Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Doctor Who - The Impossible Set 11th Doctor and Clara

Originally planned as the SDCC Exclusive for 2014, the new Impossible Set plays off the idea that the Doctor and Clara are linked through time! Featuring the 11th Doctor in his Victorian clothes and Clara Oswin Oswald. The set also comes in a special double sided, foil finish window box.

You can pre-order from FPI for £29.99 by following the adlinks to the right. Due August 30th

Sunday, 27 July 2014

SDCC 2014 Highlights

That time of year has come and gone again, those few days where collective geekdom comes together in the nirvana that is San Diego Comic Con. Whether it's TV/Film announcements or the wonderful displays of new collectibles from the biggest names in the business, there's always something for somebody. So here I am giving a little rundown on what got me excited.

The action figures are my main love of SDCC. It makes British conventions look like a car boot sale. Now there a ton of properties at SDCC, Hasbro's Star Wars, Marvel and Transformers lines, Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lines (Classic Shredder and Krang look amazing) and Mattel's various DC toy lines of varying quality. Now despite all of this stuff being cool I don't really collect these things anymore, but it's nice to see what's being made. 

Underground Toys had a large display at the con but had nothing new to share. Not even the upcoming Ace and The Time of the Doctor figures. That seems like a pretty big misstep in my book, but I'm sure we'll get new Classic Doctor Who goodies eventually.

Hot Toys

Everything Hot Toys produces is amazing, and even for properties I have no real interest in like Alien, Predator, Robocop, Back to the Future, it all looked bloody incredible. There was a big push for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy range, all of which were very impressive. There were, of course, other characters from Marvel's cinematic properties on display, but for me it was Hot Toys Batman products that got me drooling.

The top figure that caught my eye was the upcoming Batman figure from Batman Returns. Hot Toys announced this property two or three years ago, and it was never mentioned again, leading many to think the line was scrapped. Thankfully this was not the case. This version of the Bat-suit has always been my favourite, and although I already own the 1989 version I am sorely tempted. There were no accessories on display but if it comes with a Michael Keaton headsculpt then I may have to start saving up the pennies. I'm hoping that a Danny Devito Penguin is not far behind because that would look incredible. I also have permission to get that from my other half after she bought me a screen used 'Oswald Means Order' badge from the film. So I'd love to have the figure stood alongside that.

Finally there was Arkham City Batman, another property that was announced around the same time as Batman Returns. We'd seen teases of Batman's hands and even of the Joker (not at SDCC), but this was the first full reveal. I'm not sure what to make of this one. Yes it looks cool, but I'm put off by the thick rubber suit and the nappy like underwear. Otherwise it looks fantastic, but it didn't wow me enough to think I'd want to fork out £180 for one.

DC Collectibles - Batman the Animated Series

I've posted a ton of stuff on this line already, including the reveals at SDCC. I'm disappointed that none of the accessories were ready to display, but this is shaping up to be a fantastic line. It's definitely going to be one I'm sticking with for a while. DC Collectibles also had some great figures from their Designer Series based on Greg Capullo's artwork in Batman on the Zero Year saga as well as some rather lovely statues.

Mattel - Masters of the Universe Classics 

Ah this one always turns up. I've said it many times but this is my main toyline at the moment, especially now the Doctor Who line is only limping its way into existence. The final items of the 2014 line were revealed; in October we have Eldor, his first time as an action figure since the original never made it passed the prototype stage of the cancelled Powers of Grayskull line. This looks like a cool wizardy character to display alongside He-Ro and the rest of the Preternian characters. I'm a real sucker for MotU history, so this is sure to be a fun one. November sees the release of Tung-Lashor (gotta love the names), which comes with a normal and a tongue head. As the penultimate Snake Man, I'm rather pleased with this one. Not sure about the weird hands though, I think they needed to give him the 200X version's claws. November also sees Bow's trusty steed, Arrow, as the oversized figure. I'm rather pleased to get a normal looking horse in the line, so that's cool. Also that month comes the holiday item, Gwildor. Yes, Billy Barty from the 1987 movie. The figure looks spot on, but that's just the problem. It looks like it's from a toy line based on the film rather than a Classics figure. I'm not sure what they could have done to 'classicize' it, but it's not quite right for me. Perhaps they needed to cartoon him up a bit or something? He comes with a huge version of the Cosmic Key a la the film and the original vintage toy. Now Gwildor is a little person with an accesory about his same height, how that equates to a $35 price point I have no idea. Madness.

To wrap up the year we have a Princess of Power figure, Mermista. This looks to be a lovely figure. Interchangeable legs and fish tail in a shimmery blue deco, what's not to love? As an added bonus there is also a new vehicle, the Battle Ram, complete with Jet (Sky) Sled and a new version of Man-At-Arms with 200X pony tailed head on a Filmation-esque body. Personally I'd have preferred a Snake Armour variant, but I don't see that ever happening. It's $110, so £64 for us Brits, and I can't help but think they could have skipped the new Man-At-Arms and the altered Jet Sled to keep costs down. Money grabbing buggers.

To round off 2014 the last few figures of the Princess of Power mini-sub were revealed. I can take or leave PoP outside of the main characters so I didn't bother subbing (but Goddamn do I want that Light Hope figure, he looks frigging gorgeous), but October is Sweet-Bee, November is Galactic Protector She-Ra, a 'what if' figure that looks at what She-Ra may have looked like if she became part of the New Adventures of He-Man line in the 90s (and a must buy to boot), and finally Spinnerella closes the sub in December. 

Now it's all down to 2015! The Final Year! Well, until it's rebranded in 2016. Next year promises to complete every vintage character from the original 1982 toy line, all vintage PoP characters (of which there's three left), and all a-list Filmation, NA He-Man and 200X characters. That sounds like a lot to cram into one year, but somehow they've figured it out. I expect boxsets and mini-subs to accomplish this. What will become of the line in 2016? Well seeing as they did this huge bit about how amazing the current DC Comics iteration of the franchise is, I'm guessing we'll be seeing New 52 comic book versions with a few left overs scattered in for good luck. That really will be a time for cherry picking as I have no interest in DC's designs.

So what was shown? Well in January we have Lizard Man from the Filmation cartoon, complete with Skeletor's sword and the Diamond Ray of Disappearance from the same show. This is awesome! Lizard Man had one appearance, but he's become much loved. In February it's Ninjor, now named Ninja Warrior due to copyright. I had no interest in this character, but he looks rather cool. They've made him look very snazzy and upped the decos on him so he's not boring to look at. Also that month is Snake Armour He-Man vs Battle Armour King Hss from the 200X line. This is a must have! A must, must, must have! I've wanted this version of He-Man since the line began and this new version of Hss knocks socks off the previous version! The only bummer is that the 'snake torso' of Hss doesn't come in the set, it's packaged with another toy later on (probably Sssqueeze, the final Snake Man). That's really crappy.

March is the Fan Choice figure, which was Huntara. I don't know who she is as I've never watched her episode, but reading up on her she sounds like a fun character and looks cool to boot. Also that month comes the subscription exclusive, complete with new mini-comic and Castle Grayskull poster, which is Oo-Lar the jungle He-Man (or original minicomic He-Man) that also comes packaged with a vintage style He-Man head. Honestly, I think the new head looks much better than the head they use on the current He-Man figures. Finally a wing was teased, suggesting that April's figure is Angella from PoP and the convention exclusive is a three-pack of Skeletor's Hover Robots from the Filmation show with interchangeable claws. Excellent. So there's a lot going on next year. To sub or not to sub? That is the question...

Lots of cool stuff going on from my side of things, and that's not even getting into the other cool stuff they had at SDCC. What were your favourite reveals from the con?

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Big Chief Studios' Not Quite SDCC Reveals!

Unable to attend SDCC, Big Chief certainly didn't want to be left out of all of the fun the other toy companies are having in San Diego! Over the last couple of days two new figures have been revealed from their Doctor Who and Sherlock ranges. 

First up is a new 1:6 Scale 11th Doctor figure from The Time of the Doctor, featuring Sonic Screwdriver, Fez and Handles! There are no doubt more accessories to be revealed!

The Sherlock range now has a villain to battle in the shape of Moriarty as seen in series three's "Did you miss me?" sequence.

As ever, there'll be more updates as the come! 

New Argos Catalogue - Doctor Who Figures in stock

The new Argos catalogue has been released across stores, allowing us to get a better glimpse of the upcoming 12th Doctor figure (pictured above). To confuse matters, the image of a prototype has also been doing the rounds (pictured below) which will not be released in stores.This is unsurprising given the unnatural way the coat hangs. 

Early prototype - Not being Released

At the moment only the recently announced Wave 3A has hit Argos stores with no news of the 12th Doctor being found as of yet. If you don't fancy taking a lucky dip with Argos, you can always pre-order the figures via the links below. 

Asylum Dalek

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Doctor Who: 8th Doctor Season 3 Part Two - Teaser

A new teaser for the final episodes of the third series of 8th Doctor adventures due for release later this year!

Batman the Animated Series - Waves Three and Four revealed at SDCC

Courtesy of Action Figure Insider  we have a better look at DC Collectibles upcoming action figure line based on Batman the Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, as well as what's to come in the third and fourth wave.

Coming in Wave Three are Harley Quinn (BTAS), Killer Croc with Baby Doll, the Creeper and Robin, all of which are from TNBA. It's great to have Harley to go with Puddin so soon after his release, but I am rather surprised at the inclusion of the Creeper so early into the line (although I do love that episode) and Robin is also a surprise given the BTAS version only came out in the previous wave. Still, it's going to be good having the correct Robin standing with wave one's Batman! I'm also liking the look of Croc, even though I'm not a fan or the redesign, and the inclusion of Baby Doll, one of the show's weirder inventions, is an absolute delight! It also marks the first time her character has been released as an action figure. According to the display these figures will be released March 2015.

Wave Four moves back to my prefered BTAS style, with Batman, the Riddler, the Penguin, and Batgirl in her TNBA design. This is an absolute killer wave! I've been desperately awaiting the announcement of this version of Batman and I'm sure he won't disappoint!

According to AFI's report, a secret table that was not allowed to be photographed featured Roxy Rocket's titular ride! This is incredibly exciting! A great character invented for the show and her first time in plastic! This is what I was looking forward to from this line, not just our common favourites but the characters who have never had that much coverage in other media or as figures.

As an added bonus, wave one's Batman was displayed with an alternate cape with loose shoulders. This will put aside any fears of limited poseability! I would expect that wave four's Batman will have something similar, most likely a more covered version.

Check out AFI for the full coverage!

You can now pre-order the first two waves from FPI. Expect reviews when the figures are released!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Doctor Who 3.75" Figures Wave 3A

Hot on the heels of the recent Dalek Patrol Ship comes the third wave of the 3.75" line. Two of the figures are the previously released 11th Doctor and Regeneration 12th Doctor, however there are four new figures in the wave, Asylum Dalek, 10th Doctor (in long coat), Amy Pond, and finally a Classic Dalek from Genesis of the Daleks. The human figures also include display stands that come in a new red colour.

The packaging for this new wave has also been revised, featuring the newly tweaked logo and a much brighter colour pallet that is sure to catch the eye.

The figures can now be pre-ordered from Forbidden Planet International for £6.99 each. Expected due date is towards the end of August/September. 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Dalek Patrol Ship and Pilot PRE-ORDER

New from the 3.75" range, the Dalek Patrol Ship and Pilot set as revealed at London Toy Fair earlier this year. Based on the ships seen in The Day of the Doctor, the set retails at £19.99 and is available to pre-order from Forbidden Planet via the adlinks to the right.

Exterminate! Exterminate! EXTERMINATE! This highly detailed deluxe Dalek battle vehicle features a real working cannon; lock onto your target press the button and fire! Also includes pop-off armoured flight panels and an exclusive 3.75-inch Dalek action figure.

In the midst of the Time War, the Daleks surround the planet Gallifrey with their saucer ships and battle hardened Patrol Ships pummelling the surface.

The War Doctor – an hitherto-unknown “hidden” incarnation of the Doctor, decides to trigger an ancient weapon of mass destruction called “The Moment”, which will destroy both the Time Lord and the Dalek races completely.

The Eleventh Doctor advises of plans to place Gallifrey in stasis and hide it outside of regular time and space. As the Daleks surround the planet ready to obliterate it, the three Doctors reveal they have recruited their past selves, and as well as a future incarnation, the planet is dematerialised to safety as the Daleks annihilate themselves in their own crossfire.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Time of the Doctor and Ace PRE-ORDER

The two eagerly awaited sets are now available to pre-order from Forbidden Planet International!

The Time of the Doctor set is £29.99 and Ace is £19.99. Both figures are due to ship September 30th.

Follow the adlinks to FPI above or to the right to order now!

1:6 Scale First Doctor Commemorative Edition Figure Pre-Order - Big Chief Studios UPDATED

After months of sneak peeks and blurry behind the scenes images, Big Chief Studios' 1:6 scale First Doctor has finally goes up for pre-order this week, and what a figure it is!

Yesterday Big Chief released the full images and specifications for the figure, which features an impressive likeness of the late great William Hartnell, capturing his Doctor's sternness but also his mischievous streak with almost a twinkle in his eye. While some fans were unsure about the likeness, the monochrome images that Big Chief have released really prove that there should be no question that this is William Hartnell. The costume has been carefully recreated, and is an incredible match to the clothes worn by Hartnell in his early seasons.

The figure boasts a range of accessories and extra costume parts, namely his cloak, hat and scarf as worn in An Unearthly Child. Outside of the extra costume parts the Doctor includes his monocle, spectacles (which slip neatly under the hair around his ears), pocket watch, his walking stick as obtained in Marco Polo, his pipe as briefly seen in An Unearthly Child, several Keys of Marinus from the serial of the same name, and finally the taranium core of the Dalek's Time Destructor as seen in The Daleks' Master Plan. 

I was delighted to be asked by the chaps at Big Chief to source reference images to help in the construction of this figure, finding publicity photos and screencaps that showed off the smaller details. When you're dealing with a character that is 50 years old barely any props or costume pieces have survived, therefore only DVD screencaps and production photos can be used. It's especially tricky when hardly any colour images exist from that era! So if you're an uber geek like I am, you'll have a good idea where to look for certain pictures, for instance I knew that in The War Machines (episode 3 if I remember rightly) the Doctor takes out his pocket watch and replaces it in his waistcoat. Getting the DVD and screencapping this moment, which was on screen for mere seconds, allowed the Big Chief team to get a better look at how the ribbon attached to the end of his pocket watch and how it sat in his waistcoat pocket. I was also able to find some similar matches of authentic pocket watch ribbons that were also provided a better idea of how this worked. Other images from The Edge of Destruction gave a clearer look at Hartnell's leather shoe covers and a fuzzy colour image from Marco Polo and a publicity picture from The Gunfighters was able to show where exactly the buttons sit on Hartnell's frock coat.

Even more exciting was being asked to compile some ideas and reference photos for extra accessories! Unlike other Doctors, the first Doctor didn't really carry around a great deal other than occasionally his cane, which had already been sorted by Big Chief. So I flicked through every episode to see what wasn't mundane and could make an interesting accessory. It gives me great pleasure to see the Dalek's Time Destructor Core, the keys of Marinus and his spectacles were taken from my list and added to the figure! It was a pleasure to be able to pass on my nerdy knowledge for such a cool piece of merchandise, and seeing my name on the box is going to bring a grin to this fan's face for many years to come!

Finally the figure comes with a range of different hands that feature Hartnell's rings, a light up display stand featuring the number one written in Gallifreyan text, and a card backdrop that has yet to be revealed.

The figure is limited to only 500 pieces worldwide at £189.99, and is due to ship towards the end of the year. Click here to pre-order your figure now.

Stay tuned for a full review once the figure is available!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Doctor Who: 8th Doctor Season Three - Filming Concludes

I can almost hear the soundtrack of Logopolis playing in my ears like a funeral march. However this time it's not Tom Baker lying on the floor, in fact there's no lying down to be had whatsoever but the sentiment remains as this evening I filmed my last scene of Doctor Who.

I was expecting there to be a huge sigh of relief when this eventual ending came, after all I have been filming this particular series for over a year and it has had its fair share of problems from the off, but in actuality there is an air of sadness. No longer will I record the Doctor walking out of the TARDIS, using a piece of blutack to prop open those bloody spring loaded doors. Never again shall I make a Dalek spin around as its eye stalk gets blown off by Staser fire. For now, this really is the end...

But not really, I still have tons of editing to do as post-production concludes on The Gates of Elysium part one! I'm going to have Daleks and all sorts blaring in my ears for at least another month or so! I am incredibly excited about this final series, and I hope and pray that when these last episodes hit YouTube you fine folks at home will enjoy them just as much as I have enjoyed producing them. Only three people other than myself know how the series ends, which is pretty damned good seeing as this series has such a larger cast and crew than normal! Even Chris Clark our CGI animator had no idea what was going on in the stories he was providing sequences for!

So for now I share with you behind the scenes shots from my last scene. Nothing too exciting, but then if I left the exciting bits in you'd have nothing to look forward to! So as we prepare to meet our new Doctor in the form of Peter Capaldi, prepare to say goodbye to the 8th Doctor... It's going to be a bumpy ride...

Who or what will fill this frame?

London's litter is a real problem