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Journal Archives from September 2008
WalMart Exclusive AllSpark Deluxe Breakaway

The next WalMart exclusive, let's call him 2 out of 3 for kicks, is Breakaway, a repaint of Hot Shot from the Cybertron line. Another good looking figure with a cool bio of a double-jointed escape-artist, you can almost imagine this guy giving Lockdown a run for his money, in some sort of Animated/main line crossover event. Click the image below for the full bio and a few additional pictures.

In additional important news, the folks over at recently reported in their Indiana Jones Q&A with the Hasbro folks that the charade is finally over, and Hasbro has stated plainly that the line is ending, almost immediately. It sounds like they may drag it through the holidays, but that we will be lucky to even see the very scarce wave 3 (Last Crusade) and wave 4 (Temple of Doom) figures in stores, and certainly nothing beyond that. I'll say again what I've said often about this line - it is short lived and the clock is now ticking, so if you see any figures from the later waves, now is the time to snag them for sure!
Posted by charlie on September 30th 2008, 02:14 AM
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GI Joe Modern Era Comic 2-packs - Nemesis Immortal vs. Lt. Falcon

Still playing our never ending game of catch-up around here at the Preserve, let's flash back a few weeks to the latest round of G.I. Joe Modern Era comic packs. In fact, there has only been one wave of the post-rescue-Doc 2-packs, though there are a number more in the pipeline heading our way! In the continuing effort to stay at least a half step ahead of Hasbro, today we take a look at the Nemesis Immortal vs. Lt. Falcon two pack, complete with new Joe comic by Larry Hama of course!

The Nemesis figure is very cool, and really makes the set stand out. Fortunately the comic packs seem to be more available lately than at times in recent memory, but this is still likely to be in demand so if you want to check out the figures or comic, be sure not to wait too long to get a copy for yourself!
Posted by charlie on September 29th 2008, 08:20 AM
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Transformers WalMart Exclusive Fracture

Let's take a closer look at one of the new WalMart Exclusive AllSpark Deluxe Transformers figures that we reported on a few days ago. Not content to save the best for last, we're starting out with Fracture right out of the gate - what I have to imagine will be the fan favorite from this set. At the very least, I know she's the favorite around the Preserve! Click the link for more pictures and the bio.

I like how they make her very powerful, and not a bot to mess with in her stats and bio writeup. It reminds me somewhat of the Arcee one-shot comic that came out earlier this year where she is a total heavy, not just some pink Autobot with princess Leia curls. That book is worth checking out for the grittier take on the underrepresented robot gender, and Fracture is a great addition to the cannon!
Posted by charlie on September 28th 2008, 12:26 PM
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Press Release - Mezco
Mezco - Living Dead Dolls 10th Anniversary
Press Release - Mezco brings us the first official image of their Living Dead Dolls, Celebrating 10 Years Of Terror! Click the image for the full release about the anniversary of their very popular line of frightening figures!  Read More
Posted by charlie on September 27th 2008, 07:27 AM
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WalMart Exclusive AllSpark Deluxe Transfomrers, Wave 2

As reported a few days ago, a trip to a neighboring town managed to scare up a complete set of the three new WalMart Exclusive AllSpark Deluxe figures from the twilight of the Transformers Movie 2007 line. These three new figures represent the second wave of such from WalMart, and are a fun and strong entry in the exclusives set for this massive product line.

Collector Tip: So that no one forgets, this is a reminder that the Fracture figure is an homage to Crasher of GoBot fame. Make sure you at least pick up one of those figures when you see her, as she is the rarest of the set.

Interestingly WalMart is restocking some of the first wave of their deluxe figures along with this second wave, so if you missed Big Daddy or Grindcore the first time around, you may have a second chance that doesn't involve the eBay scalpers, and we're all a lot happier to sidestep that action aren't we!
Look for individual profile pages on these figures in the next few days, which will finish off the WalMart Deluxe exclusive set coverage (until the next wave, probably)!
Posted by charlie on September 26th 2008, 11:31 AM
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Indy's Ultimate Adventure Playset, in pictures

At the risk of everyone being tired of me going on and on about the new Indy's Ultimate Adventure Playset WalMart Exclusive that we recently stumbled across, I have to feature a page for this great set, complete with evil glowing red eyes in the anchor shot!

And yes, true to form we still haven't opened up this fun looking set and tried to assemble it, but we'll just see. Everyone can look forward to yet another post on this set if and when that day comes, and I sure hope that it's as cool as I think it's going to be after all this buildup! At the very least, the glowing skull is a great addition to any Halloween display, which let us not forget is fast approaching!
Posted by charlie on September 25th 2008, 08:25 PM
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SDCC Exclusives

Harkening way back to the SDCC 2008, today we have a look at some fresh-from-the-show pics of the Exclusive items that were available from producers large and small alike! Taken right in the ol' hotel room after the long day at the show, it was a mighty yet of course woefully incomplete haul!

Be sure not to miss the arm of the passed out Uncle, and click the picture for a full look at a number of the exclusives that you may remember fondly, or see for the first time! Missing from this set is the astonishingly cool King Grayskull from Mattel, but he will be featured soon, complete with the case-break of The Uncle finding the bronze variant!
Posted by charlie on September 24th 2008, 08:58 PM
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Indy's Ultimate Adventure

As a follow-up to yesterday, I realized that I should have a look in the Preserve's own coverage of the Indiana Jones toys at the Hasbro booth from SDCC 2008. You know that your site has a bunch of content when you can do research within it and find something you'd completely forgotten about! Well, that happened here, and I was able to find a perfect picture that I took of the WalMart Exclusive Indy's Ultimate Adventure playset! Click the image for a larger look.

What is even better, and was not clear at the show or from that picture, is that there is a large button atop the blue skull. When pressed, the eyes glow red, and one of several different, fairly well amplified, recordings booms forth. Of course, in the tradition of the toy aisle, this feature is testable while the product is still boxed up, as will be seen in our photo gallery soon!

Note that they had to pull the front launch ramp off, and simply lay it across sideways so that the piece fit inside the display case. That ramp really should extend straight out, and is the starting point for the excellent die cast car (complete with a mini die cast indy!) to fire around the track, triggering a swinging snake, a Raiders style boulder, and hopefully making the jump!
Posted by charlie on September 23rd 2008, 08:48 AM
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WalMart run

A trip to WalMart outside of my small town, though only to the next slightly larger town over, has netted a whole bushel of new and exciting things! It is interesting to see the variation in WalMart ordering practices, when you would imagine that they are all so cookie cutter similar. In fact, there is a complex web of financial decisions and sales volume that plays into which stores get the toy exclusives that we all are looking for, with some of them never getting any at all! My local store never, to the best of my knowledge, had a single Masterpiece Starscream on the shelves, though that fateful late night run over an hour away secured a copy for both the Preserve archives and The Uncle!

What my store did get in the past was the first wave of WalMart Exclusive Transformers deluxe figures: Jolt, Divebomb, Grindcore and Big Daddy. I kept patiently waiting for the new wave of three more exclusive deluxe figures to show up, but to no avail. Word around the internets was that many WalMart stores had a giant blue center aisle display with a variety of Transformers items, including a great sale of $7.77 on the deluxe figures, including the new exclusives! Now, to bring everyone up to speed on at least one important point of the new exclusives, the figure 'Fracture' is awesome because it is an homage to the old GoBot 'Crasher' which was a girl, and a villain! Always rare, in demand and a delightful idea to include that in the exclusive set as a repaint of Classics Mirage.

Well, as you have already figured out, the other WalMart that was cased today certainly had exactly that great big blue display, complete with marked down exclusives! Of additional convenience was the Indiana Jones Cairo Henchmen Deluxe two pack which had up until now eluded us, but the real crown jewel of the day was a set we'd never even seen reports of before. Another WalMart exclusive, and on a size scale that makes the heart skip a delighted beat, "Indy's Ultimate Adventure Playset" is a thing of glory. We'll have pictures up soon, and you better believe we'll open it and check it out, so a full report is on the way!
Posted by charlie on September 22nd 2008, 11:53 AM
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GI Joe Modern Era - Conquest X-30

Today we finish up the second half of the fantastic new Target Exclusive GI Joe Modern era vehicle set with the Conquest X-30! Click the image below to learn more about this fantastic machine, and Lt. Slip Stream who has the tools and the talent to command this touchy vehicle!

I cannot stress enough how wonderful it is to see large scale vehicles as part of this ongoing GI Joe line, and huge props have to go to Target for getting on board with these exclusives. It seems that they have been willing to take a risk on this line over and over again, and I think it's clear that it's paid off for them with sell-out products every time. Being one of the three main retailers for toys that most people have access to these days (WalMart and Toys R Us being the other two, I figure) it is fortunate that they have a GI Joe fan on their purchasing committee! Hopefully we'll start to see more participation from WalMart as we go forward, though there are a smattering of exclusives slated for the coming months there. Certainly Toys R Us does continue with the 5-pack and 3-pack exclusives that it's embraced with this revived line, which continue to be excellent and well worth the price. Here's to hoping that sales are good enough with these fantastic jets that we see more of these large-format vehicles, that harken back to the greatest decade!
Posted by charlie on September 21st 2008, 08:41 PM
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GI Joe Modern Era - Destro Comic pack variant

Friend of the Preserve and GI Joe hunter extraordinaire, Rudger, has secured for the collection the rare black mask Destro variant comic pack! As we advised a few weeks back, this two-pack is shipping with a chase variant, and everyone should keep their eyes open for it. Our hunts had so far turned up empty but thanks to teamwork, we can now feature images of this great variant that you should try to track down! Click on the image below to visit the main page for this comic pack, which features a few additional shots of the variant set as well as pics of the regular edition.

Posted by charlie on September 20th 2008, 01:42 AM
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GI Joe Modern Era - Target Exclusive Cobra Rattler

Having unveiled the fantastic new GI Joe Modern Era Target Exclusive jets here on the Preserve, let us delve into much greater detail, starting first with the Cobra Rattler!

Coming packaged with the crack pilot Wild Weasel, you're ready for combat right out of the box. It is cool that both the figure and the vehicle are given bio file cards right on the box exterior, and you can check out the text for both cards by clicking the image above to enter the full gallery. Also make sure to catch the images of the actual case break for all the details of Hasbro's packing strat for these oversized marvels!
Posted by charlie on September 19th 2008, 11:22 AM
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GI Joe Modern Era Target Exclusive Vehicles

Thanks to a combination of luck and determination - the basic ingredients for this toy hunting thing many of us enjoy doing, the Preserve managed to secure case fresh examples of the brand new Target Exclusives Conquest X-30 and Cobra Rattler jets from the GI Joe Modern Era line!

It was really a delight to get to crack the case on these two pieces, and their sheer size and presentation really elicit memories of the heyday of the 80s, when it was not uncommon to see packages this gigantic frequently packing the store shelves, with artwork and design popping off of the shelf everywhere you looked! While I am a purist who prefers the solid box with artwork, Hasbro has managed to make most of the front of these packages a picture window onto the toy itself, while also including great artwork and photography on the rest of the container. Due to their solid design job, this new-school package still works to create a stunning effect. Truly these are great items, and Target Exclusives to boot, so make sure you pick them up! Now I will make my recommendation an even stronger argument with the following potential proof. Witness the sealed case, since I think it is a thing of beauty.

Now, if one was to read the side of the case carefully, they might notice a hand written number, which certainly seems to be a tracking code for the boxes in this production run. Notice that the printed maximum number is not very high! In particular, the Preserve would appear to be in possession of case # 2402 of 2775.

As of October 2007 there were 1,591 Target stores(1), and it is a fair bet that number has grown since then. A little simple math would show us that this product run would not even be great enough for every Target store in the country to receive two cases of these products! Now, make of this speculation what you will, but if you think these vehicles are as wonderful as we do, make sure you get to your local Target asap, since they might not be available for very long at all!
Posted by charlie on September 18th 2008, 05:17 PM
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Indiana Jones Titanium - Cargo Truck

We finish up the first batch of Indiana Jones Titanium Series figures with the iconic Cargo Truck from Raiders of the Lost Ark. This piece even has a mini Indy dragging behind the truck, just like in the movie! Seems that the dragging and the flipping grill were two great action features that Hasbro tried to incorporate into both it's small scale, and large 3 3/4" scale vehicles of this great truck. The back cover of the Titanium vehicle is even removable - great detail! Click the image for the full writeup from the back of the package, and some more pics.

Posted by charlie on September 17th 2008, 06:39 PM
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Transformers Real Gear - Photon T-34

Let's take a step back several months, away from the bleeding edge breakneck pace of Indy Titanium Series and GI Joe Conquest and Rattler vehicles, and catch up on the straggling Transformers Movie line from 2007/2008. It's at least a goal to finish up with that first set, as massive as it is, before the new toys from the upcoming movie start to be previewed. So, let us dip back into the Real Gear pool today with the Decepticon Photon T-34!

I think that whoever was in charge of such things as bio writing at Hasbro for this sub-series did a great job, and Photon T-34 is no exception to my previous rule. In a few short lines there is another interesting character added to the mix, which will probably find his way into a Spotlight comic 10 years from now if we aren't careful!
Posted by charlie on September 16th 2008, 03:09 PM
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Press Release - Organic Toppa Gurren Langann
Organic - Revoltech Tengen Toppa Gurren Langann
Press Release - Organic Hobby has brought us pictures of two new additions to the Revoltech line, one serious badnews robot and one lighthearted addition, as they are fond of doing! Click the link for more views of "Revoltech Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann" & "Revoltech Ricky (Doko✧Demo✧Issyo)"!  Read More
Posted by charlie on September 15th 2008, 07:27 PM
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Indiana Jones Titanium - Last Crusade Biplane

We continue our coverage of the limited Indiana Jones Titanium line with the Biplane from the Last Crusade! Dr. Jones senior accidentally saws the tail off of this plane in his attempts to shoot down the enemy plane, but at least he gave it that old college try! He redeemed himself later, of course, with his astonishing seagull umbrella maneuver which took out the enemy German fighter! Click the link for more information on this Titanium Series biplane!

Posted by charlie on September 14th 2008, 11:36 PM
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Transformers Animated - Prowl

Let's take a look at another figure from the Transformers Animated line, with Prowl from the first wave of figures. One of the core members of the new Autobot team, he has been reincarnated as a ninja in this go around. He's actually a pretty enjoyable character for a stodgy old guy like myself, respecting peace and quiet meditation in contrast to the frenzied behavior of Bumblebee. Click the image for his full bio and more pics!

Posted by charlie on September 13th 2008, 05:33 PM
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Transformers Animated - Lugnut

Hot from the archives of The Uncle comes an entry into the Transformers Animated series, the Voyager class figure of Lugnut! Megatron's right hand yes-man, this big bruiser is no joke if you let him land a punch. Click the picture to read the full bio and other character info from this latest figure from Hasbro's strong new line!

Posted by charlie on September 12th 2008, 12:37 AM
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Indiana Jones Titanium Series - Flying Wing

While it is unlikely that we will see a full sized vehicle of the German Flying Wing from Raiders of the Lost Ark, at least Hasbro managed to sneak in a mini version in their Titanium Series while the line was still viable. Of course this is one of the favorite vehicles of the entire franchise among fans, given the fantastic scene in which it played a major part, when Indy fights the fan favorite German Mechanic! Sadly the Mechanic was to meet his end in the propeller of the Wing, but it was a hell of a fight and one of the most memorable parts of the movie for the hard core fan. Check out the Titanium Series Flying Wing - they did a fine job!

I still remember going to Disney World back in the '80s, and they had a whole Indiana Jones show set up at MGM Studios where you could watch basically a huge and elaborate floor show which reenacted moments from the movies. The one that stuck in my mind was of course the fight we were just talking about, which culminated with the German Mechanic being 'hit' by the propeller of the stage plane, whereupon he dropped through what I assume was a trapdoor in the seemingly solid stage (which all the spectators looked down upon from tremendous stadium seating) with a giant puff of smoke, red confetti and blood colored streamers - how risqué for Disney! Seeing the Flying Wing always reminds me of that trip, so of course I think this is a great piece - be sure to pick it up while it is still available!
Posted by charlie on September 11th 2008, 01:04 AM
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Transformers Animated - Bumblebee

Hot on the heels of Jazz from a few days ago, let's take a look today at Bumblebee from the Transformers Animated series. His character certainly fills the appeal-to-kids slot, and is energetic, reckless and impetuous. And those are his better traits! Well, seriously though, he does manage to grow on you a little as you watch the show, and they do some cool half-transformed effects with him, even going so far as to have him stick an arm out of his vehicle mode when he needs it - almost reminds me of the Gerwalk (Ground Effective Reinforcement of Winged Armament with Locomotive Knee-joint) mode of the VF-1 Valkyrie! Ok, maybe that's a stretch, but it's still sort of cool. Check out the toy, and the great job that Hasbro has done to really make the colors pop on the pack and of course the figure itself.

The cartoon has wrapped for it's second season (guide), so we're in massive daily reruns currently. The show seems to have been very well received so all signs point to a strong third season, and no doubt another huge wave of toys that we'll get to see at Toy Fair in February. Hasbro will certainly push this line strongly over the holidays, at least they should, and hopefully it will continue to sell as well as current retail trends indicate!
Posted by charlie on September 10th 2008, 12:43 AM
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Hasbro Indiana Jones - Vogel's Tank Titanium

As reported a few weeks ago, we were able to track down most of a full set of the new Hasbro Indiana Jones Titanium Series figures at the local Target, but missing from the set was the best piece (of course), being Indy and elder Jones in the two-person cycle. Well, a trip to the wilds of New Hampshire fixed that up, amazingly, and all without sales tax! So, it's high time to start featuring this line of Titanium Indy figures, baring in mind that recent Hasbro Q&As have made it pretty clear that this is the one and only wave we're likely to see of this product. Here then is Vogel's Mark VII Tank - click the pic for a full details page.

I know that opinion runs hot and cold on the Titanium line which spans most of Hasbro's action figure properties lately, but I admit that I really like them. They even go to some lengths to provide unique information on the back of each figure, which is more than you get from some packages! Check out the info for the Tank, and stay tuned for the rest of the pieces from this set!
Posted by charlie on September 9th 2008, 11:05 AM
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Press Release - NECA Head Knockers with the most
NECA - Beetlejuice Head Knocker
Press Release - I know you have always wanted a bobble head Beetlejuice, complete with striped suit and filthy hygiene. Maybe you didn't know you wanted it, but now you will when you see the latest from NECA! They are also featuring an excellent Regan figure from The Exorcist in the same Head Knocker format. Click the link for larger pics and a link to their site for more info!  Read More
Posted by charlie on September 8th 2008, 08:27 AM
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Star Wars Legacy 2008 - Falcon

Today the Uncle brings us pictures of the amazing new Legacy Collection Millennium Falcon from Hasbro - this has been the buzz of the toy industry for months and it is finally here! With a whopping pricetag, but features to match, it is perhaps the greatest vehicle or playset to have ever been widely released. It was even, as we previously reported, sculpted by the original designer of the Falcon toy in the late 70s; all these years later and he finally got to include the sort of amazing features that the technology and market of the time would not support! Check out the page for this amazing toy by clicking the image, and look forward to even more coverage in weeks to come!

Posted by charlie on September 7th 2008, 02:14 AM
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GI Joe Modern Era - General Hawk

Today we have managed, at long last, to finish up cataloging the second wave of GI Joe Modern Era figures with Hawk, the General of the team! He's a soldier's General, always on the battlefield and never sending a troop into a situation he wouldn't go into himself. Click on the image for his full bio, and some more great shots of the excellent figure!

And with that, we've finally caught up and have both wave 1 and wave 2 of the Modern Era basic figures posted for everyone's reference and enjoyment! Interestingly, a combination of the higher price point and perhaps a much delayed increase in production on the part of Hasbro has resulted in most stores finally having items from this line in stock, in contrast to the past history of this relaunch of GI Joe. With the exception of the vehicle packs, which are still quite elusive, you can find the dvd packs, the 3 3/4" and 12" figures, and even the comic packs, in fair abundance. If you want anything from the current release of this line, get to it!

Collector Note: Target is doing their reset tomorrow, the 7th of September according to official sources. Hopefully this should result in the Rattler and Conquest exclusive vehicles being available in stores that haven't put them out early. Good luck!
Posted by charlie on September 6th 2008, 08:22 AM
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Lego Brickmaster - Set 20005 Bionicle

While it is certainly no exaggeration to say that we have thousands of awesome pictures that want for posting, hopefully to the delight and edification of our many dedicated readers, the update for today was set in stone when I picked up my mail yesterday. Like clockwork, it being only several days into the month of September, the brand new Lego Brickmaster set, #20005 featuring a Bionicle figure, has arrived with much fanfare!

As always, the plan will be to open up this set, build it, and get additional pictures to you eventually, but for now at least it is cataloged which seems to be something sorely lacking for the Brickmaster sets on this the old internets!

I am a strong champion of how awesome the Brickmaster club is, and how it's probably the best value for your collecting dollar, especially in terms of periodic excitement and surprises that you get throughout the year! Hopefully when the Preserve has a full set of a year's worth of member-only sets, Lego will see a still increasing interest in this great program of theirs!
Posted by charlie on September 5th 2008, 06:52 AM
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Press Release - Mezco Living Dead Dolls Series 16 Variants
Mezco - Living Dead Dolls Series 16 Variants
Press Release - Mezco helps us continue our impromptu Halloween-in-September with news that their highly sought after Living Dead Dolls line has officially released the Series 16 variants that we saw at SDCC. Click through for a group shot of the ghastly figures, and for a link to their site with more individual shots, and ordering info!  Read More
Posted by charlie on September 4th 2008, 07:34 AM
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Press Release - Mezco Freddy and Leatherface
Mezco - Freddy and Leatherface
Press Release - It's never too early to start getting in the mood for Halloween, and it's amazing how soon it will actually be upon us! For anyone who wants to make a killer costume this year, you had better get those wheels a' turning or you'll be cutting some holes in your least favorite sheet set...though I guess Rob Zombie made that a little creepy again recently. Well, here comes Mezco with a great offer on two of their best figures, being the Freddy and Leatherface from their Cinema of Fear line. Two figures for one low price, get to it! Click the link for more info.  Read More
Posted by charlie on September 3rd 2008, 06:50 AM
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Press Release - NECA God of War
NECA - God of War II
Press Release - NECA brings us the first official images of their brand new God of War II: Magic of the Gods series! Click through to see a few larger images, and for a link to their full release.  Read More
Posted by charlie on September 2nd 2008, 06:59 AM
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Transformers Animated - Jazz

Our resolve in the face of the awesome Transformers Animated figures has only been marginally as strong as we had hoped, and the deluxe figures continue to charm their way into the Preserve. Cartoon accurate designs for both vehicle and robot mode and the reuse of classic names which always wins me over has left little doubt that at least the early figures needed to be in the collection, while hopefully we can pass on the certain ton of repaints that Hasbro has in the works. Today, let's take a look at Jazz, certainly one of the fan favorites from years gone by.

He is now a ninja and part of the Elite Guard on Cybertron but he'll always be the 'hip' character voiced by Scatman Crothers to me.
Posted by charlie on September 1st 2008, 10:10 AM
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