Feb. 05, 2013 | 9:59 a.m.
Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, but Super Bowl Sunday commercials? We’re going to dissect those things forever. Which brings us to the latest wave: Super Bowl commercials you didn’t see. All things science-and-future site i09 has declared this trailer for “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” “the best Super Bowl commercial that didn’t air during the Super Bowl” — but should have. We were going to argue, until we watched it. Super Bowl halftime show: Beyonce as Wonder Woman? The first installment in the franchise, “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra,” was “critic-proof,” as they say. A popcorn movie with lots of action, lots of explosions, all while not making an awful lot of sense. It all added up to $302 million in worldwide box-office revenue, according to Box Office Mojo. So it’s no surprise that Channing Tatum is back, with a new crew […]
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 […]
June 09, 2012 | 1:44 p.m.
Hasbro is bringing the big guns to Comic-Con International (July 12-15) with a special edition of a Marvel mainstay that just might block out the San Diego sun — it’s the Super Helicarrier, a tricked out version of the hovering military fortress that gives Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. a mobile headquarters. The Super Helicarrier will be sold at the Hasbro’s booth ( No. 3329) while supplies last, which won’t be long even with the hefty price tag ($129.99) and the intimidating prospect of actually lugging this thing through the human traffic jam of the Con’s trading floor. At just over 4 feet long, the Super Helicarrier is the size of standard ironing board so, you know, good luck with that. Hasbro brought the standard version of their Helicarrier to the New York Toy Fair just before Valentine’s Day but this limited edition is […]
Feb. 03, 2012 | 8:08 p.m.
The invasion is underway — “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” won’t arrive in theaters until June 29, but the commando sequel is already trying to win hearts and minds with the new commercial that airs on Super Bowl Sunday during the big game on NBC. It’s a film that will be driven by action and sprinkled with comedy, according to producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, but it also aspires to bridge an interesting pop-culture generation gap. When the first film in the franchise, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” arrived in theaters in 2009, di Bonaventura heard from plenty of confused people — the common link was that most had grown up in the 1960s or 1970s when G.I. Joe was a brand name synonymous with the 12-inch-tall military-man toy that introduced the term “action figure.” They were all unaware of the 1980s reinvention of the brand — in Marvel Comics, toys and […]
Jan. 31, 2012 | 9:01 p.m.
“Where does he get those wonderful toys?” It was 23 years ago this summer that Jack Nicholson delivered that line in Tim Burton’s “Batman” and — even as the names, faces and franchises change — the caped crusader is still hard to beat on the toy aisles of America. This July, Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” will arrive in theaters and that means a whole new mountain of Gotham City toys and tie-ins are on the way. Some of the key products will be unveiled at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, which begins Wednesday, and in the gallery above we have the exclusive first look at three of them: Mattel’s Batman: “The Dark Knight Rises” Quicktek figure; Funko’s ”The Dark Knight Rises” Bane vinyl pop figure; and “The Dark Knight Rises” Catwoman vinyl pop figure. We also have Mattel’s “The Dark Knight Rises” Movie Masters figure which isn’t […]
Jan. 30, 2012 | 7:15 p.m.
It’s been a bumpy year so far for Lego but the leaders at the Billund, Denmark, company can take solace in the fact that their summer plans have the ring of an epic success. Warner Bros. Consumer Products and The Lego Group already have a partnership that clicks (“Harry Potter” and “Batman” Legos seem to be doing pretty well) and this June they will begin rolling out Lego sets based on Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the upcoming two-film series “The Hobbit.” Here’s a first look at some Middle-earth minifigs. By all appearances, this is a line that will have Lego-lovers talking Tolkien. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey“ arrives Dec. 14, 2012. (Lego) — Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED ‘The Hobbit’: An unexpected journey off-screen Serkis: Gollum is ‘printed on my DNA’ ‘Hobbit’ trailer brings back magic Jackson: Fans ‘fed up […]
Jan. 27, 2012 | 10:04 a.m.
The George Lucas universe returns to theaters on Feb. 10 when “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” opens in 3-D and it looks like he will be using every Jedi trick to get fans into seats on opening weekend. Some of the special offers and giveaways we’re hearing about so far: * At all RealD theaters, the Darth Maul glasses you see above will be handed out (while supplies last) to fans who buy tickets on the movie’s opening day. And now, you don’t have to break them in half at the end of the movie. * At all AMC Theaters, fans will get the all-new Hasbro “Star Wars” Fighter Pod with the purchase of each RealD 3-D ticket for “Episode I,” all weekend long, Feb. 10-12. The limit is one per ticket and the offer is good only while supplies last. * At […]
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 […]
Oct. 14, 2011 | 6:33 a.m.
GUEST ESSAY In “Mail-Order Mysteries: Real Stuff From Old Comic Book Ads!” from Insight Editions, which recently hit bookstores, author Kirk Demarais turns back the pages on vintage comic ads, revealing what actually arrived four to six weeks after kids sent in their hard-earned pocket money. Demarais gives us a glimpse of some of his favorite mail-order “treasures” in today’s guest post and gallery. (Click “Captions On” to see the details for each photo.) 1. 7-Foot Monster-Size Monsters: Comic books offered a variety of giant creeps, including ghosts, space creatures and dinosaurs, but they all turned out to be one of two things: balloons or posters. The Monster Size Monsters from Honor House were the latter, printed on two separate sheets of “durable polyethylene,” the stuff trash bags are made of. The ad built high hopes with phrases like “… […]