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Journal Archives from January 2008
Comics Previews

Update: Over at, they have just started a sale on select Transformers items. Check it out and see if there is anything you've been waiting for!

As if the Preserve wasn't already pulled in enough awesome collecting directions, the recent focus on the IDW Transformers comic releases as well as the sudden desire last year to compile an entire collection of classic Punisher comics, has unleashed the last branch of the collecting trinity. This is one reason why the late arrival to the Comic-Con party, only to find all the tickets gone, was a severe disappointment! According to pkDan, friend of the Preserve, this is not a new or unexpected phenomenon, and that it was purely through my naivety that my surprise arose. Well, there's always 2009!

Along those lines, I want to remind everyone both of the existence, and today's release of the new issue of Previews magazine. Several years ago I had tapped into this resource, but now am reminded about how fantastic a resource this is. It is like getting a Sears Wish Book every month, chock full of not only comics, but toys, statues, imported art books, lithographs and more! Even more amazing still, as the name implies, it is a 'Preview' of products that you can order for a month or more in the future, so you are getting a glimpse of supporting merchandise for movies and shows and series that have yet to even enter the popular consciousness. Very rarely, I feel, can you get so much fun, so much eye-popping enjoyment, and so much information for $4.50. Stop by your local comic shop, pick up a copy, and then place some orders with them. It keeps the collecting economy strong, and supports the heroes who still hold down the brick and mortar!
Posted by charlie on January 31st 2008
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Monster Mania X

It is with great surprise and shock that I announce that the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, being held July 24-27th, has already sold out! This was the first year that the Preserve had considered attending this event, and we had no idea that it would sell out so early. Well, we can take great solace in the fact that the 2008 Toy Fair is just a little more than two weeks away!
In other exciting convention news, Monster Mania X is drawing near, coming to a Cherry Hill New Jersey near you! Check out the guest's amazing as always. Bruce Campbell, Corey Feldman, Jason Mewes, and a They Live Reunion with Keith David and Roddy Piper! Oh my lamb! This is so awesome, that it really makes up for Comic-Con, at least in terms of sheer mindblowing greatness.
Not wanting to leave you all hanging in terms of cool products today, take a gander at another one of the fine Robot Heroes packs from Hasbro. Click the picture for details and more info.

Ultra Magnus has become a really hot property in these recent years, and just about any version of him produced is met with much attention and fanfare. The G1 colors on these figures are fantastic – bright and vibrant just as they should be. The Starscream-esque smirk on Magnus is a little out of place, but his hand poses are sufficiently commanding to somewhat redeem.
I think the real highlight of the Megatron figure, and probably this 2-pack overall, are the legs, which really remind one of the original Walther P-38 pistol, complete with the sculpted interior details and metal(looking) toes! Really a great job on that sculpt, especially for those of us with an eye for the vintage.
Posted by charlie on January 30th 2008
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AllSpark Voyagers

While seeing the new wave of Transformers Voyager AllSpark figures on the shelves will come as no surprise to folks in other areas of the country, their delayed arrival up by the Preserve has at last allowed for the near-completion of that series. Filling out the ranks of the new Voyagers is a nicely G1-Sandstorm-esque repaint of Blackout, going by the name of Evac. Also we get a gratuitous repaint of Ironhide, this time in blue with (gasp!) some mud detail behind the wheels. This is enough to make him known as 'Offroad Ironhide' and here they both are.

Detail pages will be up shortly, and if you live in a more populous or financially secure part of the world, you can likely go out and find these in sufficient numbers on your store shelves. Remember to consult the Transformers Movie page for checklist of various sub-lines within this line of products.

In GI Joe news, a marked difference from the supply troubles of 2007 finds that there is a veritable glut of wave 1 comic 2-packs on the pegs. This is of course great news, because it means everyone can have the chance to get in on the fun. Better still, if and when they go on sale to make way for the cavalcade of new product waiting in the wings, it will allow for the discount acquisition of additional 'Rescue Doc' mail-away stamps! I have a suspicion that later packs in this series will not warm the shelves like their wave 1 brothers, being either perfect for troop builders, or featuring such awesome characters that their immediate purchase is all but guaranteed by any fan who sees them. Already we are seeing that effect with wave 2, featuring Destro and two of the Dreadnoks, in that it is evaporating, leaving behind just the residue of the poor wave 1 packs, on their way to the red tag sale.
Posted by charlie on January 29th 2008
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Allspark Power Camshaft

Wanting to not leave the new set of AllSpark Powered Deluxe figures from the Transformers Movie line hanging, today we finish up with the last piece of this three item wave. A name that sends a shiver of mail-away excitement down any long-time fan's back, Camshaft finds a home in the new line of toys. Click the image below to see the item detail page.

While it is true that he is a repaint of Swindle, I find it to be a nice color treatment that they provided for this figure, and that it makes him look sufficiently different to really pull off the illusion of being a new character. Really and truly, though, it's the name that makes me glad as I mentioned before. Older folks like me may remember that Camshaft was one of the three 'Omnibots' that were available only through mail-away in 1985, where you could redeem some of the robot points from the back of the packaging, and get some great exclusive product. These figures were, I believe, from Takara's Doublechanger line, and were mysterious and awesome. Let us hope that, with the continued success of the Transformers franchise, we might see some new mail-away offers, like we're seeing with 'Rescue Doc' over in the GI Joe 25th Anniversary line!
Posted by charlie on January 28th 2008
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Ed 30th Birthday

Happy Birthday Ed!

Today we wish a happy 30th birthday to friend of the Preserve, Ed! Go learn all about what else makes a Wookie work over at the nowickipedia!
Posted by charlie on January 27th 2008
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nowicki 30th birthday

This weekend is a special time indeed, because Ed, about whom you may learn so very much more at, is celebrating a milestone birthday. What better way to celebrate than with the breaking in of a new RockBand set, and the viewing of some Metalocalypse and Clerks II - and that's just the warm up! Given such festivities, the usual research and care, or even the bare minimum level of research and care that you have all grown to expect around the Preserve may be a little light, but never fear! There is so much great content that you have yet to lay eyes on, there will not be a dull moment!
Today then, we continue with our feature of Roadblock, one of the super hard to find GI Joe figures from the 4th wave of the 25th anniversary line.

Roadblock is serious business, and he's even on an extra large card bubble to accommodate all of his heavy artillery - very cool! As you've heard before, this wave is interesting because it consists of the single-carded re-releases of the initial Joe and Cobra 5-packs. Hasbro set out to do a small tribute to the wonderful '80s styling of this franchise, and they put together those two 2-packs which kicked off the 25th Anniversary celebration. What they found was tremendous fan and market support, so like the savvy chaps that they are, they pulled out all the stops and have unleashed the product wave you have seen and the plans we will see soon! So it is likely that these re-released wave 4 figures were not distributed well, or maybe even manufactured in great numbers, so will probably remain rare and scarce. They assure us that moving forward into 2008 production numbers will be higher, so that you may find the figures you want without constant diligence - we will see! Wave 4 here does *not* include a single carded release of the Baroness, which is a crime! So hopefully the rumors of her release in an upcoming wave have not been exaggerated.
Posted by charlie on January 26th 2008
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Robot Heroes

Much discussion has taken place, both in the news postings and through the medium of the UncleCasts about the Robot Heroes figures that joined the Transformers universe in 2007. Similar to the treatment that Hasbro is giving to many of their other properties this year, be it Star Wars, Spiderman, or the soon to be released Indiana Jones Adventure Heroes, both The Uncle and I agree that they are really a wonderful invention. Their simplicity, excellent overall sculpting, lack of losable parts, and average 2" size make them a really perfect toy for young kids, while at the same time being a really fun re-imagining of some of the best characters for the older enthusiasts.
While the collection of Robot Heroes at the Preserve is complete and up to date (pending the new wave, of course) we have been remiss in posting any of these figures in a timely manner. Hasbro is managing to release quite a few of these sets (though nothing like their deluge in the Galactic Heroes line for the Star Wars franchise) so we feel that getting a good list up will help collectors in their quest. Here then is the Jazz vs. Frenzy set, to kick things off. Click on the picture for a few more images and details, or click here for the (still barely populated) Robot Heroes home base.

Given that this line has characters from both G1 and from the new movie, it's an easy guess as to which are my favorite. However, the luck of the draw fell with the new rendition of the old favorites today, and out of the huge set of Robot Heroes packs, this one was selected at random. Shortly the section will be fleshed out with the excellent sets of your G1 favorites so check back soon!
We leave you with a truly awesome and inspiring image, that being of the promotional poster for Machete!! (Notice that they even took the time to simulate the 8-section fold, classic!) Anyone who saw the Grindhouse double feature last year was without a doubt immediately smitten with the amazing 'trailer' that was shown for this imaginary film. Well, much like the very short lived Mr. T show I Pity the Fool, the fact that Machete is now being made for real is one of those rare examples that sometimes the most awesome things possible in this world actually come to be.
Posted by charlie on January 25th 2008
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Uncle Article and Landmine post

The Uncle has provided us with a great review of Leader Class Optimus Prime from the 2007 Movie Line of toys. Check it out!
Also today, check out Landmine, one of the new Deluxe class figures from the AllSpark Power line which span between the proper movie toys and the 2008 releases of new Hasbro Transformers lines.

In a nice departure from what has been the norm with the tail end of this movie or even movie-esque line, Landmine is a brand new mold, rather than a repaint of a figure from earlier in 2007. Ostensibly he is one of the vehicles that John Turturro was driving in his Sector 7 task force, which served as the misguided human antagonists for the first part of the film, as folks may remember. Hasbro did another nice job on this figure, with an attractive new mold that people should not overlook. The only awkward thing I have to complain about is the foolish looking gun that hangs out over the front windshield, seemingly as an afterthought. Otherwise, it's the same level of great design and detail we've gotten used to for this series. As much as they are enjoyable, however, I know that everyone is excited to get their hands on the new Animated and Classics 2.0 toys, so bring 'em on!
Posted by charlie on January 24th 2008
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Star Wars 30th Anniv. Admission

A dirty little secret around the Preserve is that, as has been painfully evident through condemning photographic evidence, serious dabbling in the Star Wars 30th Anniversary toy line has been taking place. In spite of the insistence, beseeching and counsel of The Uncle to not get hooked by what is hands down the most bottomless chasm of unlimited product release (ie. the Star Wars toy universe), I have been unable to totally avoid this line. Of course, the Preserve is no stranger to the Star Wars franchise, having many original pieces from the early '80s Empire and Jedi lines.

While I am in agreement with him about boycotting most figures from movies 1-3 (yes, the new ones) I got sucked back in by the McQuarrie concept figures, which can't be much more original, and some of the excellent 'expanded universe' figures from this 30th Anniversary line. While the purchasing started out ostensibly as a way to help Preserve reader The Abyss build his collection, some of the cooler figures have become decidedly part of the Preserve.

Interestingly, what seems to have been the figure that was the tipping point was a very recent release, from the repaint wave no less! Finding the Rebel Vanguard Trooper, pictured below with the insane R2 repaint, which is nearly the tail end of the 30th Anniversary series, solidified my conviction that at least some of these figures, in particular this one, will need to remain in the Preserve.

Perhaps it's the fantastic artwork of the Trooper, the great pose of the figure in the blister, the amazing Jetfire looking weapon, or the perfect overall color pallet of leather gloves, mild jungle camo shirt and pants and excellent rebel helmet - it just works. Speaking of the weapon - I hadn't seen this pictured before, and it's not in the figure preview on the cardbacks, so it was a great surprise to discover such an absurdly huge accessory with this figure. It really puts me in mind of the gun that came with the original G1 Jetfire from the Transformers universe. Sure, that gun was grey, and slightly more bulbous in places, but like the whole overall design of the figure and package, this gun is just right, and fits right in, I believe, here at the Preserve!
Posted by charlie on January 23rd 2008
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Shipwreck Belt Closeup

As mentioned on the UncleCast and, I believe, here in the news section not that long ago, here is some direct crotch-based evidence from the new GI Joe 25th Anniversary line, as to the variation in the belt buckle design of Shipwreck!

Of course, I realize that this would be a much more useful example if it, say, compared the old version with the new. Well, one thing at a time gentle readers! In particular, in enough time, maybe you will get a nice side-by-side crotch shot, which is an amusing by-product of the constant changes that Hasbro has made in that region of these figures. This brings the total documented Shipwreck variants to three, when you count the 'Shark Tattoo' early release version, which is still missing from the Preserve archives!
Posted by charlie on January 22nd 2008
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Destro Breaker 2-pack review

As reported on several days ago, the GI Joe 25th Anniversary wave 2 of the comic 2-packs are showing up in stores. In particuar, today we take a look at the Destro/Breaker set, which is as solid as one could wish for!

Be sure to check out the extra pictures of this set by clicking the picture above. In particular, check out Breaker with his bubble, awesome. Also, as was discussed in the UncleCast last week, finally we can show you the threatening letter from the man himself, Cobra Commander!

That note is just perfect, and it is touches like that which remind me of this lines' superior design, care and aesthetic. That 2008 will see such growth of this series is of greater interest every day. The potential for surprise announcements and further expansion of the line at the upcoming Toy Fair, from which we will bring you up to the minute information, makes the impending event that much more exciting and highly anticipated!
Posted by charlie on January 21st 2008
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Gi Joe wave 4 - duke

All eight of the fantastic figures from the 4th wave of the GI Joe 25th Anniversary line have been added to the Preserve. Even though they are only repacks from the series-starting 5-packs of figures (Joe, Cobra), it's great to see them individually presented with their beautiful art and fantastic bios in full swing! Let's kick things off with a shot of good old patriotism, and you can't do better than Duke, the First Sergeant! Hammer on that smiling visage with your mouse for a detailed view.

As is often the case with the fantastic bios to the Joes, I am compelled to make sure that nobody misses the quote for Duke, when he turned down his commission:
"They tell me that an officer's job is to impel others to take the risks - so that the officer survives to take the blame in the event of total catastrophe. With all due respect, sir, if that's what an officer does, I don't want any part of it."

As if that weren't enough awesomeness for today, I am compelled to throw yet more, still more, your way! There are just so many amazing items to talk about, what with the explosion of coolness that is 2008, along with the constant mining of the vintage collection here at the Preserve, that one item a day sometimes just isn't enough! Therefore, I submit today also for your education, McDonald's Global Gladiators, for the Sega Master System!

Apparently produced through some unholy alliance between Virgin Games and McDonalds 'food' corporation, this latter-day Master System game from 1992 seems to push the technology of the deck, though at what cost!
Posted by charlie on January 20th 2008
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Gi Joe wave 4!

Holy Heavyduty Preserve readers! It is with tremendous excitement that I can now add the GI Joe 25th Anniversary, wave 4, in it's entirety, to the archives! A few well placed phone calls, and a rare and helpful clerk led to a bit of a drive and the discovery of exactly one of each figure from this wave on the pegs! I had been concerned that wave 4, which is a straight up re-pack of most of the figures from the first two 5-packs in this series might be hard to find, as Hasbro is moving boldly on with the product releases as 2008 gets into full swing. Now the future is bright with promise of Target exclusive vehicles, comic packs wave 3 and up, and a continuing flood of carded figures! Check out the group shot below, and click to expand to better see these great figures!

They will be individually added to the GI Joe 25th Anniversary section shortly - they are definitely worth checking out! Two of the figures have expanded blister cards - I hadn't realized that Roadblock came with such great accessories when packed in the large set. There's something clarifying about the single carded figure that I think we all know how to appreciate!
This evening I was fortunate enough to make the acquaintance of a like minded human, who has a seemingly vast and excellent knowledge of things from decades before, and the decades within, the focus of the Preserve. Along with being a great resource for yet another important period of toy, game and pop-culture history, he's quick with the movie quotes! The suggestion for today was to go check out the figures available at the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas, and the Kirk and Khan pack doesn't disappoint!
Posted by charlie on January 19th 2008
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Indiana Jones Lego - Lost Tomb

The second of the fantastic new Lego sets featured here on the Preserve is unveiled for your education and delight, in the form of Indiana Jones and the Lost Tomb! Click the picture below of Indy and Marion retrieving the Ark of the Covenant for a review, and a bunch of pictures.

Some readers may remember the great photo montage of Gozer and I building an accurate scale model of the Ark last summer. Well, the Ark that comes with this set may not be quite as awesome, but it's a very close second. The set has a great design, and while small I don't feel it suffers from that at all. In addition to the ark, everything feels perfectly proportioned and well designed, and the stickers lend a great temple feel to the whole works. There were even some left over stickers that I found the perfect homes for, which was maybe the intention all along! The set has two major 'action' features: dumping the snakes and tipping the statues. Both of these features work perfectly, pouring snakes down on the two adventurers with a well designed, rubber hinged trap door, or allowing a heavy Lego Anubis to crash through the back wall of the set. The right hand wall even reveals the undead guard, swinging from a chain, ready for chasin'!
Posted by charlie on January 18th 2008
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AllSpark Cliffjumper

Update: A new UncleCast has been posted, check it out for the latest in GI Joe, Transformers Animated and Indiana Jones discussion and news!

Three new Deluxe Class Transformers have been added to the ranks of the sprawling 2007 movie line, under the new 'AllSpark' banner. Hasbro is using this sub-line as a bridge between the Movie and game related toys, to the more dedicated 2008 lines of Classics and Animated. While just a repaint of the '08 Camero Bumblebee, I've always been a sucker for Cliffjumper, so this figure was an absolute must-have.

While it seems at first glance perhaps a little garish, the AllSpark blue packaging coloration is growing on me quickly. It has the rich, saturated color quality that I find to be so appealing in the very best designed products, most of which hark from the Greatest Decade. The figure will be familiar to owners of the concept Camaro Bumblebee, but the overall red repaint is well done. I find the AllSpark blue highlights on these figures to be a little less subtle and great than their packaging, but at least it's something bold and different. It appears that they've given Cliffjumper a new head sculpt, and the silver Autobot logo on his chest stands out better than the black on Bumblebee, which becomes mostly indistinct. Parts here and there, in particular on the legs, also appear to have been slightly updated for Cliffjumper, perhaps making use of the new 'Premium' mold which is supposed to be more movie accurate.
Posted by charlie on January 17th 2008
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GI Joe comic 2-packs wave 2

It was unexpectedly fantastic to discover the second wave of GI Joe 25th Anniversary comic 2-packs at WalMart today, especially when what caught my eye was the gleaming silver head of Destro glinting from behind the well stocked front-layer of wave 1 comic packs. Hopefully we'll see Hasbro being able to keep the 2008 Joe product on the shelves a little better than they did with the first entries in this series - so far almost so good!

All four of these figures really look fantastic! Destro is rocking it in his classic colors. Ripper and Torch look as bad ass as you'd hope for, with the shades, the great hair and weaponry galore. Breaker even blows a great is that? Well, he has a bubble you attach to his mouth, but it still rocks. Follow these links for the Destro/Breaker set and the Ripper/Torch set details.
As everyone who has been paying attention has probably seen by now, these comic packs each come with a sticker that is part of the 'Rescue Doc' mail-away offer. That's right - Mail Away!!

When you have collected 6 stickers, you can send them in to Hasbro and just hope with all your might that some number of months later, when you have all but forgotten that the offer even existed, some magical day you get a package in the mail...what could this be...great jumpin' jarhead it's DOC! What a great way for them to remind us of that excitement and anticipation, the precise likes of which none of us have likely been able to recapture since those early, hallowed days. With five comic 2-packs having now been released, I am 1 sticker away from the Doc Document being able to hit the post office. Come on Hasbro, let's hook up wave 3!
Posted by charlie on January 16th 2008
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GI Joe 25th - Yellow Stalker

The Uncle is both an excellent collaborator on the work of the Preserve, as well as being a great friend. This past holiday season he helped to fill out the ranks of the GI Joe 25th Anniversary collection around these parts with the high priced, woefully unavailable, 100% scalped Yellow Camo version of Sgt. Stalker!

Having missed the first month or so of the release of this great line of figures in 2007, I never saw this guy in the stores. It would be interesting to know if he ever even came to my town - seems that it was released in small enough quantities to demand the huge premium for a reason, so I doubt it! The yellow is pretty cool, and while not jungle friendly, it's got the classic design featured in some of the early comics. Hasbro, with your sneaky ways, what variants will we see next!
Posted by charlie on January 15th 2008
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GI Joe 25th Wave 5

An unexpected discovery at Target this weekend, directly on the heels of the recent AllSpark Transformers finds, was a goodly pile of GI Joe 25th Anniversary wave 5 figures! Leaving with one each, thanks to a generous grant from Preserve friend tmiles, that wave at the Preserve is now complete. Click on the image below for a larger view.

Individual figures from this set will be added in the next several days, and there really are some great ones in this wave! The gold Destro is just a fantastic presentation, and who doesn't love the most inappropriately named children's toy of all time, Snowjob?! Interestingly, not 24 hours later, only several Shipwreck figures, some Cobra Commanders and, surprisingly, several Crimson Guards remain in the store.

Also in GI Joe news, the wave 3 Shipwreck figure that is shipping with these new wave 5 figures is actually a variant! Thanks to, we learned that the new Shipwreck has had the anchor removed from his belt buckle. Investigations of this prove it to be correct, and this variant will also be displayed on the Preserve soon!
Posted by charlie on January 14th 2008
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First Strike Optimus Prime

Detailed pictures of the recently discovered First Strike Optimus Prime are now available. Just click the image below for the full fan-ready bio that 'explains' the G1 paint deco, and a few close up packaging pictures.

The AvP-a-thon was a stunning success! It turns out that, at least for myself, the AvP:Requiem which is currently in theaters wasn't half bad! It was pretty grim, and faithful to certain key details, and worked in some key quotes. It was definitely great to insert it to the middle of a typical movie marathon, and provided a great addition to an already sizable dual-franchise.
Posted by charlie on January 13th 2008
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Update: The first wave of Indiana Jones figures to come from Hasbro has been posted as pre-orders on - check them out! An exciting thing to notice is that there are unannounced figures in the wave, and we can bet that they will be revealed at Toy Fair!

At long last, and in the sort of wave that really makes the days of fruitless searching feel somewhat worthwhile, the AllSpark line of Transformers figures have started to filter into the second-tier market in which I exist. In particular, all three of the Deluxe class cars, and the G1 homage repaint Optimus Prime Voyger class figure turned up, but it took two different stores to pull it off.

My friends on the inside over at WalMart gave me to know that the reset is underway, but that the real product push will be this next Wednesday. The real excitement is, as mentioned before, the return of the GI Joe section at that same mega-store, and it doubles the chances of the Preserve being able to keep up with the great 2008 lineup that Hasbro has in store for us!

Today, and into Sunday at the Preserve, we have a very special event planned. Well, not as special as going to meet Don "The Dragon" Wilson or getting a tour of the Hasbro facilities, but pretty awesome none the less. Today we plan to embark upon the 'chronological Aliens vs. Predator marathon'. What this means is, we will experience the entire, increasingly misbegotten, franchise, in proper order with respect to the timelines of the movies. The lineup will look like this: 879 min. = 14.65 hours

The addition of the fieldtrip to the actual movie theatre, mid-marathon, is a new addition, though one we've certainly kicked around previously during similarly opportune times. It is a lengthy endeavor, and will end with a decided whimper at a terrible hour, but will certainly be another feather in the boot of experiential cinema!

Also, big thanks go out to Preserve friend, Yori, for redesign suggestions and help with the new updated styling of the Preserve!
Posted by charlie on January 12th 2008
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Toy Fair 2008!

It is with great and elated excitement that I announce the Preserve will be covering the 2008 Toy Fair next month in New York, NY! Taking place at the Jacob Javits Center, Toy Fair is "the largest international toy trade show in the Western Hemisphere", and will this year celebrate its 105th show, by my reckoning. Over 1,500 representatives of the Toy Industry are expected to participate as exhibitors, so you can only imagine the amazing diversity and breadth of product that will be on display, and unveiled for the first time!

For more information about the show, you can click their logo which is featured at the top of the News page. The event will begin on February 17th, when we will start to cover as many details and events of the show as we possibly can. You can expect galleries of manufacturers and products, with a focus on the top secret products which will first see the light of day at this show!

As promised yesterday, so it is delivered. A number of pictures of the new, and lowest priced Indiana Jones Lego set, the Motorcycle Chase, are now available. Click through the image below for more details.

I really can't say enough good things about this set - maybe I'm just too excited about the new Indiana Jones toys and that is tainting my view, or maybe it's because I haven't had a new Lego set in years. Well, except for the Advent Calendar, which is a great thing as well. But I feel that this set is a fantastic value from a monetary and play standpoint. If you can find it in the stores, because it seems to be selling out quickly, you should pick it up!

Today we finish up with two cool links. First we have a new product that just debuted at CES: The RetroDuo. A newly made system which will play some of your old games; hopefully it will help some folks get more play value from their old carts without having to take a risk on an ever-more-expensive vintage system from eBay. Now, of course here at the Preserve we always support the original equipment, but at least this encourages the use of the original carts instead of an emulator, so it meets with approval!

Lastly we have a couple of beautiful video game related cakes, that really show you the result of care, time and dedication applied to a hobby - well done!
Posted by charlie on January 11th 2008
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Walmart Reset and Indy

As I've been ranting about both here on the Preserve and on the boards, several of the WalMarts within 50 miles of the Preserve have told me that they will be resetting their toy department shelves on or around the 13th. A follow-up call today to the local department manager confirms that the reset will actually take place this Saturday, the 12th.

The reason this is particularly interesting is that they will probably unleash a good amount of held back, or just-delivered product when the new design is put into place. What is actually of key interest is that a visit to this store tonight found that the Star Wars and Transformers pegs, bare still, had been moved, and along the entire row were taped the new Planograms. I have been lamenting the loss of the GI Joe line at this store, and was delighted to see that four pegs for single carded 25th Anniversary figures, and three pegs for comic book 2-packs were listed on the planogram, wedged between the glut of wrestling figures. This is a great thing to see, and it hopefully shows that the strength of this line has convinced WalMart corporate to bring it back, thereby further benefiting Hasbro's sales, and keeping the line well funded for that much longer!

In exciting Indiana Jones news: The full write-up isn't quite done yet, but pictures and text about the smallest of the four new Lego sets is underway. As if there was any doubt, the most modestly priced set - Motorcycle Chase - is also perhaps the most awesome, in that you receive not only an Indiana Jones Lego figure, and a German Motorcycle Driver Lego figure, but you also get a Professor Henry Jones, aka. Sean Connery Lego figure!

I know - fantastic! The set itself is surprisingly cool as well, with the moving gate on the guard tower, and the two motorcycles that each roll well and stand on their own. While there were some voices raised that it was not a good value, I must insist that the opposite is true, and for the price of a standard action figure and a cup of coffee, this set is an easy choice.
Posted by charlie on January 10th 2008
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Preserve People

In the ongoing effort to supplement my memory so as not to loose any of the great Preserve worthy information that is always bouncing around, a People page has been added today. This will serve as a constantly growing list of great, often obscure people who fit right in with the focus and theme of the Preserve!

Next in a long line of Sega Master System games, we bring you Trivial Pursuit, multi-lang.

This game was never released on US shores, so far as we understand. Fortunately, since the US deck can handle PAL games, you can now have fun with Russell your animated and friendly question master! This game features what appears to be a much higher production value for the packaging, and in particular the country flags next to each of the various languages on the back side are vibrant and delightful.
Posted by charlie on January 9th 2008
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Indy Lego

This year, 2008, will mark a great resurgence in toys and related products for the Indiana Jones Franchise. One of the first companies out of the gate is, awesomely, Lego, with four fantastic Indy sets that they have just recently released. Anyone who is on their mailing list was probably excited to have received their catalog just a few days ago.

In no particular order, here are the great sets that have just hit the market: You can pick up the whole set for $114.99, which is a bit of a price break over buying the sets individually. Given the usual price of Lego sets, it really seems that these sets are a great value overall. The design of the truck and car in the 'Stolen Treasure' set, the booby traps in 'Lost Tomb' and the sheer size and features in 'Escape' are inspired and exciting!
Posted by charlie on January 8th 2008
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Sega Master System - Moonwalker Import

Let's kick the week off strong with some pics of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, import edition! Click this image for more pics and model numbers!

I am compelled to make sure that everyone reads the text from the back of the box, which is as follows:
"Michael!" Katy's voice rings out -- you've found her! But more children are still lost! Can you stop the psycho mastermind Mr. Big and his goon squad before they kidnap all the kids? You can, if you're Michael Jackson! Moonwalk on muggers, lean on meanies, and pop the punks! Move like only Michael can, to the beat of Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Billie Jean, and Bad!

Today we also have a great eBay Watch, which is a VHS self defense video with...Cynthia Rothrock! It is being offered by a 'seller' at what I would consider to be a fairly prohibitive price (though it does include the "Supplemental Sybervision Personal Training Guide"), but this is the sort of thing we love around here at the Preserve - since with enough patience and legwork, someday it'll turn up for $0.99 and that'll make for an awesome day indeed!
Posted by charlie on January 7th 2008
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Allspark 2-pack Rescuebrawl

The second AllSpark battle 2-pack for the weekend is Rescue Ratchet and Brawl. Always nice to see the G1 colors come out to play, so the Ratchet repaint is a welcome sight. Also we get a brand new mold of Brawl, growing the ranks even further.

In awesome and exciting GI Joe 25th Anniversary news, a Christmas present from The Uncle has just arrived, and now every version of Stalker is a part of the Preserve! That's right, the rare yellow variant was hidden in a tattered, smashed and poorly packed box, somehow in perfect condition, which is very exciting. Pictures will be forthcoming!
Posted by charlie on January 6th 2008
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AllSpark JazzCrusher

It's time to continue our reviews of the AllSpark Battles 2-packs which have recently been added to the Transformers Movie line of toys. Today we take a look at the Jazz vs. Bonecrusher set, from what is officially 'wave 1' of this set of figures. Click the picture for expanded info!

In this set we get a minor repaint of the Jazz figure, and an entirely new mold of Bonecrusher, thereby boosting the ranks of the Legends class figures which seem to be growing in popularity everyday. I also have to take this opportunity to point out something strange that Hasbro has been doing with this entire line of movie toys, and probably for the past several years. If a character has a name which is 5 characters long or less, ie. Jazz, or Brawl, their team affiliation is appended to the name to pad it out. I suspect this has some basis in the design considerations of the packaging, but I find it to be strange and awkward. Especially while reading the bios, it's funny to refer to some characters as "name" and some as "Autobot" "name". Well, maybe it just bothers me, but I think that the name Jazz could stand alone, and be plenty awesome. Scatman would have no trouble with that, I assure you.
Posted by charlie on January 5th 2008
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AllSpark Detail and Snarlie

Update: Those of us who do not live near to a large metropolitan area, or apparently in the South or West, sometimes have trouble finding the new Hasbro product for weeks and weeks after other parts of the country have already long since posted it to be scalped on eBay. Well, the patient man can find things on, and today we have just noticed that movie deluxe Landmine and Camshaft are available for order. You'll notice that Camshaft is even filed under the wrong category! If you don't mind the shipping charges, and are sick of waiting to find them in the wild, go check it out.

Just a few days ago, yet another sneaky Snarlie Narlie completed it's short 3-day run on eBay. While it went excitingly unnoticed for most of the auction duration, and the Preserve was the high bidder for that time at a lofty $7.50, sadly in the last few hours the usual leap in price was unleashed, and he ended in the neighborhood of $255! It did include the box, though in some sort of supposedly rough condition, and the Narlie was still attached to the packaging insert, which will always drive up the price. We will continue our quest to one day snag this item for a reasonable price!

Since the holiday, WalMart has seemed to be as decimated as other stores, having had no restock of their toy isle of any size since it was cleaned out in mid December. After a few well placed calls to the proper managers, I have determined that WalMart in New York will be performing a reset of their toy section on or before the 13th of January. So, we may all expect a rush of new product once that begins!
Posted by charlie on January 4th 2008
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Target post-christmas reset

The local Target store performed their after Christmas toy section reset today. I managed to be in the midst of it, and it really was a sight to behold - all things considered it seemed to go along very smoothly! The early morning stop found a bunch of associates breaking down the old Christmas decoration backing papers, and having already piled most of the existing product into 'overstuff' boxes, ready to go up in new arrangements. The most enticing thing, of course, were the numerous flat-carts piled high with new product, including a staggering number of Hasbro 'Toy Group' cases - you know the ones, with the great purple bar and small line of text as to the product and wave contained within.

Well, I managed to spot a case of the new Transformers AllSpark Battles 2-packs, as well as GI Joe comic 2-packs! It was very exciting and I was goodly enough to hunt down an associate instead of launching into the cart. The boxes were, of course, on the bottom, and while the employee had been happy to let me see the cases at first, when he saw where they were he nicely requested that I just come back in a few hours when stuff would be shelved. At 8am that seemed plenty reasonable, and I'm glad I took the high road and thanked him for his time instead of proposing alternate scenarios by which I'd waste even more of his time.

The only thing that burned me up a little was that the early morning scalper, who arrives around 8:20, walked in as I left. Visions of his ransacking the pallets distracted me until a lunch-time return, which found that the busy Target folks had completely finished the reset! Well, at least of the action figure isle. There was the nicely expanded GI Joe 25th section, with a full vertical of pegs for single carded figures, and another for the comic 2-packs, both full of product! The Star Wars and Transformers sections were still mostly bare, surprisingly, though were reset to their new configurations. One can expect that the product will flow into those place holders shortly. What was truly surprising was that, in the midst of this beautiful sight of a newly stocked and organized and cleaned toy department, mere moments after the product had been stocked, there was a small handful of beady eyed, silent, cart-pushing wraiths, one even sporting ratty pink bedroom slippers (while a snowstorm raged outside). They were pulling the best of the new product from the shelves almost as quickly as it showed up. In particular, I had noticed a full set of Star Wars Mighty Muggs figures on the shelf, being some of the small amount of newly stocked SW product (along with the abysmal key chains). Not 2 minutes later, the pink slippered one had glommed the entire pile into her filled-to-bursting cart, and was continuing her slow cycle, round and round, of the new section. What a large number of very lucky children she must have at home...!

Since The Uncle had awesomely secured a set of the first three GI Joe comic 2-packs only days earlier, and my other two sections were under stocked, the only thing of interest was that nice set of AllSpark Battles figures, alone on their two pegs in the Transformers section. With that I was out of there, though as is par for the course, not for long! Having forgotten something, back I went at 6pm, only to notice that of the initial 12 GI Joe comic packs, only one remained! I always hoped that my complaints about scalpers in my small town were unfounded, but today was a real eye opener!

Posted by charlie on January 3rd 2008
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Master System - World Grand Prix Import

Update: A special New Year's Edition UncleCast has been recorded and posted for your educational pleasure. Be sure to check it out, and start the year off right!

While World Grand Prix was a part of the US released games for the Sega Master System, it was also available overseas in a multi-lang version. Actually, most of the US titles found themselves available overseas eventually, and in several different versions! We'll do our best, but can assure you that the infinite variety of the SMS universe will always provide something new for both old and novice collectors alike! Click the picture for a detailed look at this game.

Today we have a Target Watch that filled my heart with joy. Even though it wasn't quite as great as finding wave 4 or 5 of the GI Joe 25th Anniversary figures, they had managed to greatly restock the two lonely pegs to the bursting point with wave 2 and 3 figs. Interestingly, the local Target has yet to complete the toy-isle reset that a Target employee reported over at Supposedly the shelf and peg space devoted to the 25th anniversary line was to be greatly increased on December 30th, in particular making room for the comic 2-packs which are just starting to hit the stores. The day was not a total non-gainer, though, as the re-tooled Stalker action figure was found, so now both hip-versions exist in the Preserve, though sadly still no yellow-camo version has been found. Interestingly, both hip-versions were on the pegs yesterday, meaning that they are either mixed within the same case, or that between the two cases they shelved there were different versions of this figure.

Finally, in other GI Joe news, The Uncle has managed to find an entire set of the three, Wave 1, comic 2-packs at a target where they had actually completed the reset. These will be pictured and posted soon!
Posted by charlie on January 2nd 2008
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Happy New Year 2008

Happy New Year!

It was really great to see ol' Dick Clark represent for the crucial last few minutes of his self-titled new years special this night. While he doesn't pull the full host duties these days, he is there when it counts, and for me, and I'm sure many readers of this site, the New Year just isn't right without him there to help you usher it in!

I wanted to kick off the New Year with a few pictures of the Sega Master System Indiana Jones import title. Click the picture for a detailed page about the game.

Given the great line of toys that we can expect Hasbro to grace us with in 2008, in anticipation of the upcoming Indy movie, this seems a great theme to start things with as the calendar rolls over.

Here's wishing all readers and friends of the Preserve a healthy, exciting and fulfilling adventure in the year to come. Let's all make it one we look back upon with grateful joy and one to build upon with informed passion.
Posted by charlie on January 1st 2008
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