Four More Arrow Video Releases Landing Soon

NikkatsuDG_AV037 Your movie collection is about to get four more titles larger thanks to Arrow Video’s upcoming releases though MVD Entertainment Group. January brings you Nikkatsu Diamond Guys Volume 1 (1/26/16, $49.95 MSRP), a set of three films from the famed Japanese studio from directors Seijun Suzuki (Voice Without a Shadow), Toshio Masuda (Red Pier) and Buichi Saito (The Rambling Guitarist).

Hideaki Nitani,Yujiro Ishihara, and Akira Koabyashi  are the Diamond Guys represented in this first volume, so this set will be another essential for fans of Japanese cinema. This set also makes me wonder if there’s a Nikkatsu Diamond Gals series coming at some point as I can think of a few actresses who worked for the studio that merit a collection like this. Amusingly enough, as I was typing this, the mail arrived and yep, those Diamond Guys are nowhere. I know what I’m doing this evening, folks.
 

ShebaBaby_AV042February brings Pam Grier to you in fine form indeed, but don’t get any bad ideas, buster. William Girdler’s 1975 blaxploitation hit Sheba, Baby (2/9/2016) will set you straight for the more than reasonable price of $29.95 plus tax where applicable.

One of Pam’s three flicks from that busy year (the other two being Bucktown and Friday Foster, both of which really deserve the Arrow treatment along with an all-new interview with Pam on her magnificent body of work), this one’s probably the most noteworthy in my book. Word on the street is you’re going to get it or someone will give it to you but good (well, if you’re lucky, that is…).
 

PrayForDeath_AV039 Pray For Death ($29.95) also comes your way in February (2/16/2016) and if you’re into mid 80’s action flicks, this one’s got you name all over it in big neon letters. Martial arts star Sho Kosugi (Enter The Ninja) gets his kicks on some poor villainous dopes who try to ruin his American dream.

Revenge fans, take note: director Gordon Hessler (Scream and Scream Again) amps up the violence here with a killer finale that shows Sho showing up a bunch of baddies, badly maiming them to the point that the don’t need an ambulance at all, but a nice meat wagon to take what parts remain to the closest cannibal stew pot. Ouch.
 

AmericanHP_AV043Speaking of horrors, American Horror Project Volume 1 ($99.95) hits at the end of February (2/23/2016) in a limited edition of 3000 copies, bringing three restored and hard to find fright flicks to you… if you dare (or something like that).

Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood(1973), The Witch Who Came from the Sea (1976), and The Premonition (1976) all get the 2K treatment and a wealth of special features horror film aficionados will appreciate. This series in particular piques my interest because there are plenty of films I can recall partially from my younger days that have yet to appear on a decent home video format in the US. Granted, some of those are in the public domain, but in pretty lousy condition. Having the fine folks at Arrow give these three oldies a new life is the best thing that’s happened to them in decades.

A Double Shot of Retro Pop Box For Your Wednesday

RPB November Stuff (5)

Due to my dopey old laptop giving up the ghost around the time last month’s Retro Pop Box arrived and me running about doing the headless chicken thing for a bit, I’m just getting around to posting the goodies in that box now. Amusingly enough, this month’s box popped up in the mail as I was getting ready to write this post, so you get two (*smooch!*), TWO mints in one! Or something like that. Anyway, November’s RPG looked like this once opened:

RPB November Stuff (6)

And inside were the following 70’s themed items:

 

The RPB exclusive T-shirt made me grin and yes, it’s gotten some comments thanks to that funky retro design. That Silly String (which I’m saving for the proper occasion) came with a card detailing the product’s creation and rather cool usefulness as a means for soldiers to locate booby trap tripwires in war zones (and making me wonder how much the military is paying per can or if the stuff has to be shipped out by families who want their loved ones coming home safe). That Evel Knievel First Aid Kit made me laugh out loud because while it’s not vintage, I immediately imagined the stunt king of the 70’s packing one of these in every pocket of his star-spangled jumpsuit with a spare inside his helmet each time he made one of those death-defying jumps on ABC back in the day.

I hadn’t seen a Mood Ring in some years, so having one handy is quite nice (Current mood: Happy!). I’ll need to wear that CULT LEADER button with the Retro Pop Box logo one day when I’m out and about just so when someone asks about one, I can tie in the other without worrying about them getting the wrong idea. Yes, I’d say my cult is RPB and they NEED TO JOIN. NOW. (without an “or else!” on the end of that demand. We’re a nice bunch of nostalgia-heads. As for that Brady Bunch lanyard, my brain is flicking through its Rolodex to see if I recall anyone named Marcia because this would be a groovy gift for her. Hey, better a colorful lanyard than a football to the nose, right? Yeah, I thought so.

As for December’s RPB, read on for more on that one… Continue reading

#TBT – Giant Cabbage Patch Sighting @ Toys “R” Us

30604_Package_2 30605_Package_2
 

They’re baaaaaaack! In case you didn’t know it, Cabbage Patch Kids are back in stores and getting doll collectors spending a few chunks of their cabbage this holiday season. If you were passing by or through a Toys “R” Us recently and almost got stampeded by a bunch of mom-looking moms, it’s because of the limited edition Cabbage Patch Kids 18 inch Big Kid – Sofia Lorraine Performer and Cabbage Patch Kids 18 inch Big Kid – Violet Anne Class President, both exclusive to the retailer.

These two big babies retail for $99.99 each and come with enough stuff in their respective boxes to earn their own room in your home. Granted, unlike actual kids, this pair isn’t going to grow older, leave for college, get great careers and support you in your golden years. But as both dolls are limited to 1000 pieces each, one day they maybe helping you fund a little vacation. Get yours NOW in time for Christmas at a Toys “R” Us and make sure to follow the Kids below on facebook if you’re a fan and aren’t already:

https://www.facebook.com/Cabbage-Patch-Kids-347051282049527/timeline/

Some Batman Day Stuff To Drive You Batty

batman day 2015

So, it’s Batman Day tomorrow and yes, a few (well, more than a few) sites are having some nice sales on some fun to funky items. I’ll give a shout out to a handful below:

Mezco Batman Day Sale

MezcoToyz is offering up an awesome deal of mystery randomness with its 1-day ONLY Batman themed Mystery Box. $19.39 (yes, the year Bats first appeared in comics)nets you a box that will contain assorted Batman and DC Comics related merchandise. You may get something common,but you may also snag something super-rare and guaranteed to have the Joker pop by with a can of Smilex gas while you’re sleeping. Hey, he collects toys too… at your expense, of course! This sale runs from 12:01 AM on September 26th to 12:01 AM on September 27th and yes, supplies are LIMITED. Oh, and if you’ll be in NYC for the event, make sure to visit Mezco at New York Comic Con (booth 1754).

BatmanCover LEGO Batman 3 Complete Bundle

If you prefer something a bit more interactive, Bundle Stars has you covered with two cool Bat-bundles of PC games with the Caped Crusaders and friends. Ten bucks nets you the first three Batman: Arkham games along with three huge DLC packs or Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham plus SEVEN nice DLC packs.

Meanwhile, the PlayStation Store, Sony is running a Batman Day sale on a slew of Barman titles for the PS3, PS4 and Vita. Boogie on over to that link above and let your wallet fly around the room for a minute before you wring it out until it’s all dried up and you’re buried in more than enough Bat-games to keep you occupied and out of trouble for quite some time. Or IN trouble because you’ve stopped going to work and have taken to wearing a cape, boots and utility belt you’ve designed on those trips to the bathroom. Remember to duck when you throw that homemade Batarang for the first time, as it’ll swing back and crack you upside the head before you can react.

I suppose you can do some reading as well, but I’ll let you poke around online for assorted sales. I do know DC Comics is doing something fun (as always) I haven’t read a decent Batman comic in ages, so I’m kind of need to do some poking around myself. Hmmm… it looks as if I’ll be hitting up the library here tomorrow or a nearby comic shop for a few freebies.

BUY IT! Silver Scenes Sells Stellar Stills

"Let's see now. If I sell this dog and kid, I can buy ALLLL those movie stills!"

“Let’s see now… if I sell this dog and kid, maybe I can buy ALLLL those movie stills!”

(photo from Silver Scenes)
 

Want a piece (or a few pieces) of Hollywood history for a potential song? Even if you can’t carry a tune at all (and there’s no need to sing for your supper here), you can carry a wallet or purse and that means you can (and should) support classic film site Silver Scenes through their an awesome movie stills auction on ebay. The auction is off and running with a few bids already, so click on over to peruse the lovely selection of primarily black and white stills (only one is in color) and bid away at your leisure.

Prices start an an affordable $9.95 for each still and proceeds from the auction will go to the UCLA Film & Television Archive. So go do some charity work this weekend and add some beautiful black and white images to your collection. And hey, if you happen to strike it rich today in the lottery, make sure to spend some of Saturday’s Millions on tomorrow’s treasures!

Tales of Zestiria Trailer: Your October Surprise (Plus Tales Tax)


 

Bandai Namco Games is rolling out not one, but two Tales games between this year and next, one new and one old but new for PC gamers who may be interested in one of the earlier entries in the long-running franchise. Tales of Zestiria is coming to PS3, PS4 and PC on October 20, 2015. PC Gamers who hop on board the Steam pre-order train will have the opportunity to nab the upcoming HD port of Tales of Symphonia for FREE as a bonus tier item. This great deal may not convince some who only collect physical media to grab the game, but for those of you PS4 owners looking for a ton of swag, there’s as nice Collector’s Edition packed with the following:

TALES OF ZESTIRIA game for the PlayStation 4 system

Serialized premium box packaging

Exclusive SteelBook case

Chibi Kyun Chara figure set

DLC pack

TALES OF ZESTIRIA hardcover art book

Three TALES OF ZESTIRIA pixel-styled character key chains

TALES OF ZESTIRIA 40 minute “Dawn of the Shepherd” OVA anime Blu-ray disc

That’s a nice chunk of shelf space, I bet. I’ll post some pics of the set once I’m at a place with a better connection speed. Or you can just check out all the info on the official Tales Blog.

Put Up Your Dukes, Indeed

(thanks, Brian Coltrane!)
 

There’s trouble in Hazzard County for sure this time. A few days ago I overheard two guys (one older, one younger, both black like moi) arguing over whether or not The Dukes of Hazzard was a “racist show” (in my opinion, it’s not). The conversation took a strangely surreal and slightly amusing turn because the guy defending the show also happened to have a load of Dukes collectibles thanks to relatives who bought all that merchandise back when the show originally aired and him holding onto most of it.

Now, there’s a deep fried dill pickle for you, ladies and gentlemen.

But not really. Although some major to minor retailers have been hastily yanking anything with a Confederate battle flag off their shelves, Dukes of Hazzard memorabilia seems to be one of the few exceptions. That said, one does have to wonder with an arched eyebrow how much of that stuff was not so ironically but somewhat ironically manufactured outside of the good ol’ U.S. of A. (by underpaid workers) and how much of it was bought over time for by folks who’d probably NOT want it because it wasn’t made here…
Continue reading

New Batman: Arkham Knight Gameplay: Something to Tide You Over While You Wait A Little Longer


 

“Why so seriously delayed (again!)?” Actually, at this point the game looks so phenomenal that it’ll get snapped up even if it slips into the holiday season. I’m gathering this latest wait is due to the developer making sure the game will run as smoothly as possible out of the gate without the dreaded day one patching issues many games slap players in the face with. I’m wondering just how much better things would be if this was a completely single-player game with no online play, but such is the modern videogame development cycle that allows for DLC, season passes and other stuff that needs to work right out of the box or it’s unhappy campers complaining all over the internet. Well okay, it’s not THAT much longer a wait, but I can see a few Bat-fans leaping around and huffing and puffing in their hockey pads.

Best of Toy Fair 2015, Newbies Edition: Life Is Wabi-Sabi

WS Cat@ToyFairNY'15Note to new trade show exhibitioners: Outside of appointments where I walk away with something to review on the site or someone promises to shoot over samples later, the best way to get me to stop at your booth is to jump out in front of me and say “Hi!”. If that fails (and it usually doesn’t), feel free to use a tripwire or other handy item that gets me to stop, look and smile. Whenever that’s happened at Toy Fair, I’ve always seen stuff that makes me want to write cool things about. Here are a few of this year’s products and people that reached out at the right moment:

Meeting the Life is Wabi-Sabi crew was a highlight of the show because Aaron Castillo Jr. and Marilyn bought that Big Island spirit from Hawaii all the way to NYC, braving the record-breaking cold weather to introduce their SUPER cute line of buttons, magnets and plush kitties. Seeing that big-eyed imperfect cat stopped me in my tracks and made me smile for a few reasons. There’s just something wonderfully zen about that cat that makes you want to pick it up and stare back for a spell.
Continue reading

Mezco’s Talking Mega Scale 15″ Chucky: “Best Friends Forever”… But Not One of the Good Guys

Chucky Says HiWell, now. Chucky’s back in action, this time in a new Mezco Toyz figure bound to scare up some sure sales among collectors when it ships out this September. Be very polite and don’t forget to wave and smile back, now. You really wouldn’t want to get Chucky angry with you, not even a little bit.

Mezco’s latest take on the classic horror villain from the Child’s Play and Chucky films stands 15″ tall and features real cloth Good Guys clothing, 11 points of articulation, a plastic knife and his trademark flaming orange hair. Did I mention he also talks, saying seven phrases from the movies? Well, he does. Nope, “I Can Talk” isn’t from any of the films, but seeing that in the image below made me immediately chuckle and think “Well, I can run away while you talk!” as well as “Exit, Stage Left!”

Mezco Talking Chucky Anyway, you can pre-order the Talking Mega Scale 15″ Chucky by clicking away on that handy link I’ve provided. It’s $94 worth of scares coming your way, but you knew that from the moment you laid eyes on him. Make some room for him, or he’ll be pretty upset when he arrives and has to lurk about in his shipping box while you clear out that space you should have beforehand. If he starts yapping away in that box before you get to opening it, that’s not a good sign at all…