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 […]
July 21, 2011 | 12:12 p.m.
Toy companies such as Mattel and Hasbro — Comic-Con mainstays — will bring a bevy of exclusive toys and figures to San Diego for collectors to fawn over. Transformers of all sorts, comic book tie-ins and, of course, more cool “Star Wars” material than you can fit in your landspeeder are among the planned offerings. Take a look though this gallery of just some of what the companies may have available. – Jevon Phillips RECENT AND RELATED Toy Fair 2011: A look back on a big-play weekend Go Joe! We salute the best G.I. Joe vehicles of the ’80s ‘Green Lantern’: Warner, Mattel hope to ring up toy sales Green 15: Greatest green characters in pop culture Tron Legacy discs, explained (no, they’re not just Frisbees) Wonder Woman toy lassos our attention VIDEO: Watch vintage “Alien” toy ad ToyFair 2010 coverage
Feb. 15, 2011 | 5:53 p.m.
They wind it up and then watch it go, but now Toy Fair 2011 is over. Here’s a look back at the event in photos. RECENT AND RELATED Johnston: This movie is going to surprise people EXCLUSIVE: Abrams reveals secret of “Super 8″ Zack Snyder: My fave Superman artist is… On the road: Jon Favreau wants your vote “Pirates”: Rob Marshall on the joys of Johnny Captain America will be a USO performer in movie Vaughn: Hollywood is killing superhero genre Favreau: The reason I’m leaving ‘Iron Man’ series “X-Men: First Class”: Report from stressed-out set Ron Howard’s quest for King’s “The Dark Tower”
Feb. 12, 2011 | 6:47 a.m.
EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK: CAROL FERRIS BARBIE You can just hear the glow in the voices of Warner Bros. executives when they talk about adding a major DC Comics superhero to the silver screen. The Martin Campbell-directed “Green Lantern” arrives in theaters on June 17 and Warner has hopes that go well beyond the box office. There will be a massive push into the toy aisles of the world. “The fact that we have something new to bring retailers and their customers is exciting for us,” says Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “Of course, that newness requires you to make sure your audience knows what Green Lantern is all about so that the toy line is relevant to them. With all of the activity Warner Bros. has in the pipeline for ‘Green Lantern,’ we think they’ll know.” The costume […]
Dec. 14, 2010 | 6:38 a.m.
WELCOME TO THE MACHINE: On Dec. 17, the Disney film “Tron: Legacy” picks up the story of the 1982 movie “Tron,” which was neither a critical nor commercial success but somehow still echoes in pop culture as an early signpost of the digital era’s glowing frontier. “Tron” is remembered more for its ideas and images (and its namesake video game) than for its story or characters, and that is a challenge presented to this new film, which is directed by Joseph Kosinski and stars Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde. We’re counting down to the release date, now with a guest essay by “Tron” super-fan Jay West, who explains the meaning and heritage of the identity discs. “Star Wars” has light sabers, the “Harry Potter” wizarding world has its wands, and “The Matrix” has, well, cool sunglasses. In the world of “Tron,” which […]
July 23, 2010 | 11:25 p.m.
This is one collectible you’re going to want to keep mint-in-box. Mattel’s Wonder Woman Invisible Jet isn’t just invisible, it’s nonexistent. The Hot Wheels packaging suggests that the jet is nestled within the cardboard and plastic molding (pictured on right). Gullible buyers can be forgiven for thinking there’s a miniature jet in the box — Mattel’s designers had weights hidden inside to make it feel as if it actually contained a toy. The joke continues on the back of the box, in the place where Mattel usually provides quick facts about the vehicle inside, such as its make and model. Here’s an excerpt: Designer: The Amazons Birthplace: Paradise Island Specialty: Created by Amazon engineering, Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet can make transatlantic flights without refueling. The idea was spawned April 1, when Mattel’s social marketing team came up with a prank […]
June 08, 2010 | 1:10 a.m.
It’s not quite as disturbing as, say, “Midnight Cowboy“ Underoos or “Deliverance“ trail mix, but there was a backlash in 1979 when Kenner made a fun plastic toy based on “Alien,” a movie that certainly earned its R rating. I wonder if those kids ever made it out of the kitchen… The 18-inch toy didn’t last long on shelves, according to Jay West, a world-class collector of ”Alien” (and our “super-fan”contributor covering the alternate-reality game for “Tron: Legacy“) — the outrage of parent activist groups sent the plastic creature into retail exile, which, as you might suspect, makes the toy even more coveted by today’s collectors. Anybody who brings one of these to our “Alien” screening on Sunday gets a free poster of Darwyn Cooke’s amazing illustration for the Hero Complex Film Festival. – Geoff Boucher RECENT AND RELATED Next weekend: Ridley Scott with Nimoy & Nolan in L.A. Ridley Scott: […]
May 07, 2010 | 6:53 p.m.
GUEST POST Today a guest post from one of our faithful readers, G.I Joe: A Real American Hero is arguably the greatest toy line ever made. The characters, brought to life by Larry Hama, have stood the test of time, outlasting and outselling everything from its time with the exception of Transformers and "Star Wars" toys. The toys were the most popular of its day; The Marvel comic book outsold even the “X-Men.” But what really made the toy line stand out were the vehicles. G.I. Joe was not just an array of action figures, it was a military force waiting to happen, which meant tanks, planes, boats and some weird gear too. These are the best — the best of the best, in fact — the Top 10 G.I. Joe vehicles of the 1980s. 10. G.I. JOE MOBAT (1982) You can’t have G.I. Joe, or […]
March 31, 2010 | 12:34 a.m.
First, Buzz Lightyear arrived from a faraway galaxy (store). Then, Jessie and Stinky Pete and the crew were added to the stash. Now there are lots of new characters joining Woody, Hamm, Mr. Potato Head and the other original toys as “Toy Story 3″ rolls into theaters this summer (June 10). Ken, Mr. Pricklepants, Stretch and others await their marketing spotlight. — Jevon Phillips RECENT AND RELATED John Lasseter makes his presence felt on Disney toy aisles Thinkway chief sings the praises of JohnLasseter John Lasseter talks about the back story of “Toy Story 3″ Michael Keaton will be boy-toy Ken in “Toy Story 3″ “Avatar” takes Mattel into new toy territory 50 years later: “Sleeping Beauty” star dazzles D23 audience VIDEO: Dick Jones, the voice of “Pinocchio,” looks back A Tinker Bell movie for boys? Disney hopes so PHOTO GALLERY: No […]
Feb. 16, 2010 | 9:24 p.m.
Dawn C. Chmielewski is in New York covering Toy Fair, and here’s her report on Hollywood’s increasing sway over the toy aisles of American retail. When Pixar Animation Studios guru John Lasseter was working on the original “Toy Story” movie, he approached the maker of Barbie to include the fashion doll in the film — and was rebuffed. What a difference 15 years, and $8 billion in global merchandise sales, make. As Disney’s Pixar prepares to release “Toy Story 3” this summer, virtually every major toy maker — including Barbie’s Mattel Inc. — has lined up to make dolls, action figures, construction sets, vehicles and board games based on the film. No fewer than 250 toys will begin appearing in stores before the movie’s June 18 release — three times as many as were made for “Toy Story 2.” And retailers […]