CBS & Viacom Think Star Trek Fans May Be Easily Confused

The prospect of a new Star Trek series in 2017 under the guidance of Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, American Gods) and Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) is enough to make the thorniest Trekkie perk up with excitement. By the time the series premieres next summer, it will have been 12 years since the last iteration of TV-Trek, Enterprise went off the air in 2005. What is yet to be revealed about this new series is what timeline it will take place in. Will it be a part of the NuTrek created by JJ Abrams in the 2009 reboot? Will it be a continuation of The Next Generation? Or will it be a Nu Next Generation in the current movie timeline?

star-trek-1400-1At this point there are more questions than answers, but one thing is certain … both CBS and Viacom think that Star Trek fans are fucking idiots.

In a recent interview, as reported by TrekCore, CBS Corporation President Les Moonves elaborated on the status of the new series and the current state of affairs between CBS and Viacom. As it stands right now CBS owns the television rights and Viacom has the movie rights (and they have historically not played well together).

Moonves went on to say that “our deal with them [Viacom] is that we had to wait six months after their film is launched so there wouldn’t be a confusion in the marketplace”

Confusion.

In.

The.

Marketplace.

Star Trek fans are many things; but they are not easily confused. It was pretty easy to balance watching Star Trek: First Contact at theaters, TNG on SciFi and Deep Space 9 on UPN at the same time. As a consumer I was able to navigate the different incarnation of my favorite franchise AT THE SAME TIME.

The latest film, Star Trek Beyond is due in theaters later this summer and apparently CBS can’t roll out the new series until after the home release which is oddly frustrating. What’s even more frustrating is how this agreement will affect the future films (the cast does have an option for a fourth film) and the ongoing series.  I for one, am confident in my ability to enjoy both iterations of Star Trek without an iota of confusion.

Let’s Enjoy A Look Back at the 1980 LEGO Assortment Guide

In a recent haul of vintage LEGO, one of the highlights was a near pristine copy of the official LEGO Assortment Guide from 1980.  At this point I would probably start to sound 1980_LEGOAssortment_CVRlike one of those crotchety old AFOLS who proclaim that, “back in my day we didn’t have all these modern purpose specific bricks”.

This specific assortment guide spans only a few pages but features some classic sets from the LEGOLAND Town and LEGOLAND Space themes.  Duplo, the often maligned (and forgetten) Fabuland, and the Universal Building and Expert Builder Series are featured as well.  The back cover features something called the LEGO Homemaker series which where focused on girls and allowed them to, “furnish her imagination …. 4 different rooms you can build and play house with.”

But I think we should just let these catalog scans speak for themselves and take a minute to enjoy the nostalgia wave and pine after these sets that are now reaching astronomical prices on the secondary market.

Do You Have $1400? If So, You Can Buy a 6-Foot Millennium Falcon off Craigslist

Do you love Star Wars? Silly question, of course you do. More importantly, do you have $1400 to spare? If you answered yes to both of those questions then there is a guy in Eagleville, PA that wants to sell you a giant, 6-foot wide Millennium Falcon.

This gigantic Millennium Falcon, known as the “Extraordinare” was displayed in Toys R Us stores across the country in conjunction with the Special Edition re-releases of the Original Trilogy and Kenner’s Power of the Force action figure line. Made of a heavy duty styrene plastic, this particular Falcon had a working radar dish, turbo lasers and lights. After the promotion was over, approximately 500 were auctioned off for charity and occasionally surface from time to time on eBay in the $3,000 range.

According to the seller’s description:

“Ship has some wear and is missing things like some of the glued on stickers but all in all it’s in good shape. Comes with original hanging cable and weighs about 30 pounds”

Numbered at #71/500, this Millennium Falcon is probably the lowest numbered one I have seen on the secondary market in quite a while. This one is clearly being sold in as-is condition so there is no telling whether it can still make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.

via [Craigslist Philadelphia]

Philly Nerd Alert! Check out Zolocon 2016 at The Fuge This Weekend

Look, it’s going to be really, really, really cold this weekend in the Greater Philadelphia area, and odds are you’re going to want to get out of the house at some point.  Well it just so happens that Zolocon 2016, Bucks County’s largest toy and comic show, is taking place on Saturday, February 13th in Warminster, PA running from 9:00AM – 3:30PM at The Fuge.

What better way to spend a few hours than perusing tables in search of that elusive StarMax Bomber from STARCOM or that LAST piece you need to complete Castle Greyskull?

zoloconphoto

The Fuge is an awesome event space that used to be home to the most powerful human centrifuge in North America and was then known as the Johnsville Naval Air Development Center, which the US Navy used to develop technologies and training methodologies for the still developing manned space program.

Zolocon 2016 will boast 14,000 square feet of retro goodness, a slate of guest artists and celebrities along with enough plastic stuff and moldy four-color comic pages to make your heart go pitter patter.

Event Details:

Zolocon 2016
The Fuge . 780 Falcon Circle . Warminster Pa. 18974
Tickets – $7.00 at the door, children under 12 are free

Official Website – Zolocon.com / Facebook Event Page

Getting Back in the Water with TigerSharks, aka the ThunderCats of the Sea

In the year of our lord 1987, Rankin-Bass, the production company behind ThunderCats and SilverHawks, wanted to see if the third time was the charm and launched TigerSharks. Ostensibly, the TigerSharks were essentially the ThunderCats of the Sea.  The 22-minute series was part of their Comic Strip block of programming and aired only 26 episodes before cancellation later that year.  If anything, the TigerSharks maintained a decent theme song but the concept as a whole was a bit … salty.

Now the TigerSharks garnered their aquatic powers through the use of the “Fish Tank” onboard their submarine/spaceship dubbed the Sarc. Now this team of super-powered fish people traveled to the planet Water-O on a research mission where they ended up as protectors of the gentle Waterians and waged battle against the evil T-Ray and his minions.

With nearly twenty years removed from its last airing, I think we can all agree that TigerSharks is near unwatchable.  Aside from a brief cameo in the 2011 ThunderCats reboot, the TigerSharks have been barely a blip on the pop culture radar.  Now the one area that they remain popular is in the realm of obsessive toy collectors. LJN Toys produced a toy line of action figures that lasted just one series, but did not see massive distribution at the time due to a lack of interest.

tigersharksLJNThese days any of the TigerSharks action figures will fetch insanely high prices on the secondary market.  As someone who sees himself as a rather astute collector, I can honestly say that I’ve only seen a TigerShark action figure at a handful of toy and antique shows over the years with prices so high that convinced me that owning this particular piece of pop culture history just wasn’t worth it.

Here’s Our First Look at Mattel’s Ghostbusters Action Figures from the 2016 Reboot

With last year being the 30th Anniversary of the release of Ghostbusters, there was a glut of new merchandise released based on the classic foursome of Venkman, Stantz, Spengler and Zedmore.   We knew that there was going to be a big marketing push for Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters reboot, including action figures, role-playing proton packs and all kinds of other plastic collectibles in mass retail and specialty shops.

Up until this point, not much has been known about Mattel’s main action figure line but with Toy Fair 2016 just around the corner, a sneak peek was bound to happen sooner or later.  Director Paul Feig tweeted out an image of the 6″ prototypes for the world to see.

GB2016_MattelProtosOf course the 30 year old men on action figure forums are already blasting the line, but I think these prototypes have done a pretty good job of capturing the likenesses of the actresses.  As father of twin 5 year old daughters who dressed up as Ghostbusters last Halloween, I cannot even begin to express how awesome it will be that they will be able to buy a Ghostbusters toy at retail in 2016.  Let’s just hope that the role-playing proton pack will live up to the greatness of its predecessor.

 

The Return of (Actual) Stormtroopers in The Force Awakens

While I am still gathering my thoughts about The Force Awakens, one of my favorite things to come out of the JJ Abrams sequel was the presence of actual Stormtrooper armor.  This may seem like a relatively small issue, but the unnecessary CGI Clone Troopers from the Prequel Trilogy look completely ridiculous.

Even in close shots, George Lucas insisted on digitally painting armor instead of using physical props. I don’t think we will ever know why Lucas decided to go that route; but I am not sure how dedicating a visual effects artist to create armor was a cost savings over vaccum forming some armor.  By the end of Episode II: Attack of the Clones, it got to a point where we were just watching a bunch of pixels voiced by Temura Morrison shooting at something else completely made up of pixels.

SWOrder661The above, in-camera, pre-SFX shot from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith speaks volumes to one of what I feel is one of the most glaring problems that has aged the prequel films significantly since their theatrical release.  In contrast, look at this photo from the production of The Force Awakens where John Boyega is actually in full on First Order Stormtrooper armor.  star-wars-john-boyegas-finn-in-stormtrooper-actionHaving an actor in armor, on camera lends such an authenticity to the film.  One that eluded the prequels but was undoubtedly one of my favorite things to come from The Force Awakens.

Did a German LEGO Catalog Reveal A Giant Plot Point for Captain America: Civil War?

The LEGO Group prides itself in its secrecy and leaks of their upcoming product line are few and far between.  Earlier today, images from a German retailer catalog showed off three sets based on the upcoming Marvel Studios film Captain America: Civil War.

LEGO_thumbIt looks like that for the first time we will be getting minifigs versions of Falcon, Crossbones, Agent 13 and Black Panther. And of course there will be the requisite updates to Captain America, Black Widow, War Machine, Iron Man, Winter Soldier.  Overall, the sets seem pretty great with all the necessary flick-fire missiles and extraneous vehicles that will most likely not even make it into the final film.

However there is one more giant minifig update after the jump, but be warned there are potential SPOILERS ahead!

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Merchandising a New Generation: The True Success of Shadows of the Empire

ShadowsnovelIn 1996, a year before The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition was released in theaters, LucasFilm gave us Shadows of the Empire, a massive multimedia event that had all the trappings of a feature film without actually being one.

The novel, set in the period between The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi, had been a no man’s land up until that point.  How did Lando end up in Jabba the Hutt’s employ? When did Luke build his new lightsaber? Why didn’t Leia try and get Han’s carbonite frozen body back before Jabba hung it on his wall?

It would be a lie to say that I didn’t get caught up in the hype.  My parents bought me the book which I devoured at an absurd rate.  At that time I was heavy into the Star Wars Expanded Universe, having worked my way through the Thrawn Trilogy and some of the X-Wing: Rogue Squadron books along with a smattering of others (yes, even The Truce at Bakura). Later that year I got the N64 exclusive Shadows of the Empire video game which was primarily told through the new view of Dash Rendar, a rapscallion Correllian smuggler with a loyal sidekick, who is very much like Han Solo … but with bigger shoulder pads.

dashrendar

And of course that wasn’t all, there was the requisite action figure line, comic book tie ins, official soundtrack (for a book!), t-shirts, statues, t-shirt and limited edition collectible plates.  Shadows of the Empire was a phenomenon, one that proved that Lucasfilm didn’t necessarily need a film to support its …. ahem empire.

That massive merchandise consumption demonstrated that there was a whole new generation of fans ready to consume Star Wars in every possible format.  As part of that generation, this was our 1977, the first real bit of Star Wars that we could say that we witnessed first hand and embraced as our own.

The one unfortunate result of the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm was the great culling of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, which made the events of Shadows of the Empire no longer canon. However, a few items from that chapter in Star Wars history remain.

Dash Rendar’s  Outrider was confirmed as canon earlier this year at Star Wars Celebrations, and the Black Sun criminal syndicate has been a part of The Clone Wars series and has been mentioned on recent episodes of Star Wars: Rebels.  So pour one out for your homies Dash Rendar, Prince Xizor and Chewbacca’s Mohawk, as they are no longer with us.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Trailer Will Give You All of the 90s Nostalgia Feels

The 2014 live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a blockbuster hit, grossing nearly $500 million worldwide.  While it may not have hit all the right chords with fans, next summer’s installment, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of The Shadows, looks like it may have captured the right balance of comedy and action.

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-2-out-shadowsAs someone who was the target demographic during the absolute peak of the TMNT craze in the early 1990s, this trailer is giving me some strong nostalgia feels.

Bebop. Rocksteady. Casey Jones. Baxter Stockman. And is that Dimension X?!?!?

The 2014 Turtles movie kind of fell flat for me and kind of forgot that it was based on a property that was supposed to be fun.  Between everything I’ve seen in that trailer, combined with the prodigious use of Run-D.M.C’s Tricky, I think I am all in for this go around.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows will be in theaters June 2016.

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