Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Blu-ray) (Widescreen)

Biggest Star Wars Fan Ever

I buy everything Star Wars….and this is a MUST-HAVE for any SW fanatic (check out the above pic of me after I got my Blu-Ray in the mail!)

This is the most complete and comprehensive Star Wars package ever. For you die-hard Star Wars Fans this contains so much more than the movies. The “Lost Anchorhead Footage” and many other never before seen clips are there too. It will take a long time to go through everything here but I just received my package and tore it open to see if it had the extra bonus material and couldn’t get enough of it. Can’t wait to watch the movies (for the hundredth time) but want to go though and see these extra scenes first.  I was going to pick it up from Amazon but decided on buying it from Walmart.com ’cause it was slightly cheaper.

Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Blu-ray) (Widescreen)

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SHE-RA Comes to DVD! Plus, PANTHOR!

The Masters of the Universe is a huge franchise and the years haven’t seen anybody forgetting it as it sees a revival in the form of action figures and collectibles hitting shelves everywhere. But what’s more, the original TV series is hitting DVD and Blu-Ray so you can enjoy seeing the heroes and villains duking it out in good old 80s animated glory! SHE-RA will soon be joining the rerelease ranks and Newsok.com has the info!

She-Ra, one of the most popular animated heroines of the 1980s, turns 25 in 2010, and the first 20 episodes of “She-Ra: Princess of Power” are available on DVD. Actress Melendy Britt, who played She-Ra and her alter ego, Adora, recently reminisced about the 93-episode series.

The fantasy series was a spinoff from “Masters of the Universe,” which featured He-Man; She-Ra was He-Man’s sister. She fought the forces of Hordak on the world of Etheria.

She-Ra was one of the premiere female heroes on television at the time, and Britt said her theater experience helped her with the dual role.

“Some things in life are just fated or meant to be,” she said. “I was trained in theater, and I did the classics. Shakespeare and Chekhov. Some of these characters were larger than life. So I was very accustomed to the stage and being larger than life.”

Adora, the secret identity of She-Ra, drew inspiration from a Shakespearean character, for example.

“Her innocence was a bit like Juliet in ‘Romeo and Juliet,’” she said. But She-Ra was perhaps more universal.

“It was a feeling that I had that I wanted to be able to express power and wisdom and kindness and love in a voice,” Britt said. “And that’s how she evolved.”

Even though She-Ra was an adventure program, it often shared a positive message and included moral lessons in the epilogue. Britt revealed one tale that had real-life heroic implications.

In one show’s epilogue, He-Man and She-Ra told young viewers to be sure to tell an adult if they were touched in an inappropriate way.
“She-Ra says to the children, ‘It’s your body. No one should touch you in a way that you feel is wrong.’ And He-Man chimed in and said, ‘It may be hard to tell someone, but do tell.’”

Britt said producers subsequently received a letter from a parent of a child who had been molested. The child had been in therapy but had until then refused to reveal the name of the perpetrator.

“But when she heard her heroine She-Ra tell her to tell, she began to open up,” Britt said. “And to have been instrumental in that kind of help and justice was just monumental to me.”

And there’s more! Because if you’re looking to add to your MOTU collection, then you can start looking forward to March 2011, when a new exclusive will be shipping out! Take a look:

At a scale made for 6-inch figures to ride, Panthor features some brilliant sculpting and a retro-styled mask. He’s yet another addition to the massive (and growing!) collection and you can pre-order him now to receive in a few short months! Or, check out the complete Masters of the Universe collection!

ALL-STAR BATMAN & ROBIN: New Pre-Order!

Shipping in February of next year, there’s a new 2-figure mini-statue on its way from DC Direct. Pre-orderable now, it features 2 of DC’s best-known heroes from one of their most popular modern adventures.

BATMAN AND ROBIN:This full color, hand-painted cold cast porcelain mini statue measures approximately 4.5″ high x 5.73″ wide x 4.5″ deep, is packaged in a 4-color box.

And if that isn’t enough for you and you’re seeking some more from the dynamic duo, then look no further than DC’s recently released animated film, Under the Red Hood, which tells a dark Batman tale that delves into the psychology of the heroes and villains and deals heavily with the legacy of those he has taken as his wards. It stars Bruce Greenwood, Neil Patrick Harris, John DiMaggio, Jason Isaacs and more! Here are the links to where you can snag this one on both Blu-Ray and DVD…

Batman: Under the Red Hood [Blu-ray]

Batman: Under the Red Hood (Two-Disc Special Edition)

The Wonder Woman Redesign

So that’s the new Wonder Woman? Well, for now anyway before her outfit invariably goes the way of Superman’s lightning-inspired blue outfit or those horrible days where he rocked (or really, failed to rock) a mullet. Jim Lee’s responsible for the redesign and I have to say I’m not a fan. She looks young and hip for 1990, but nothing like the Amazonian warrior she is meant to. And while I am the first to suggest that many female heroes need costume updates to add some of the Nolanverse-Batman practicality above the “how does my cleavage look in this?”-motivated outfits they’re currently sporting, Wonder Woman is one of the few whose revealing outfit actually makes some sense with her roots and her back story.

But anything I could add to the critique of the look is more than covered in this brilliant article by Comic Book Resource’s Sonia Harris (click to visit her page on CBR). It’s an awesome, respectful and intelligent response and I love it.

As a designer, I love clothing. It is basically packaging for humans. Just like packaging, the function is two-fold; 1) Packaging gives a clear indication of what is inside, and 2) Packaging facilitates the use of whatever it contains. Extending this to clothing then, the primary function of any item of clothing is to convey something clear about the wearer to world, and then to create ease and efficacy of movement. In many ways a superhero costume (or more realistically, a uniform for work) must do this even more blatantly. People must be able to immediately recognize the job and stay out of the heroes way.

A pet peeve of mine is people who can use design software, and so they call themselves designers, (despite no experience or training in the field.) Even though I am able to cook, I would never call myself a chef. Similarly, just because a comic book artist is able to draw clothing, that does not make them stylists or fashion designers. When was the last time a woman asked a geeky man to help her buy clothing (other than maybe some fetish wear)? Men have a tendency to take one glance at mall fashion in their teens, and never look again. Never was this more obvious than in comic books, and the new Wonder Woman costume has to be the pinnacle of this kind of folly. In comic books luckily men are rarely called upon to draw civilians, but when they do, men consistently draw women in clothing that would only have worked 10 or 20 years ago. Sadly, none of them think to employ the advice of stylists or designers. Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood have designed superheroic clothing that is 20 years ahead of it’s time. For the first time in history, fashion is looking to comic books for inspiration, so why is Jim Lee throwing out everything that is so super about Wonder Woman’s costume now? Let us dissect some of the most egregious errors that have been made here:

1. The Jacket:
At the moment, while fashion is pretty eclectic, I personally like the military influences and fitted jackets that are going on, they are neat and tailored while still showing a woman’s waist. I have broad shoulders, so I’m always happy when clothes like that are in because I look better with well-tailored jackets instead of slouchy ones. What I’m not seeing anywhere are oversized cut-off bolero jackets. This is something that was briefly fashionable in the 1980’s, and it only ever looked good on very thin women with no asses (hence the short-lived appeal. Wonder Woman is an Amazon warrior. As an Amazon, she’s got a nice muscular ass (or I want to know why not) and she’s not going to dress like a teenager from Flashdance.

2. Leggings:
Similarly, legging are currently so abused and so heinous a fashion crime, that even American Apparel (that bastion of irritating hipster-wear) have had to clearly label their leggings as tights, and not pants. Wonder Woman is timeless and godlike, not a trashy teen

3. Gloves:
In a similar militaristic influence as the fitted jackets, people have been wearing wrist wraps and cuffs as fashion accessories for a while now. Finally, after 70 years of being drastically unfashionable, why would Wonder Woman suddenly stop wearing them and move on to some glove-things which could inhibit wrist mobility? It’s nonsensical. Wrist cuffs are finally a mainstream fashion accessory, so let’s get rid of them? No, it’s ridiculous.

4. Choker:
Chokers were kind of big in the early ’90’s, remember that? It was to sex up the fact that grunge for women was pretty hideous at times. How do you remind people that you’re hot when you’re generally wearing plaid shirts and jeans which are 4 sizes too big? Throw on a choker. I do sometimes still see them on underwear models, so that’s probably where Lee got the idea.

As an emissary of the gods, a brave warrior sent to do battle in a foreign land, Wonder Woman comes from a race who cut off a breast to be better bowmen. No matter how this character is changed, she is not going to stop being an Amazon, so what is the thinking behind this feeble attempt to clothe her? I’m having a very hard time with Jim Lee’s take on Wonder Woman’s new costume.

As an art director, the idea of simply throwing away 70 years of strong brand recognition of this first lady of super powers is an absolute horror story. I am consoling myself with the idea that this is probably just a temporary marketing idea (and as despicable as I find that, it makes some sense.) Other characters have been through similar phases, for example Superman’s blue period, or Spider-Man’s black suit, but in both of those instances, they looked simply strange, otherworldly even, which made some sense in their universes. This low-rent anti-fashion statement cheapens the brand of Wonder Woman, and it’s a brand which cannot take this kind of abuse.

I’ve always sort of liked Wonder Woman’s ludicrously old school costume. The subtle tweaks that it’s had over the years are perfectly acceptable to me (a higher leg on the pants, or hipster shorts, small changes to the bodice, etc), but it always remained essentially the same, and spoke volumes about her power. Most superhero costumes are revealing, after all, they’re physically perfect (though even the Blob wears a form-fitting costume, so maybe it’s not about the physique, but the job), whatever the reason, a lot of the most powerful heroes are practically naked. Complete nudity is almost always a sign of incredible power, for example the Silver Surfer and Doctor Manhattan do not wear clothing because they’re all-powerful. By dint of the same logic, I like the fact that Wonder Woman shows some skin, it implies that she is so strong that she never even considered wearing restrictive, protective garments.

On the rare occasions that Wonder Woman dons her ceremonial white robes for royal functions and ambassadorial duties, or her battle armor in times of epic battle. She is aware that her simple, daily uniform only fulfills some functions and isn’t appropriate for all situations. She’s not crazy. But she also knows the power of a god-like legend, and doesn’t work mess with it. The costume she has is like that of the emergency services, it is unchanging and functions to let people know what she is and what she does. Yes, it is a fantastical creation, and it is unrealistic. So are Amazons and superheroes. She is our link with Greek mythology, and her brash, obvious, American flag-inspired costume cements that bond. Drastically changing Wonder Woman’s costume is absolutely criminal, and to do so to a geeky man’s specifications is doubly criminal. She is a brand, and icon, and a hero.

Of course, we remain an action figure blog despite the urge to go Tumblr and reblog articles like this one, so here’s a link that I hope provides a little bit of refreshment in the form of…well, the now-old-school Wonder Woman in action figure form. She appears in a number of the lines that you can check out if you’re in the mood for the original iconic look.

And one more thing, also pertaining to women in comics not getting a fair shake: did you know Bruce Timm and co. were planning a Batgirl movie but have since seen the project cancelled for no reason but that a female superhero couldn’t draw a big enough crowd? It’s true, and it’s the reason why you should consider grabbing the 2009 Wonder Woman animated film, an underrated but brilliant movie I was lucky enough to see when it premiered at NYCC. It’s a really great film, stars Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina and Rosario Dawson and it might just help make a difference in DC’s perception of its watchers.

Wonder Woman 2009 [Blu-ray]

Wonder Woman 2009 (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Two New Bat-Toys! Sideshow’s Sonar Batman and Ame-Comi’s Duela Dent

Hot toys and Sideshow come together once again for the recently-arrived 1:6 scalre Sonar Batman from The Dark Knight. It was a pivotal scene in the film, when Batman activated the sonar equipment installed by Lucius Fox and in doing so brought to the screen the glowing white-eyed look so iconic to Batman in the comics. Fan service? Perhaps, but it worked and worked well so it’s no surprise that it’s been commemorated in this figure.

Standing about 12 inches tall and featuring 32 points of articulation, the figure also comes with a ton of accessories and switchable parts. Grappling gun, batarangs, alternate hands and…well, it gets better as you can read in the description: “One head features the Parallel Eyeball Rolling System (PERS), which allows the life-like eyeballs to be moved in any direction, much like human eyes! The alternate head features the sonar vision devise, with button cell batteries allowing the eyes to light up!”. That’s right, movable eyes and light-up ones. Does it get better? Maybe with the LED-lit stand to bathe your figure in white light on the display shelf. It’s an amazing piece for any collector.

And while we’re sure you probably already own it, how about some links to The Dark Knight on DVD and Blu-Ray, in case you’ve been remiss in picking it up…
The Dark Knight (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]

The Dark Knight (Two-Disc Special Edition + Digital Copy with Exclusive Steelbook Packaging)

For Bat-fans seeking something a little different and more comic-oriented, a lesser-known character is joining a familiar line-up. Check outDuela Dent, decked out with steampunk flair Rumoured to be Joker’s daughter, but bearing the Dent surname after Harvey (and his wife, Gilda), she’s a crazed villainess who actually claims to be the child of a myriad of Batman’s rogues. Not that identity crises are anything new to the DC Universe, right? Shipping in February 2011, Duela joins the DC Direct Ame-Comi collection of PVC figures. And looks great doing it.

New Pre-Order: Iron Man 2’s Black Widow from Sideshow

Shipping in the 4th quarter of 2010, get ready for Scarlett Johansson’s red-headed femme fatale, Black Widow, to hit our shelves as part of Sideshow Toys’ stunning Marvel Iron Man collection. Naturally, the beauty the sculptors have managed to capture is impressive on its own, a show of both their talents and the the fact that Scarlett’s features as Natasha Romanoff seem a work of art in themselves. Add to that the fact that it boasts a ton of great features and this is one item you’ll definitely want to pre-order in a hurry. Here are a couple notes:
* Real fabric hair implantation
* Newly developed female TrueType body
* Approximately 28 cm tall
* Over 28 points of articulations
* Two (2) pairs of interchangeable gloved palms (one (1) pair of relaxed palms; one (1) pair for holding pistols)
* One (1) extra right gloved palm for posing on waist
* Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted
* One-piece tight dark blue colored jumpsuit with one (1) belt included
* One (1) extra greyish black colored belt with pouches and pistol holster
* One (1) pair of leather-like greyish blue colored platform boots with buckles
* Two (2) pistols
* One (1) pair of bracelets with multiple-bullet design
* Figure base with Black Widow nameplate and the movie logo

Naturally, she looks pretty impressive alongside the rest of the team, from Stark to Rhodes, but lest we forget, she’s not the only new character deserving of a deluxe 12-inch rendering, but fortunately the wizards at Sideshow are already on it. We don’t have anything concrete yet, but take a look at this tantalizing preview image and click to pre-order:

A couple of the features include “a LED chest light (white light, battery operated, battery included), a metallic electricity generator with light-up function at the back, a brown jumpsuit with burning effect and holes, plus a hydraulic exoskeleton with brown-colored leather-like harness” and those are just the beginning. Naturally, when we get a look at the figure itself, we’ll be posting it right here. Until then, look forward to it!

And one more thing: If you’re looking for the original film to catch up before Iron Man 2 hits DVD and Blu-Ray,here are the Amazon links you’ll need to snag it!

Iron Man (Ultimate Two-Disc Edition + BD Live) [Blu-ray]

Iron Man (Single-Disc Edition)

‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ Figure!

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)