For Halloween: THE DIONAEA HOUSE

October 31, 2010

The Dionaea House might just be my favourite scary story of all time. It isn’t conventional, but it’s something truly special and definitely worth a read if you’ve got a bit of time to spare to a piece of brilliant online fiction.

Visit the website, turn off all the lights in the house, settle in somewhere comfortable and when you’re ready to read, press “next” to continue through the story (the ‘updates’ page you can visit later!) and just enjoy. It’s far from the traditional take on the haunted house and I think you might really enjoy it!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from CmdStore.com!


Halloween-Ready: Reasoning with Vampires

October 31, 2010

REASONING WITH VAMPIRES is a new blog that cuts the Twilight series to pieces and draws blood. Whether they believe that vampires are scary or are just tired of comma splicing and messy writing, there are pages and pages of some really hilarious critiques that range from the juvenile to the brilliant. If you’re not a fan of the franchise or you’re just looking to learn a couple things about English, then check ‘em out!


FOR HALLOWEEN: MICHAEL MYERS X 3!

October 30, 2010

If you’re in the HALLOWEEN spirit, then perhaps you’d like to take a look at the three new Michael Myers items we’ve just gotten in-stock from the action figure and collectible masters at MEZCO.

CINEMA OF FEAR: DELUXE HALLOWEEN 2 MICHAEL MYERS

Based on Michael’s appearance in the sequel to Halloween, this deluxe 12-inch figure boasts real fabric clothing and comes with the hacking knife that the killer has made one of his signatures. Packaged in a window-box, it’s one that’s sure to please both fans of the franchise and any collectors looking to add to their horror display.

ROTO-FIGURE STYLIZED MICHAEL MYERS
There’s something to be said for adding a touch of artistic flair to even a barbaric killer and here’s the result of an artist’s eye added to the classic look of Michael Myers. With the hands of a brute and the glare of a psychopath even behind the mask, this stylized figure adds something truly different that fans will likely appreciate.

CINEMA OF FEAR PLUSH MICHAEL MYERS
Well, I don’t think Michael Myers will ever be considered ‘cute’, but this is as close as you can get. A 14-inch plush toy, Michael’s still got his bloody knife, but he remains one of the very few psycho-killers you can happily take into bed with you. You know, if you’re into that.


Entertainment Weekly FIRST LOOK: CAPTAIN AMERICA

October 29, 2010

We’ve already seen a couple images from the upcoming CAPTAIN AMERICA film, but now Entertainment Weekly is bringing us something more…

For fans of superhero movies, the most patriotic holiday on next year’s calendar won’t fall on July 4th, but exactly 18 days later. That’s when Paramount Pictures will release Captain America: The First Avenger, a big budget adaptation of the Marvel Comics shield-baring super-soldier. The new issue of Entertainment Weekly offers your first look at star Chris Evans in the hero’s red, white and blue threads — but you can get a peek at the man in uniform right here, right now.

Our story also brings you to the set of the London-based production, directed by Joe Johnston (The Wolfman, October Sky). During a break in shooting, Evans — on his second tour of Marvel duty, having played the Human Torch in Fox’s Fantastic Four films — explained he was reluctant to accept the call of Captain America, in part because he had already portrayed a Marvel-ous mystery man. Of course, he also worried about the potential cost of failure, but he also worried the potential cost of fame should the movie be a hit.

Our story also brings you to the set of the London-based production, directed by Joe Johnston (The Wolfman, October Sky). During a break in shooting, Evans — on his second tour of Marvel duty, having played the Human Torch in Fox’s Fantastic Four films — explained he was reluctant to accept the call of Captain America, in part because he had already portrayed a Marvel-ous mystery man. Of course, he also worried about the potential cost of failure, but he also worried the potential cost of fame should the movie be a hit.

“At the time, I remember telling a buddy of mine, ‘If the movie bombs, I’m f—-ed. If the movie hits, I’m f—-ed!’” After declining the part three times, Evans took a meeting with Marvel execs and Johnston and was dazzled by their plans for the movie. He still felt wary about suiting up for Captain America — but then he had an epiphany. “I was just scared,” he says. “I realized my whole decision making process was fear based, and you never want to make a decision out of fear.’” Evans signed a six-picture deal with Marvel to play the character, and he has no regrets: “I can’t believe was almost too chicken to play Captain America.”

The movie — which also serves to set up Marvel’s 2012 superhero team-up, The Avengers — hews closely to Captain America’s WWII-era origins. The year is 1942, and Steve Rogers is a scrawny lad who desperately wants to fight Nazis for his country but can’t because he’s been deemed physically unfit. His fate — and his physique — is radically transformed when he signs up for Project: Rebirth, a secret military operation that turns wimps into studs using drugs and assorted sci-fi hoo-ha. There’s a love interest (Major Peggy Carter, played Haley Atwell), there’s a sidekick (Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stans), and there’s the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), Hitler’s treacherous head of advanced weaponry, whose own plan for world domination involves a magical object known as The Tesseract (comic fans know it better as The Cosmic Cube).

“The interesting thing about this character is that he’s an everyman who in the course of a few minutes become a perfect human specimen. That has to create some interesting personal issues,” says Johnston. “I saw it as an opportunity to make a superhero movie that felt real, that didn’t have to rely on an overabundance of fantasy elements.”

If you’re a Captain America fan counting down to the film, then here are a couple figures you might enjoy in the mean time–you know, until the movie brings a boatload more!

MARVEL SELECT CAPTAIN AMERICA
An 8-inch figure sculpted by Sam Greenwell, it features a gargoyle base that makes it awesome for display and can be posed in a ton of different ways thanks to its 14 points of articulation.

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 1: CAPTAIN AMERICA
From the first series of the amazing Marvel Legends line, this Cap figure is based on his first appearance in 1941, when he was created by Simon and Kirby to stand as both character and icon in the Marvel Universe and the American consciousness.

KOTOBUKIYA CAPTAIN AMERICA STATUE
The brilliant designers at Kotobukiya present this 12.5-inch statue of Cap holding his iconic shield aloft and looking ready to face whatever enemy of his nation should come his way.

CAPTAIN AMERICA vs RED SKULL TWIN PACK
From Marvel Legends comes a 2-pack that represented one of Marvel’s greatest conflicts: that between Captain America and the villainous Red Skull. The arch-enemies come with a 32-page comic that explores their long-lasting feud!

MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES 8: ULTIMATE CAPTAIN AMERICA
The modern-day costume for Steve Rogers comes to life in this Ultimate Captain America from Marvel Legends’ eighth series. Standing about 7 inches, he comes with a Marvel TCG card!

MIGHTY MUGGS RED SKULL
The hyper-stylized MIGHTY MUGGS line brings us this Previews exclusive RED SKULL 7-inch figure. Looking surprisingly adorable for…well, a red skull, he still possesses a withering glare and that cruel smile.


Batman 3 Official Title Announced: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

October 28, 2010

As a Bat-Fan, yesterday felt a little bit like Christmas coming early: for the first time in too long, we got some real news–direct from the source–about the next Batman movie from Christopher Nolan. I am beyond keen.

Here’s the news from The Times of India

Christopher Nolan has announced the title of the third instalment of his blockbuster Batman franchise – it will be called ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

Neither will the film be in 3D format nor will iconic villain The Riddler fill in The Joker’s shoes in the third outing about the caped crusader’s efforts to keep Gotham city crime-free, Nolan said in an interview to Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex blog. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ will be distributed by Warner Bros. The first movie was ‘Batman Begins’ that released in 2005, but it was part two – ‘The Dark Knight’ – that went on to gross over a billion dollars worldwide when released in 2008. It also fetched Australian actor Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar for his stupendous performance.

Nolan steers clear of the 3D technology that took Hollywood by storm after the success of James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ as he wants to focus on the high definition cameras and IMAX technology.

The director, whose last outing ‘Inception’ created ripples worldwide, stated that the third Batman film will follow many of the same characters from the previous films as well as a few new ones.

‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is slated to be released July 20, 2012.

And so begins the countdown to a movie with a name! How I’ll get through the wait, I have no idea, but I suppose if I managed it the first time, I’ll manage it again. I’m almost sad that Inception already came and went because I could really use a bit of Nolan to tide me over.

And of course, since this is an action figure blog, I’ll also tide myself over with my three favourite Dark Knight items. They are…

THE JOKER 1:6 SCALE FIGURE

There’s no denying that the Joker stole the show in The Dark Knight and it is thus no surprise that he’s probably the coolest figure around, too. Hot Toys, already known for some incredible work, really outdid themselves with this one. Seriously, looking at the face close-up, you can see the smears of makeup, the crazed glare in the eyes and the rushed dye-job slowly fading out. The detail is shocking and the accessories–which allow for some great customization and display–are just as good. This is one you’ll definitely want to snag.

HARVEY DENT/TWO-FACE 1:6 SCALE FIGURE

Harvey Dent gets a place here because he is, hands-down, my favourite Batman villain. Divided between light and dark, good and evil, he represents in one man the entire struggle of the Dark Knight, but does so with the terrifying randomness of a flipped coin. As portrayed by Aaron Eckhart, he came to life in a way no one expected and his scenes were some of the most powerful in the film. This figure does a great job of capturing the likeness of the actor and the character. Just brilliant.

THE CRANK AND LAUNCH BAT-POD

I chose to add this one even though it’s not really a display figure because it brings to mind one of the scenes that had the theatre cheering during the midnight showing. When the Batmobile/Tumbler is destroyed, we figured Batman would step out and leg it, but instead he pressed a few buttons and A MOTORCYCLE CAME OUT OF IT AND HE DROVE OFF ON THAT. The motorcyle was called the “Bat-Pod”, but pretty much everyone I know would just call it “AWESOME”.


GHOST STARSCREAM and SLEEP MODE OPTIMUS by Takara

October 28, 2010

TAKARA produces some of the best renderings of the most popular and classic characters from the massive Transformers franchise. Now they’ve brought in a new pair of Masterpiece Collection figures of Starscream and Optimus Prime that is sure to please die-hard fans of the robots on disguise. Here’s a look!

GHOST STARSCREAM

Ghost Starscream measures 13” long in jet mode and 10” high in robot mode.

An intricate mixture of plastic and die cast, the almost completely translucent Ghost Starscream features a Gen 1-inspired color scheme. Extensively articulated, the figure is equipped with arm-mounted removable guns, and should be accompanied by decals, missile accessories, and a missile-rack display base configured to support both robot and jet modes; presumably this version will include the same switch-between facial expression feature found in Starscream’s non-spectral Masterpiece counterparts.

In Transformers: The Movie, Starscream seizes an opportunity to eliminate the badly-wounded Megatron, and is later, on Cybertron, amid pompous trumpet fanfare provided by the nonplussed Constructicons, crowned the leader of the Decepticons. Immediately afterwards, Galvatron, the reconstituted version of Megatron, arrives and matter-of-factly destroys the puzzled, crown-adorned Starscream with a single cannon blast. In the cartoon episode “Starscream’s Ghost”, the mendacious Air Commander, discovered by the fugitive Triple Changer Octane in a moldering Decepticon Crypt, returns as a semi-translucent specter. Starscream’s new insubstantial form enables him to take possession of Galvatron’s highest-ranking warriors, providing him with a unique path to vengeance.

SLEEP MODE OPTIMUS PRIME

Measuring approximately 12” tall, the MP-04S Masterpiece Convoy Sleep Mode & Trailer Complete Version is a mixture of plastic and die-cast, accompanied by Ion Blaster, gun Megatron with scope, stock and silencer, Energon Axe, the Matrix of Leadership, and Trailer/Combat Deck.

The flat-nosed truck mode is outfitted with rubber wheels and working suspension; the robot mode’s aesthetically-integrated articulation provides intricacies such as working finger joints and adjustable mouthplate. Convoy’s opening chest housing grants access to the Matrix of Leadership accessory.

This version of Prime is rendered in the lifeless shades of grey and black assumed by Prime’s chassis in the aftermath of the Decepticons’ assault of Autobot City. Arriving at a crucial moment, Prime plowed through multiple Decepticon warriors in the process of working his way to Megatron. In the ensuing hand-to-hand duel, Megatron, despite his initial boastful vow to destroy Prime with his bare hands, implements every oddly discarded weapon and piece of detritus he can find. When Optimus finally gains the upper hand, retrieving his gun, Hot Rod launches his own blundering attack against Megatron, enabling the Decepticon leader to use Hot Rod as a shield while he blasts Prime repeatedly with a discarded pistol. Prime finally delivers the decisive blow, crushing Megatron’s chest, although he succumbs to his own wounds immediately afterwards. As Perceptor delivers his sorrowful prognosis to the small handful of Autobots surrounding the ebbing Autobot leader, Optimus produces the Matrix of Leadership, bestowing the fabled artifact to the reluctant Ultra Magnus.


HALO REACH: The Kai Series Figures

October 27, 2010

Those are three new HALO: REACH figures available from the amazing designers and sculptors at Play Arts, a division of Square Enix, whom you might know as the company behind the incredible Final Fantasy collection. They specialise in beautiful figures as it is, but the Kai series takes even their amazing work a step further. From their Press Kit:

Square Enix’s Play Arts ~Kai~ figures are an improved version of their popular Play Arts action figure series. With a larger scale, a greater attention to detail, more articulation points, and additional parts, these are their finest action figure yet.

Featuring Jun-A266, Emile and Noble Six, the first series of Kai Halo figures stands about 8-inches tall and comes decked out with all the weaponry you would expect from a trio of soldiers. They’re currently available as pre-orders and will be shipping out in February 2011!

In the meantime, if you haven’t snagged REACH yet, here’s the Amazon link where you can grab it!

HALO REACH for the XBox 360


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