Mario Collectibles and a Brand New Game!

October 28, 2009

One of the biggest and best video game franchises belongs to Nintendo’s adventurous Italian plumber, Super Mario. Though the hyper-realism and violence of modern games is as far as you can get from Mario, he continues to be at the center of dozens of hugely popular games. Which makes it surprising that there has been remarkably little real Mario merchandise until recent years. But now that it’s arrived, CmdStore’s got a ton of it right here. Plush toys, Mario Kart vehicles, Gashapon mini toys, keychains, the whole nine yards. Definitely something Mario fans will want to check out.

And something else for fans is the upcoming Super Mario Wii. Check out the trailer and this blurb about its difficulty level from Co-Optimus.com

 

After complaints that the previous 2D Mario Bros. title on the Wii was embarrassingly easy, series creator Shigeru Miyamoto kicked New Super Mario Bros. Wii up a notch or 3. Instead of the cake walk we had in 2D before, expect a solid challenge with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, even in co-op – maybe the Demo Play feature will come in handy after all.

When asked about the game, Shigeru Miyamoto simply said it’s “pretty difficult” and we now know that New Super Mario Bros. Wii celebrates the hardcore fans that grew up with Mario. You and your co-op buddies will need to use all of the “Super Skills” in your arsenal, as well as avoid jumping on each others heads too often, to win this one.


New Superhero Squad Figures!

October 28, 2009

Three new items have been added to the Superhero Squad section of Cmdstore.com in the Mega-packs and box sets subset. All three of the new packs are based on Wolverine, whose recent television and film appearances seem to have officially cemented him as the true star of the X-Men license/franchise. The first in the trio is the ‘X-Cutioners Song’, which includes some very cute renderings of Wolverine (yellow costume), Stryfe, Marvel Girl and Cyclops.

Since the beginning, I’ve always wondered why Hasbro went in such an adorable direction for such fierce, powerful characters, but in this and dozens of other Superhero Squad packs, it’s tough not to see at least some of the appeal. It’s definitely present in the next set, which includes Dark Beast, Havok, Wolverine and Wolvie’s motorcycle under the title ‘Doom of the Dark Beast’. Even the vicious villain of the story is made to be endearing, a smile on a usually snarling face.

Finally, we’ve got the Wolverine Evolutions set (see below). It features four versions of Wolverine based on the comics and film, all without the classic mask and modeled more on the Logan we’ve seen of late. These ones are definitely a great addition to the collection of any Wolvie fan.


Halloween Post Part 3: Movies!

October 28, 2009

Movies are probably the most popular form of horror media out there today. Unlike books and blogs, they seem to have a truly universal appeal and can spread to more demographics, raking in billions of dollars a year. But when there are so many flicks out there that promise to offer real scares, it’s hard to find a truly creepy–or at least well-made–horror movie. We’ll sort some out right here.

NOROI

One of my favourite horror movies would have to be Japan’s Noroi: The Curse. It’s a faux documentary (mockumentary still sounds too jovial) that follows a man who has made a career out of investigating the paranormal for his television specials as he explores a strange new case involving a missing girl, a crazed conspiracy theorist and a centuries-old demon. The tagline is ‘Everybody died’, but in a film with dozens of incredible twists and turns, it gives nothing away. You can watch the movie here or try your luck finding a copy online–none of the big retailers carry it!

THE RING

One of the first movies to bring the Japanese style and aesthetic to North American audiences, The Ring is a remake of the original Japanese Ringu. Starring the brilliant Naomi Watts, it took the viewer on ride that seemed to go from eerie to downright horrifying and never looked back. Some might prefer the original Japanese and indeed it has some definite strengths over the remake, but this is one time I might prefer the second draft. You can snag this movie over on Amazon.com: The Ring (Widescreen Edition)

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT

I feel a little sorry for the Blair Witch Project. It came out to amazing reviews and terrified audiences and then got hit with the backlash that probably awaits Paranormal Activity. Suddenly it wasn’t scary, it was called lame and obnoxious for its shaky cam and eventually it got talked up until it wasn’t scary anymore. But given what it was, a low-budget indie experiment, it’s definitely worth a watch for those who haven’t already been swept up. Well constructed and solid, it can be found right here: The Blair Witch Project

THE THING

Finally, a true horror classic has to make the list and add a monster to the strange other beings we’ve already encountered. John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of the strangest and most terrifying monster movies ever made, with its strengths in the fact that its eponymous Thing seemed to have no motive, nor rhyme or reason to the way it killed and tormented the men of an ill-fated arctic base. You can find it on both DVD and Blu-Ray right here:
The Thing (Collector’s Edition DVD)
and The Thing [Blu-ray]


Aliens, Aliens and more Aliens.

October 26, 2009

Only slightly Halloweeny, the Geiger-style aliens from the amazing film franchise are awesome enough to blog about anyway. We’ve got a ton of Sideshow statues and figures both new and old that feature the original aliens from the first films and the new ones from the Aliens versus Predator franchise. Whatever you think of the films, there’s no denying that the folks at Sideshow have outdone themselves in terms of quality and detail with these figures.

There are also non-Sideshow items brought to you instead by McFarlane and Kotobukiya, which can be found in the AvP section of CmdStore.com. There you’ll find everything from 6-inch figures to Head-knockers and more! Sure to please any fan of the films or their now-classic aesthetic.

And now, in other alien-related news, there’s a new movie coming out that looks like it’s going to be absolutely terrifying. Titled ‘The Fourth Kind’, it’s a creepy tale of alien abduction unlike any other entry to the genre thus far.


Edward Norton’s New Twitter Campaign!

October 26, 2009

According to a piece posted over at Digital Spy, Edward Norton once said “I haven’t personally really engaged in a lot of this new kind of social networking stuff like Twitter or Facebook or MySpace. I mean, the notion of people following what I am doing every day is like torture for me.”

But all of a sudden, all that’s changed! Over on Twitter, Norton can now be found right here, as Edwardnorton. Why the change of heart? It’s simple. He’s got a cause!

Norton has teamed up the Kenyan Maasai Warriors and a number of other activists to raise money for Wilderness Conservation in Africa. The efforts will culminate in Norton and a team running the New York Marathon for sponsortship.

It’s a great cause and he’s been raising a ton of money with giveaways and contests as he gets sponsors for runners and his own team. Prizes so far have ranged from movie posters to running shoes to Blackberries pre-loaded with personalized videos from Norton himself. It’s a great way not only to interact with one of our day’s most celebrated actors, but also to give to a good cause.


The Sims 3: Shang Simla Revealed!

October 26, 2009

We’ve already talked about the upcoming Sims 3 Expansion pack, World Adventures, but now the folks at EA Games have revealed one of the locations your Sims will find in the new open-concept world: Shang Simla! Click here to watch the trailer!

The Sims 3′s first major add-on, it will mark the first time that Sims can venture out to other countries and explore a world beyond their small towns or even the big cities. When first announced, it seemed likely to become a massive success, but as EA reveals more and more details, that’s even more of a sure thing.

This is just another awesome update for fans of the Sims 3, whose numbers continue to rise.

World Adventures is sure to be a big hit among players and if you’re looking to snag it, we’ve got the links you’ll need to grab it on Amazon.com.

The Sims 3
The Sims 3: World Adventures Expansion Pack


‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ Figure!

October 26, 2009

Joining our already impressive Marvel Statue, Figure and Maquette Collection by Sideshow Toys is the awesome X-Men Origins Wolverine figure above. Based on Hugh Jackman (the Sexiest Man Alive according to People magazine and many people in general), the toy stands a full 12 inches high and features not only an amazing likeness sculpted by the best of the best at Sideshow, but also boasts the following:
* Newly developed Hot Toys hirsute muscular figure body with over 30 points of articulation
* Jacket
* Undershirt
* Shirt
* Jeans
* Boots
* Detailed belt
* Dog tags
* Two sets of interchangeable hands
* Figure base with Wolverine nameplate and film logo

The figure’s available here and ships in a couple months, but you can pre-order right now!

And fans of the film can find that at Amazon.com along with video games and a soundtrack!
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (DVD)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Two-Disc Edition + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Soundtrack
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition (PS3)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PC)


The Eartbound Anthology: Now Online!

October 26, 2009

I’m a little late delivering this news, but the Earthbound Anthology was recently put up online for fans to enjoy.

The story of how the anthology came to be is available on the website, but a quick rundown might be necessary and, as a fan, I’m ready to provide it. It begins with a single fact and that is that Earthbound is one of the greatest games of all time. Released 15 years ago for the Super Nintendo, it tells the story of four children who must save the world from the threat of the great destroyer, Giygas. An incredible adventure, it includes unique characters, exciting battles, some very witty humour and one of the most strange and unlikely plots any game can boast.

It’s fanbase is so strong that a copy of the game can, today, sell for hundreds of dollars. And yet most fans like me, who still own original cartridges, probably won’t let them go for anything. The game is nothing short of amazing and I can’t tell you how much fun it is to play. I’ve recently got my younger brother (11) into it and he’s enjoying it just as much as I did.

Nowadays, most fans play on emulators and try to get translated copies of the sequel and prequel, but due to disagreements between parent companies, Earthbound will probably never see a release on the Wii’s Virtual Console.

But even so, the fanbase keeps fighting the good fight and will always stay strong and stay together. No matter what.

For updates or to explore the game and those who love it, please visit the amazing STARMEN.NET. It’s a great place.


Halloween Post Part 2: Videos and Vlogs

October 26, 2009

1) The Ten Steps
This short film manages to pack a lot of creepiness into it’s less-than-ten-minute runtime. An eerie atmosphere, a couple jump scares and a finale sure to send chills down your spine, it’s a great straightforward piece that reminds of some of the best Creepypasta out there.

2) Number two is a short called No Through Road, detailing an ill-fated drive through the English countryside. You can watch it right here…

3) A documentary style piece, Metalosis Maligna is a creepy look at a fictional ailment suffered by those whose bodies react poorly with their metal implants…

4) The Cat with Hands might seem cute at first, but within a few minutes, this brilliant animated piece takes a turn for the terrifying.

5) NIN fans might recall this next one. A quick clip from the trailer from the Year Zero launch manages to creep you out just by being so utterly strange…

6) And finally, here’s a blog/vlog that seems to be building into some kind of ARG (Alternate reality game a la Year Zero above] or at least a strange and mysterious little story. It’s called Manifestations and it details the strange happenings in a man’s home as he tries to observe a paranormal entity he dubs The Watcher.


Star Trek: Phasers, Tricorders and Communicators, oh my!

October 25, 2009

Star Trek fans might the the biggest and baddest of all the fandoms, known by all for being at the forefront of every fan-ish phenomenon from cosplayer conventions to the internet fan fiction’s ‘slash’ genre. They’re the original modern fandom, really, with Trekkies and Trekkers (there’s a difference–look it up!) devoting their time, their money and sometimes every aspect of their lives to the universe the shows, books, films and games have created.

Once upon a time, though, a lot of the collectibles and merchandise you could find at conventions was fan-made. While it seemed obvious to Trekkers/ies that there was a market for themed items, the production companies were a little slower to catch on.

Not anymore! The massive merchandising wave was truly born of the success of Star Trek’s second incarnation, “The Next Generation”. With that came figures, replicas, books, role-playing games and apparel that sold like hotcakes to every fan who had waited for more than the paltry offerings of the Kirk and Spock days. And now, with this summer’s hugely successful Star Trek reboot film (the 11th Trek movie, for those keping track), interest has been renewed among the mainstream and the toy companies know how to react.

So here are some quick links to CmdStore’s Star Trek toys and collectibles, where you can find something from the original series to TNG to Deep Space Nine and beyond! Check these out!


The Original Series collection
includes classic characters like Kirk, Spock, Uhura, and Khan, plus adorable Quog versiona of the characters. Retro fans need look no further for their Enterprise fix. And yes, we’ve also got a salt vampire.


Captain Picard, Riker, O’Brien, Dr. Crusher and many more make up this very awesome selection of toys from The Next Generation. For the record, my favorite was Data.


Deep Space Nine
brings us Sisko and the Defiant Command Chair, Kira Nerys, Gul Dukat, Julian Bashir more. And again for the record, Odo may have been pale, but he was no Data.


The Vehicles Series
includes a whole lot of Enterprises. Battle-damaged, Wrath of Khan style or remastered for 2009, we’ve got ‘em all. Plus, a bonus Excelsior!


The accessories section
includes Phasters, a Tricorder and communicators style both for the original series and the second film. Whether you’re a collector or a cosplayer, you’ll definitely want to check these ones out.


Finally, we come to the latest entry into the Star Trek legacy, the 2009 film collection. Pine’s Kirk, Quinto’s Spock and Nimoy’s…well, Nimoy’s Spock are all here and ready for fans both new and old.


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