Throwback Thursdays: I’ll Trade Almost Any Other Thursday For This One…

kitchen nightmare 

Hee-ho! So, I find out that the now asbestos-free kitchen here won’t get that new wall and ceiling until DECEMBER. Over the course of four or five non-consecutive days, at that. Yaaaah. So much for the idea of even thinking of having anyone over for Thanksgiving. Who do I need to send a herd of elephants to run over to get a break here? Anyway, some good news comes in the form a a diversion this evening downtown thanks to La Maison du Chocolat inviting me to sample some of their Holiday Collection. hey, chocolate is good for you when you’re stressed! Okay, I’ll make sure to think of all of you while I’m at the event. I may end up oversampling because I’m thinking of all of you out there, so it’s your fault if I end up in a chocolate haze in some alley near La Maison’s NYC shops selling my coat and shoes for a fix.

Hmmm. I feel a song coming on… fortunately I’m NOT doing the singing:


(Thanks, DetroitLives313!) 

Back tomorrow or perhaps later tonight if I’m not in a cocoa coma. I’m sitting on a ton of drafts and almost done stuff. I just need to get enough time to get away from the madness here to finish stuff up.

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National Toy Hall of Fame Inductees: Three Times the Fun!

Toy Hall of Fame 2014 Inductees

Image courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York.

Before you even ask, yes, there is a National Toy Hall of Fame. It’s part of the National Museum of Play up in Rochester, NY and I’d say it’s a bucket list trip for anyone with even the slightest interest in any sort of toy or game from their childhood. Today the Museum inducted a trio of all-time classics into the Toy Hall of Fame and some of you are already grinning at that photo above. This year’s inductees made me laugh out loud because as soon as I heard the news this morning, I was hoping to heck that someone at the Museum would have made a cool diorama with a few squads of Army Men on some alien or other landscape (maybe Washington D.C.?) fighting off an “invasion” by a giant Rubik’s Cube with Bubbles floating in the shot to give it the look of some low-budget sci-fi flick.

StrongToyHall1110614_075

Courtesy of The Strong®, Rochester, New York

Hey, Mario Bava would have done it up right, I bet. That said, the Museum’s presentation was certainly creative and entertaining. Dancers from the Rochester City Ballet appeared in life-size Army Men outfits, there was a gigantic Rubik’s Cube mosaic (made up of 200 pounds of Rubik’s Cubes), and the Bubble Man himself, Doug Rougeux doing his amazing thing at the event. Okay, all that was MORE creative than my crummy diorama idea maybe two people would have gotten the joke about. What can I say other that I like obscure references only a handful of people would understand…

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The Tale of The Princcess Kaguya: Studio Ghibli’s Back With Some Classic Beauty…

The Princess Kaguya MP 
Currently, this one’s only part of a children’s film festival here in NYC, but I’m hoping it at least gets a limited release in regular theaters after that’s all said and done, as it’s quite lovely and yes, it’s Studio Ghibli doing some amazing animation work as usual. Check out the trailer below for some lovely visuals:

(Thanks, Movieclips Trailers!) 

This is one of those films that NEEDS to be seen even if you know the classic story by heart. Let’s hope this gets more notice and that wider theatrical release before it pops up on Blu-Ray/DVD and people somehow forget it exists because it’s not being promoted outside of a niche audience. Oh, wait. OOPS. It IS getting a US release on October 17, so I guess I can see this after all and not have to deal with squealing kids, shushing parents and overpriced tickets. No wait, the tickets will still be overpriced, but one out of three is just fine by me…

Stepping Into The Rift @ The Marriot: Traveling Light Might Be A New Option…

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Hey, Kids! Time travel exists! Okay, it doesn’t (sorry, folks!), but I’m making it so with this post because I started it when I got back from the FUTURE, but my stupid computer decided to freeze up and not want to post it when I finished. Boo. Anyway, I was HERE for a while seeing part of the future of entertainment and travel courtesy of Marriott Hotels and a few very hard working and talented folks at Relevent and Framestore. More on this in a longer article shortly. My time-bending skills are limited at this point and I need my beauty rest… good night!

Oh, NOW I’m In Demand! Sort Of…

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Ha. My inbox, which is normally quite packed with invites to all manner of events (but not enough for my tastes) that usually require a bit of reservation time, was recently targeted by a few PR folks with some last-minute invites to events tomorrow and Friday that I may or may not make for a few reasons. I don’t mind going to any and all of them, mind you. But these days, a day or two is a wee bit too short to add, change or make plans to pop out to see something cool to write about because I tend to operate on a sort of semi schedule that I like to follow (sometimes). For short notice events, I tend to go with the musical selection below along with a coin toss:

 
THAT said, I’ll most likely see the Oculus Rift “transporter” setup down at the Marriott Marquis tomorrow, as I’ve been saying for well over a year or so that the Rift will get the most use outside of gaming as a consumer entertainment device that provides virtual vacations or short tours of famous places for a small fee. This event tomorrow is only a few minutes long total, but it’ll be the first time I strap on those goofy goggles and see what’s what in the company of others. I was around for VR’s first commercial go-round in the 90′s (ah, Dactyl Nightmare!), so this time I’m going in with no expectations other than to be surprised and even more immersed.

There’s another tech event later that evening I’ve already RSVP’d for a few weeks back to attend, but I’ll probably not stay for the full three hours, as there’s free booze and snacks and that’s always TOO tempting to fill up on even though I don’t drink much these days. Well, seeing new tech toys is always a plus, so that’s my main reason for showing up. I got a sudden invite to see a steering wheel peripheral for the PS3 and Xbox One and responded right away, but I’m still waiting to hear back from the PR guy who contacted me. Finally, my entrepreneurial brother is speaking at an event here in the Bronx in the evening, so we’ll see how long my driving experience lasts and if it bleeds into that time. I know pretty much what he’s going to cover, but I won’t ruin the surprise here, as it’s an idea that’s fairly simple yet quite grand if it takes off and goes where he wants it to. Anyway, let me stop here and go check my inbox again, as I just peeked at it and I saw a few more invites in there. Well, lookit – I’m popular again! Go me!

Gamescom 2014: Bloodborne and Until Dawn: Two More System Sellers For Sony? Could Be…

FromSoftware’s still in progress PS4 exclusive, Bloodborne finally gets a more gameplay focused trailer at Sony’s big media event and certainly looks fantastic. I actually got a Nightmare Creatures meets more deliberately paced Devil May Cry meets third-person Darkwatch vibe from this trailer, but I’m kind of nuts. Anyway, this one goes on the 2015 list. One more game for the backlog, whee!

Another work in progress, this time by Supermassive games, Until Dawn also looks pretty darn scary and cool, although it’s a different sort of game entirely. Clearly inspired by horror movies and a bit of classic adventure gaming, this tale of eight people meeting up at a mysterious shack in the mountains looks to give players a few choices in spinning fate’s wheel. Granted, I’m betting odds are slim everyone survives (what’s a horror game or film without a few demises?), but the replay value could be incredible if it’s more than a simple slasher story. Eight Little Indians getting it in so many ways is indeed intriguing…

DEVO Lives (Not That They Ever Went Away), Thanks To MVD Visual & Pledgemusic.com!

DEVO_HC_LiveSo, less than a week after I get a copy of the excellent new DVD from MVD visual DEVO: Men Who Make The Music/Butch Devo & The Sundance Gig (review incoming later this week, but here’s a sneak peek: BUY IT), Clint from MVD shoots over this super crowdfunding project from the band and pledgemusic.com: DEVO Hardcore Live!, a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray/Vinyl LP live concert recorded this June 28 at the Fox theater in Oakland, California.

You won’t be seeing this disc or LP at that local Walmart or other chain retail outlet, as it’s ONLY going to be available as a crowdfunded consumer item and the campaign is well on its way to making its target based on the response to date.

HC DEVO LIVE

If your ears are buzzing and you’re interested, well, spuds… you know what to do. Hell, at LEAST grab the DVD of this, as that teaser trailer makes this show look pretty awesome.

Funko Wants To Make Your SDCC Visit Memorable With Some Tasty HANNIBAL Giveaways!

funko logo 

Funko has a bunch of stuff to give away at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, but I’d say this HANNIBAL Pop! vinyl figure, custom made and signed by series creator Brian Fuller has to be one of the cooler items I’ve seen. Take a peek below:

Hannibal TV logo

Funko Fuller Hannibal 

Now, the ONLY way to get this one is to be AT the show! The figure will be on display at the Funko booth from Previews Night through Sunday. Stop by the booth and fill out an entry card – the big drawing will be on Sunday! One lucky winner will be selected and then that person had best hope he makes it out of the show in one piece, as I hear fans of that show can be pretty crazy (in a manner of speaking, of course!). In addition, Bryan Fuller and Hannibal actress Caroline Dhavernas will be signing at the Funko booth #5343 on Friday at 1pm AND there’s the chance for ONE more REALLY lucky fan to win an advanced set of the Hannibal Pop! figures. How? Well, one clue would be following @NBCHannibal and @OriginalFunko during the convention. I don’t think you need to be in attendance for the latter giveaway, but I’d gather chances may increase if you are out thataway. If you’re going or entering, as always… Good Luck!

Hannibal Adventure

I’m Going Out To Play Today (It’s For Work. Really!)…

(thanks, Movieclips!)

Sweet Suite 2014Well, today is all about play, folks. I’ve a Toy Fair event to attend this afternoon into the evening, so this will limit my post count to-day. This will be my first Sweet Suite, so I’m expecting to be run over by fellow bloggers who’ve already been to a few of these and know who to hit up first. Okay, that most likely won’t happen, but I did see that the time slot I booked filled up first, meaning there will be a nice crunch of folks there who probably aren’t staying for the full event. Eh, we’ll see what happens in an hour and a half or so. If I return before pumpkin hour and haven’t gotten a sugar high headache or feel ready to keel over from too much tipsy juice, I shall post a report of sorts. If anything, I’ll be updating my contact list with some new people I’ve met today.

Back in a bit…

Kingdom Under Fire II Trailer, Slight Return Version. Still Looking Good And Worth Keeping An Eye On…

 
Here’s a slightly reedited version of the Kingdom Under Fire II trailer from E3 that Blueside put together using all in-game engine footage. As someone who’s played the two previous tactical/action based Xbox games, I’m quite pleased that the developer is following the same style of troop movement and direct character control play from previous entries while adding new elements. Some people STILL don’t “get” how the game will flow thanks to those cut scenes that break into the gameplay and the lack of menus and such, but all will be explained soon enough, I’d bet. If the new game is like the old ones, there will be a map to navigate, waypoints to set and other things to manage before and during battles to keep you occupied. What’s here is just to tease you into keeping an eyeball peeled for anything else coming down the road…