Posts

Return of the Fly Goes Mego at Distinctive Dummies

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As movie monsters go, the grotesque human-insect hybrids from The Fly (1958) and its sequels, remake, and remake sequel rarely appear as action figures. Sure, there are plenty of Fly busts, statues and model kits, but action figure collectors who love all things Fly have been left out in the cold. Fortunately, the collectible figures company Distinctive Dummies (DD) has taken it upon itself to address this unmet need by releasing a limited edition 8-inch Mego style figure based on the monster from the first sequel, Return of the Fly (1959).

A Review of Adventures in Amity: Tales from the Jaws Ride by Dustin McNeill

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2018 was a very good year for fans of the Jaws franchise because it marked the release of two great books: the expanded edition of Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel by Michael A. Smith (read my review of that book here) and Adventures in Amity: Tales from the Jaws Ride by Dustin McNeill. This review covers McNeill’s book, which I recently got a chance to read over the holidays.

A Look at the Robot Combiners from Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head

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With the 2018 holiday season officially upon us, now is a great time to talk about toys. For this blog, that usually means robot toys--in this case, a series of robot combiners based on the 2017 anime series Tomica Hyper Rescue Drive Head Kido Kyukyu Keisatsu.

The Super Robot Reign of Godaikin

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I've written plenty of posts about Japanese robot toys that were sold in the U.S. during the '70s and '80s, but one line that I never got into too much detail about is Godaikin, a selection of "Super Robot" toys that were sold here between 1982 - 86. Unlike other imported Japanese robot toy lines of its time, Godaikin never became a household name; however, between its brief, unique history and the high quality of its products, Godaikin remains one of the best Super Robot toy lines ever released.

Jaws 3D vs. The Meg 3D

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Last weekend, I finally got around to seeing The Meg in 3D. While it doesn't set a new standard in sharksploitation excellence, it's fun enough in its own right, the 3D effects are pretty good, and it's leagues ahead of all the cheapjack sharksploitation films that have surfaced over the years (e.g., Atomic Shark, Santa Jaws, Nightmare Shark, the Sharknado movies, etc.).

The Freemakers Return for a Curtain Call in Lego Star Wars: All-Stars

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Last year, I had the pleasure of discovering Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, an animated escapade through a Lego version of the Star Wars universe that featured a great voice cast, witty scripts, and enough Easter Eggs to keep Star Wars fans rewinding and pausing their video playback machines for hours on end. The series ran for a total of 26 episodes across two seasons, and not much was said about the future of the Freemaker family after that … until the arrival of Lego Star Wars: All-Stars, which debuted last October on various Disney media channels (e.g., Disney XD and DisneyNOW).

Even though All-Stars has been touted as a series of eight shorts and four episodes that span the entire Star Wars saga, it really is the third season of Freemaker Adventures. It uses Lego-themed parodies of Solo: A Star Wars Story to provide an origin story for the Freemaker family, and then it fast-forwards to the sequel trilogy era (The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi) to explore what happene…

Examining and Understanding Human Behavior Through VR

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In my opinion, the one unique aspect about virtual reality (VR) that the media does not fully grasp is how its interactive, real-time simulations within simulated three-dimensional space can influence and observe users in ways that other forms of media (e.g., print, radio, television, and film) cannot. Because of the advanced computational power that supports it, VR can measure the behavior of its users and then be modified based upon the data collected to create better, more impactful experiences. This unique trait of VR was the topic of "Enter The Mind: Virtual Reality and Psychology", an event that was sponsored by DC Virtual Reality (DCVR) and Virtual Reality User Experience (VRUXDC) and hosted at the AARP’s Hatchery last Tuesday night in Washington DC.

The two presenters at this event were Dr. Susan Persky, who directs the Immersive Virtual Environment Testing Area (IVETA) in the Social and Behavioral Research Branch (SBRB) within the National Human Genome Research Inst…