it became clear that, far from a 100% repackage of the Cobra Commander figure from wave 4 of the 25th Anniversary, the new accessory that this version was packed with was a must have! Especially given the DVD Battle Pack that will come out soon featuring the ol' M.A.S.S. Device, it was a imperative to not miss out on this Cobra Commander.

So, while he certainly is identical to the wave 4 figure, at least Hasbro put in a little extra love, and gave us an updated and topical Bio as well! The same can't be said about the Viper from this wave, which is a duplicate of the wave 7 release, but hey, 7 out of 8 new or improved figures is not bad!
Posted by charlie on July 13th 2008, 10:47 AM
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UncleCast #20 - SDCC Preview

After far too long of a draught, the UncleCast has returned triumphant with our 20th episode! Give it a listen for a rundown on some of the crazy things that have been going on since our last show, and for our preview of the excellent San Diego Comic Con that takes place in a few short weeks!
Posted by charlie on July 12th 2008, 12:23 AM
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Press Release: Organic, new Revoltech
Organic - Gurren Lagann Fulldrillized
Press Release - Three new figures have been added to the ever growing and always awesome Revoltech series by Kaiyodo, as brought to us by Organic Hobby. Click the link for more information on Gurren Lagann Fulldrillized, ARX-8 Laevatein and Yotsuba DX (Summer Vacation Set)!  Read More
Posted by charlie on July 11th 2008, 12:58 AM
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Press Release - Organic: Atom figure
Organic - Atom figure
Press Release - Organic Hobby brings us a few pictures of their new limited production "Atom" figure, direct from the pages of the 1951 Captain Atom manga. The limited version of this figure won't last long, so click the link for more information.  Read More
Posted by charlie on July 11th 2008, 12:40 AM
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Press Release - IDW Comic Con Plans
IDW Logo
Press Release - Comic publisher IDW, who have been releasing a steady stream of Transformers comics and are now poised to begin doing the same for GI Joe, have just sent us their plans for the San Diego Comic Con. Click the link to see their schedule, who you can meet, and what surprises are in store!  Read More
Posted by charlie on July 10th 2008, 12:23 AM
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Year of Daily Posts

I wanted to be sure to comment that today, the 9th of July, marks a year straight of daily posts here at the Preserve! When the site started, it was more of an occasional pursuit, and has turned into a more serious news and information site filled with the daily grind that such an endeavor entails - who knew how much work it would be! It has been a fantastic year for the toy biz - one of the coolest seen since the heights of the Greatest Decade, and it has been an honor to be in the midst of it all.
 
As San Diego Comic Con looms large on the horizon, I wanted to step back, take a deep breath and a contented look around the physical and the digital Preserve, and look forward to the great year to come!

Prime point


Posted by charlie on July 9th 2008, 05:06 PM
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GI Joe Wave 9 group shot

Following up yesterday's great find of the GI Joe wave 9/wave2 figures, here is the group shot of their fantasticness!


It's a little hard to tell how to account for these waves, since we've transferred from the 25th Anniversary to the ongoing Modern Era series. By many accounts, we are up to wave 9 of the figures, but it makes the most sense to consider this as the 2nd wave of the ongoing series. We'll keep both numbers going for a while until the transition is complete.
 
This wave, as was said yesterday, is really great looking, including some of the really iconic characters from the good ol' days. Somehow, though, it seems that we left Hawk on the shelf yesterday at Target! While there weren't many figures on the pegs, we were perhaps distracted by the Wild Bill repackage, as well as the mind-numbing reality of $7.99 a figure and the Target Coupon evaporation. Hopefully that new price will keep the figures where they are, and Hawk probably isn't the most in-demand character from this set, so maybe we can polish off the set today like it should have been! Due to rampaging OCD, it's nice to have matching stamp values for an entire wave, so it'll be nice to find that Hawk.
 
I will also have to eventually check out another example of the B.A.T., because the paint on the Preserve example is pretty suspect. It's possible that this application is on purpose to give the 'metal' a 'weathered' look, but if it's supposed to be solid silver, then we have a hilariously mis-painted piece! It's interesting either way, I suppose, but may be an example of Hasbro's ongoing trouble with quality control. Get hunting for this wave - we certainly only saw wave 8 once, and this wave may prove to be just as rare.
Posted by charlie on July 9th 2008, 12:12 AM
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GI Joe - Wave 9

The local Target store was the purveyor of something awesome, and something lousy this fine muggy morning. In completely awesome news, they had a full set of the brand spanking new GI Joe wave 9/wave2 Modern Era figures! While they have raised the price to $7.99, this wave looks really amazing in person, and they probably timed the price hike well for a wave that they know people won't be able to resist.

In lousy news, the other side of that insidious coin, I was told at the register that they have been instructed to no longer accept my cherished Target Coupons! This coupon, much discussed here at the Preserve, entitled the bearer to $5 off of a $25 toy purchase (or greater, of course). As I suspected, it was too good to be true, and they've sent out the word to stop honoring them long before the October expiration date. Well, we certainly got a lot of use from them, buying the entire Indiana Jones line at a neat discount, as well as the last few waves of Joes. So, while the coupon loss is sad, at least it makes shopping elsewhere not so unpalatable, and the discovery of wave 9 this morning helps smooth over any hard feelings that may have been stirred up.
Posted by charlie on July 8th 2008, 07:37 AM
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Transformers AllSpark Target Exclusives - Bumblebee

The third part of the Target Exclusive AllSpark figures to come out some number of weeks ago, today lets take a look at Bumblebee, in yet another release to be added to this giant 2007 Movie line!


Bumblebee and Starscream are probably the figures that we all got a little tired of in this line, and as has been said before, the only real change for this guy was slapping a little blue paint around on a few of the surfaces for the 'AllSpark' effect. Regardless, I do have a weakness for the releases that come packaged in robot form, due to my trouble with mostly keeping things carded and therefore having trouble seeing both modes. At least these tube models display well, and they even stack well - storage bonus! Now we just have to get Jazz posted from this set, and we'll be caught up at last, and ready to move forward with the impending release of Classics 2.0!
Posted by charlie on July 7th 2008, 08:36 AM
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NYCC continues

Far after the fact, we continue to post a few pictures here and there from the excellent New York Comic Con! While it's but a distant memory for most people now, as the summer cavalcade of events continues unabated and with the Preserve trip to San Diego nearly upon us, we must insist that the memories from events past are the reason that the Preserve is here! In that light, we needed to feature what we felt was the best costume of the whole show, the tribute to Bad Attitood Baracas himself!


Check in with the galleries from NYCC now and then, you never know what you might find! Looking forward, though, we are getting geared up for the coverage of the biggest show of the year, and from the sound of things there are a tremendous number of announcements that we can expect to hear over those four magical days. Gentlemen and ladies, start your wallets.
Posted by charlie on July 6th 2008, 09:31 AM
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Indiana Jones Mail Away

In further Indiana Jones mail-away news, our check for $5.99 has now also been cashed by Figure Redemption Inc., which hopefully means that the Crystal Skeleton on Throne will be flying out their doors shortly. While that scene in the movie was some of the most classically cringe-inducing Lucasberg action one can point to, you still have to be excited about mail-away figures, and this one is no exception. It is a difficult task, to enjoy something in disregard from its source material, but with enough practice it becomes easier and easier.
Posted by charlie on July 5th 2008, 06:42 AM
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Gi Joe Comics - End of Devils due run

This past Wednesday marked the release of the final comic book in the long and well-received run of GI Joe books by Devil's Due productions. Their large 12 issue "World War III" story arc was a really great piece of work, and it's really something that it's all said and done now. With that, the license passes on to IDW, as Hasbro consolidates both their Transformers and GI Joe comic properties under one publisher.
 
Fortunately Devil's Due still has plenty of great titles to choose from, including "Spooks - Omega Team" written by Larry Hama, the much heralded original (and ongoing!) writer of the GI Joe books. His new work is probably worth a shot, so pick it up if you find yourself in a store full of comics. Also make sure to grab yourself issue #12 of the WWIII arc as the Joes wrap up - this double sized issue will no doubt be important and in short supply going forward, and will dry up even faster when people realize that the movie is coming out and the comic license is changing hands! Oh, and while you're at it, you may as well pick up 'The Crooked Man #1' which is a new Hellboy book. It's a great tale, and will start to get you all warmed up for the new movie, opening July 11th this summer.
Posted by charlie on July 4th 2008, 12:43 AM
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Press Release - NECA Bronze Conan In Package
NECA TMNT black and white
Press Release - Want to see what the NECA San Diego Comic Con exclusive Bronze Conan looks like in package? Well we sure did, and by Crom here it is! Click the link for larger images, and the full press release!  Read More
Posted by charlie on July 3rd 2008, 04:51 PM
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Press Release - NECA black and white turtles
NECA TMNT black and white
Press Release - NECA has followed up their fantastic NYCC TMNT set with the much anticipated black & white version! Also in a four pack, they are looking great and right out of the original pages of the comic! Click the link to read more.  Read More
Posted by charlie on July 3rd 2008, 12:40 AM
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Lego Brickmaster - Indiana Jones

We have more exciting Indiana Jones news to report today, and this is a piece that is really something special. You won't find this in stores near you, but if you were savvy enough to become a member of the Lego Brickmaster club, it will come directly to your door for the price of membership and not a penny more! Just arrived in the mail yesterday is the July/August Brickmaster exclusive set, which happens to be an excellent Indiana Jones in Jeep!


Set #20004 is the one that Indy fans have been looking forward to, being a rare and hard to obtain capstone to the 2008 Indiana Jones Lego collection. We will put this set together and feature additional images of it, but for now at least you know it's out there, and maybe if you join the Brickmaster club super quickly, they'll ship out this set as the first of your new membership! Well, what are you waiting for, click here to check it out. $39 is really a great deal for 6 exclusive Lego sets, and a cool Brickmaster version of their catalog to be sent to you throughout the year!
Posted by charlie on July 2nd 2008, 12:21 AM
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Indiana Jones Lego - Akator Temple

Well, we finally broke down and gave in to the likely fact that any Lego system which is so massive, and so topically appealing, and so pricey won't likely hang around on the shelves too long. Having already seen the first two shipments sell out in days at the local Target, it was finally time to bring home the Akator Temple set, in all of it's glory!


Feelings on the movie aside, you have to appreciate a great Lego set when you see one, and this certainly fits the bill. Even if the bright, colorful illustrations on the box don't make it clear enough, what really seals the deal is having seen it in person at Toy Fair several months ago, in the Lego booth. It was a very impressive piece, and both The Uncle and I knew that it was well worth it at that very moment.

Now, we haven't had a chance to break it open and assemble the nearly 1000 pieces (!) but additional pictures of the finished product will be forthcoming!



Posted by charlie on July 1st 2008, 12:50 AM
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