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 “… […]
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 […]