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Showing posts from 2018

Memories of Stan Lee (1922 - 2018)

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With the recent passing of Stan Lee, my membership in the lifestyle cult of geekhood requires me to write a post that reflects upon Lee's monumental influence on modern nerd culture. Even though I've consumed countless Marvel comic books, cartoons, TV shows and movies, I would hardly consider myself to be well-versed in the history of Marvel comics and Lee's career. Nevertheless, I can definitely say that there's something genuinely welcome and endearing about a creator who's ready and willing to play alongside his creations in the same sandbox.

Three Important Things to Know About Virtual Reality

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I've been spending plenty of my spare time as of late exploring the technology known as virtual reality (VR). While it has been a very enlightening experience so far, I had quickly come to realize that I started my jaunt into the virtual world without answering one fundamental question: What exactly is VR? If you are uncertain about VR too, don't worry. Here are three things that I learned about VR that should help you navigate this emerging platform of interactive media so you can get the most out of it.

A Look at the Expanded Edition of Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel

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With 2018 marking the 40th anniversary of Jaws 2, it only seems appropriate that Jaws fans are treated with something special to commemorate this franchise milestone. That special something is the expanded edition of Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel, which was written by Michael A. Smith with Louis R. Pisano and published by BearManor Media. Read on to learn more about the expanded version of this behind-the-scenes book, and why it’s worth the double dip (no pun intended) for those who have the original 2015 edition.

The Shocking Secret of Boba Fett!

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The other week, I heard that the long-rumored stand-alone Boba Fett movie has been scrapped by Lucasfilm in favor of The Mandalorian, a live-action TV project that's being helmed by Jon Favreau. While some Star Wars fans may be disappointed by this news, I think it's probably a good idea. As someone who grew up with the original Star Wars trilogy and witnessed the bounty hunter's introduction to the public back in the late '70s, there's only one thing that you need to know in order to understand Boba Fett: He's a misdirectional sequel teaser.

A Look Back at Topps' Creature Feature Trading Cards

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Over the years, I have blogged about many of the classic creature feature items I have either owned or encountered during my childhood, items that deepened my interest in horror and sci-fi movies to the point where such an interest became a lifestyle choice. These trips down memory lane have provided to me a greater understanding of how studios such as Universal and American International kept their movie monsters alive in the imaginations of kids long after they stopped scaring audiences at local theaters. This post is devoted to one of the collectibles I picked up on a whim in the early '80s: a set of collectible trading cards from Topps' Creature Feature set.

Mobile Suit Gundam Model Kits Just Got Closer to Actual Robothood

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A few years ago, I published a post about how some Japanese robot model kits (and a few Japanese robot toys) are so detailed that they include removable panels that reveal the internal workings of the robot. Such attention to detail gives the robots a sense of verisimilitude, with these internal workings suggesting that the robots are actual machines with actual functional parts. However, thanks to Bandai’s BN Bot brand, some of these model kits are about to get just that: functional, programmable parts.

The Wolf Man--and Lon Chaney Jr.--Join Wave 3 of Limited-Release Mego Figures (Updated)

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Last week, I posted about two monster figures (Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster) that have been included in the recent relaunch of the Mego toy company. Based on what I found online, it looks like the Wolf Man is poised to join the other Mego monsters, even without the official blessing from Universal.

Mego Returns, Bringing Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster with It

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For as much as I have written about Mego and Mego-inspired products on this blog, I've been very lax on responding to this tidbit of news: During the last San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), original Mego Corporation Chairman Marty Abrams announced that he was relaunching the Mego brand through a selection of limited-run 8-inch and 14-inch figures that will be sold exclusively at Target. Wave 1 of the figures was released back in August, and wave 2 was released in September.

While I know that Mego still has a passionate fan base, I'm baffled about why anyone would want to do a Mego revival at this point. So many other toy companies have capitalized on Mego nostalgia (e.g., Distinctive Dummies, Figures Toy Co., NECA, etc.) that officially reviving Mego now feels anticlimactic. Furthermore, the Mego figures I most fondly remember were the ones based on popular superheroes (DC and Marvel) and sci-fi franchises (Planet of the Apes and Star Trek). While the new Mego figures have some DC …

Are Smartphone-Based Headsets Leaving the VR Market?

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I've spent the last few months trying to wrap my head around the current state of virtual reality (VR)--the technology, the applications, the markets, and so on. With the rise of Google Cardboard and smartphone-compatible headsets such as Samsung Gear and Google Daydream, it looked like smartphones would be one of the key platforms that push VR and VR-compatible content to the general public. Now, that platform appears to be falling apart.

Pixelized Paint on a Computerized Canvas: A Look at VR Painting

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Recently, I heard about a kickoff event that was sponsored by DC Virtual Reality (DCVR) called "Paint the World: A VR Painting Pop-Up Public Event". Held last week on October 2nd in downtown DC, the event promoted VR technology and education and to raise funds that will assist in getting VR tech to communities. While this is a worthy goal, some of you might be asking: What exactly is VR painting? Read on to find out ...

ReAction Readies New Phantom Figure; DC Characters Get He-Man Makeovers

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This year’s New York Comic-Con (NYCC) was held last week and, as with most events such as these, two NYCC toy announcements caught my attention.

Nerd Parents Conjure Up Harry Potter's Diagon Alley in Maryland

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It always brings a smile to my face whenever I hear about parents encouraging their kids to become the next generation of devoted geeks. Case in point: Two Harry Potter fans in Maryland built a replica of Diagon Alley in their backyard for their daughter's birthday.

Mario Kart VR Arrives in Washington DC

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It's finally happening: The virtual reality (VR) version of one of Nintendo's most beloved kart racing titles is making its debut this week in our nation's capital, courtesy of Bandai Namco.

The Unlikely Success of the Predator Franchise

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This month saw the release of The Predator, the latest film in the sci-fi creature feature franchise that started back in 1987. I haven't seen the new film yet, but I have been looking over the reviews to see how critics have reacted to the newest installment in a film series that celebrated its 30th anniversary just last year. Of course, most of the critics have been dismissive of the movie, which I've come to expect from critics when they talk about monster movie sequels. However, based on what I know about the franchise as a whole, it surprised me how much most critics don't know about the Predator series. If they did, they wouldn't be asking why Predator movies keep being made even though they don't make blockbuster amounts of revenue at the box office.

Predator arrived in the middle of Hollywood's string of testosterone-laden, macho action star-driven adventure blockbusters during the 1980s, blockbusters that banked on the appeal of stars such as Sylvester…

USA Today Enters the Realm of Virtual, Augmented News

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Whenever a new form of electronic media enters popular culture, it will inevitably face a significant amount of challenges to define itself as something different from other mediums while simultaneously making itself accessible and appealing to as many people as possible. Such is the case of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), both of which use features from established electronic mediums (e.g., video games, digital video, and portable computing) to create new kinds of content.

Of course, creating new kinds of electronic media is one thing; creating new kinds of electronic media as an extension of a pre-existing media platform is something else. The later issue was the main topic of “Designing the Next Generation of News”, a presentation that was held last Thursday evening at the Washington DC office of AARP and was co-sponsored by DC Virtual Reality (DCVR) and USA Today.

“Designing the Next Generation of News” was presented by the Emerging Tech team from USA Today: Ray So…

A Look at Collectible Big Bang Theory Figures

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A few weeks ago, CBS announced that this upcoming season would be the last for the long-running sitcom The Big Bang Theory. As a huge fan, I was a bit disappointed to hear this news; on the other hand, the show is still quite good for something that has already been on the air for 11 seasons, so it's probably best for Big Bang to go out on a high note.

That said, this post isn't about The Big Bang Theory as a TV show. Instead, I thought that I would take a look at the show's merchandising--specifically, the collectible figures. Half-hour, live-action TV shows rarely get the collectible figure treatment and even though the nature of Big Bang's comedy lends itself well to collectible figures, it's still pretty amazing to see the kinds of figures this merchandising license has cranked out over the years.

Anyone who knows anything about The Big Bang Theory can tell you that nerd-friendly collectibles are on display in every episode. The main characters' living spac…