Entertainment Weekly FIRST LOOK: CAPTAIN AMERICA

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.

Transformers: 25th Anniversary, Animated and a ton of toys!

As seen in a couple of our Transformers posts, this year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Robots in disguise and the brand and franchise seem to be stronger than ever! Not only do we get awesome items like the 25th Anniversary, but fans are also fortunate enough to have the Transformers Animated series and an upcoming sequel to the hugely successful film. And speaking of which, let’s check out the trailer (and not just Megan Fox–Or Shia LaBoeuf, over whom many do seem to be swooning):

But live-action isn’t all there is, and some of the die-hard fans still resent what Michael Bay has done to their favourite Autobots and Decepticons. So for those who are only slight purists (we have nothing for those who accept nothing but Gen 1), there’s Transformers Animated.

In the spirit of the original series, we see pairings of man and machine united against the evil Decepticons, but this time played out in a style that’s dynamic, unique to the series and definitely visually stunning. It took some time for me to warm up to the show, but the current storylines are stellar and I have a feeling it’ll be around for quite a while longer.

Naturally, since toys are where it all because for the Transformers, I should also mention the massive collection we’ve got over in our online store. You can head over there to check out the entire line, but here are a couple shortcuts to the specific sections to speed up your search for that one special robot…

G.I. Joe for the Nintendo DS, plus more figures!

From Wired

4 G.I. Joe DS Screenshots Revealed
By Earnest Cavalli

Gijoe1 Publisher Electronic Arts has unveiled a handful of screenshots from the upcoming Nintendo DS movie tie-in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra revealing a top-down gameplay style for the title.

I can’t say that I have high hopes for the game, given the hit-and-miss-and-miss-again track record of film to game translations, but maybe developing the title as a simple Robotron-style shooter could work.

It doesn’t leave much room for cerebral plotting or tense storytelling — the gameplay style traditionally appeals to gamers looking for non-stop frenetic action, and not much else — but with a property based on a cartoon series designed to target pre-adolescent boys, this could be a wise choice.

Unless you were expecting the upcoming film to rival Apocalypse Now for characterization and emotionally stirring themes. In which case, I get the feeling you’re in for a bit of disappointment.

It might not be as thrilling a game as my beloved Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, but I have a feeling I’ll give it a shot anyway. As Cavalli said, there aren’t a heck of a lot of good movie games, but we shall see how this one goes down and, hopefully, G.I. Joe’s history will make for a team of very passionate designers.

And besides the upcoming game, look out for a number of new G.I. Joe items from the film and as well as new additions to the already massive action figure collection


Snake Eyes 1:6 scale figure from Sideshow


The new Hall of Heroes collection, shipping later this month


The Baroness Mighty Muggs (and more!)

You can check out the rest of the items here, and for even more, take a look at the Superbowl spot of GI Joe Movie Trailer!


The Transformers MASTERPIECE Collection

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of those robots in disguise, the Transformers. And whether you’re Autobot or Decepticon (maybe even Maximal or Predacon), you’ll definitely want to join in on the celebration if you’re any kind of fan. Hasbro and their partners are rolling out a bunch of new items as it celebrates twenty-five years of war waged between Optimus Prime and Megatron. We’ve got a bunch of them available for purchase or pre-order in our online store‘s extensive Transformers Collection.


The 25th Anniversary Optimus Prime figure is a new issue of an old figure and comes with a DVD, a comic and an Autobot display stand perfect for commemorating a quarter decade of Prime’s Autobot leadership.

This Skywarp figure is one of the many stunning items you can find in the Takara collection, a high-end line of unique Transformers figures. Coming soon, we’ll also have Grimlock, Ultra Magnus and Thundercracker from the Masterpiece series.

The Mighty Muggs are yet another expansion of Hasbro’s massive Transformers collection and a fun new take on some of the classic characters. From Optimus to Megatron, Grimlock to Starscream, you’ll definitely want to check out this whimsical line.