Jan. 30, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
Russell Crowe will be sporting some heavy-duty armor in Zack Snyder’s highly anticipated “Man of Steel” — that is, if a new Jor-El action figure is any indication. The Mattel figure features Superman’s Kryptonian father, but he’s not wearing the ethereal white robes of Marlon Brando’s 1978 portrayal. The toy adopts Crowe’s likeness and appears to be clad in the same alien-meets-steam-punk style shoulder armor we’ve seen in photos from the set. The figure also wears metal boots, leg armor and gauntlets over a blue undersuit. In addition to the Jor-El figure, the photo gallery above also gives Hero Complex readers a first look at figures for Superman, his nemesis Darkseid and another DC character, Vampire Batman. The Vampire Batman figure is based on the Batman vampire trilogy (1991′s “Batman and Dracula: Red Rain,” 1994′s “Batman: Bloodstorm” and 1998′s “Batman: Crimson […]
Jan. 17, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.
The culture of cute is having a moment — more than 100 of them. Inside downtown Los Angeles’ Japanese American National Museum, the unofficial U.S. ambassador of Asian pop culture, Giant Robot founder Eric Nakamura, hovers over his empire of little people — some 100 charismatic misfits clustered in Plexiglas cases. There’s the cheery, hot-pink monster head atop an armored tank, the grimacing caramel-colored ogre with horns and the Native American robotic beast in a fuzzy bear hat. Not to mention the bug-eyed, blue octopus skewering its neon-scarlet brain with a fork. That these custom vinyl figures are being showcased so seriously in a museum setting puts an elastic grin on Nakamura’s face. “A figure show, toys, are never presented in a space like this,” he says. “It usually happens in a shop on Melrose, on a shelf. I wanted […]
July 18, 2012 | 12:27 a.m.
Hey, we love Hockney prints and Oaxacan folk art as much as anyone, but, really, is there anything that adds more character to the decor of your home and/or underground cave than a grim slice of Gotham City eye candy? Mondo is selling this Olly Moss poster (16 inches by 24 inches) for just 24 hours and the clock is ticking (the Austin-based Mondo will cut off orders at 12:01 a.m. Central Time on Thursday morning — that’s 10:01 p.m. Wednesday in L.A.) and they won’t accept orders afterward. Essentially it’s a limited-edition run where the size of that run is pre-determined by the fan urgency expressed within a single day. And that single day happens to be on the eve of the release of the most-awaited superhero film in history. Nicely done, Mondo, smart and savvy. We’ll be having a lot of coverage here on […]
July 16, 2012 | 9:52 a.m.
You hear a lot of bizarre alien conversation at Comic-Con International, but the strangest one I heard this year was between a vintage comics dealer and a shocked collector asking about a nice copy of “Iron Man” No. 55, the February 1973 issue that features the first appearance of Thanos. “I’m asking $6,000 for it,” the dealer said Sunday afternoon without irony or wink. “I know that’s high — hey, that’s really high — but that’s next year’s price.” The issue was a nice one (a slabbed copy, a certified 9.6 grade in appraised condition), but that sounded like an example of galaxy-level overpricing to me. I walked over to an adjacent booth where I saw a familiar face, Ted VanLiew, the owner of the Hampton, Mass.-based Superworld. He seemed only mildly shocked by the Never Never Land negotiation and the number of zeros involved. A year or two after you could […]
May 21, 2012 | 6:43 p.m.
The next time Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawthorne and Greasy Sae are seen onscreen in “The Hunger Games,” they will have a new landlord — and it could be you. The Henry River Mill Village in Hildebran, N.C. (outside of Charlotte), which served as District 12 in the post-apocalyptic nation Panem in the big-screen adaptation of the book, is up for sale. The 72-acre abandoned mill town, home of fictional spots like the Hob and the area known as the Seam, is valued at more than $1.2 million. It will be sold via sealed bids through the auction house Profiles in History, with a bidding deadline of July 31. The piece of “Hunger Games” history is also the subject of an upcoming episode of “Hollywood Treasure,” the SyFy series that follows Profiles in History owner Joe Maddalena as he […]
April 11, 2012 | 2:42 p.m.
After 15 years, 700 TV episodes and 14 feature films, Ash Ketchum and millions of kids are still trying to catch ‘em all. In April 1997, the animated version of “Pokémon” premiered on Japanese television. Based on the hit Nintendo Game Boy title introduced two years earlier, the series follows the travels and travails of Ketchum (Satoshi in the original) as he tries to become a Pokémon Master by building a team that can beat other trainers in stylized battles. Traveling with Ash are perennially love-sick Brock, feisty Misty and Pikachu, the “electric mouse” Pokémon. The series scored a huge hit in Japan, and by 1999 the game and show had conquered America. Pokémon paraphernalia were everywhere. The original motto, “Pokémon Getto Daze!” (Let’s Get Pokémon!) became “Gotta Catch ‘em All!” The first “Pokémon” feature film grossed more than $85 […]
Jan. 10, 2012 | 4:03 p.m.
Toy collector Jay West writes occasional guest essays for Hero Complex about vintage collectibles. Today: The empty box that became a holiday gift sensation in 1977. The hottest Christmas gift for 1977 was the one that wasn’t available — “Star Wars” had opened in May of that year but no one, least of all the toy company called Kenner, was prepared for the film’s galactic success and the massive consumer demand that followed. Kenner was thrilled to hold the toy-making license for the George Lucas epic that was quickly becoming one of the largest grossing movies of all time but aside from a small amount of merchandise that hit stores at the time of the movie’s release, the toymaker was woefully unprepared to handle the hunger for Jedi products and playthings. As the year wore on, that meant a yuletide dilemma that presented […]
Dec. 20, 2011 | 4:16 p.m.
If you’re seeking last-minute gifts for the sci-fi, fantasy or comics geek your life, look no further. The 2011 Hero Complex Holiday Gift Guide is newly updated and here to save the day. Whether your recipient is a Trekkie, a Whovian, a would-be wizard, a wannabe-Jedi or a caped crusader, we’ve got you covered. Featured gifts include the whimsical (a magic wand TV remote), the practical (a cookbook inspired by “The Hunger Games” books) and geek chic (Batman or Han Solo flash drives). Click here to flip through our gift gallery or browse our price-sorted list of presents, and beam up the perfect surprise for the geek in your life. – Noelene Clark RECENT AND RELATED Hero Complex Holiday Gift Guide for 2011 ‘Harry Potter’ photos: Daniel Radcliffe’s decade Damon Lindelof’s love letter to ‘Raiders’ ‘Superman’ photos: The stars of Metropolis […]
Nov. 19, 2011 | 6:49 a.m.
Are you looking for a magical gift for that special Muggle in your life? Do you need to send a wrapped present to a Time Lord in the near future? Or maybe you’re an enterprising soul who just can’t figure out the logical thing to bring to the holodeck holiday party? Well, no worries, just mind-meld with us because we’re here to save the day. Look, up in the photo gallery, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…the Hero Complex Holiday Gift Guide. Flip through the gallery image above to see the best geeky gifts around and read our review (be sure to click the “CAPTIONS ON” option). Also below, grouped by price range, you’ll find those same gift suggestions listed with handy links to help you get your shopping done at light speed. May the nog be with you. – Noelene Clark […]
Sept. 08, 2011 | 9:01 a.m.
In honor of the 30th anniversary of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Hero Complex will be screening the film on Monday with an onstage Q&A with Steven Spielberg. Leading up to the event, we’ve been looking back at the landmark film and its influence on cinema and pop culture. Today, a trip down the toy aisle. As strange as it sounds, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” toys and merchandise were somewhat hard-to-find treasures when the film became a box-office sensation back in 1981. The usual scenario these days is to start launching movie tie-ins weeks or months before a film’s opening weekend, but it was a different landscape three decades ago when Indiana Jones became a box-office sensation. That’s not to say that the fedora hero was nowhere in sight — there were trading cards, a movie novelization, a collector’s magazine […]