Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 Recap

Below is a recap of all the post we've covered in January 2015. If you missed any, or simply want to see them again, click on each "title" to be taken directly to that post. As always, thanks for reading.

Robin Hood
Space: 1999
Percy Jackson and the Olympians - The Lightning Thief
Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Mutations
V The Resistance
Wizard of Oz
James Bond Jr.
Buck Rogers Dolls
Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Mystic Turtles

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Mystic Turtles (Playmates Toys)

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Mystic Turtles
Playmates Toys

Get your shopping shoes on, Turtle fans! There's new figures to be had!

Playmates Toys is starting early this year. We've already seen the Mutations line hit store shelves, and we've also seen a fair amount of the older figures being released in all new packaging. Now we can add the Mystic Turtles line to the batch.

But what is a Mystic Turtle? According to what the packages say, we've gathered that each turtle represents an element; Leonardo - Quick and Light - Like the Wind, Michelangelo - Be Still - Like the Forest, Raphael - Raid the Enemy - Like Fire and Donatello - Be Immovable - Like the Mountain. I.E. earth, fire, wind and water.

 Mystic Leonard

 Mystic Michelangelo

We really like all the unique accessories that each Turtle comes with. These are fine looking weapons, and a lot of fun to pose our figures with them.

 Mystic Raphael

Mystic Donatello

Will you be adding these renditions to your Turtle collection? Let us know in the comment section.

In addition to these new figures, we found thirteen of the older released ones on these new cardbacks;

Bebop - Technically this is the figure's first FULL retail release
Casey Jones
Dog Pound
Dojo Splinter
Robotic Foot Soldier
Rocksteady - Technically this is the figure's first FULL retail release
Shredder 2
Tiger Claw

We're sure the rest are on their way. For variant hunters, this could be an expensive investment buying every figure again for a new package.

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Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 11 and Beyond!

2015 has already launched with a bang in the world of Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Playmates Toys is showing no signs of slowing down. Here's a look at some of the great items you can expect to see in 2015!

Most collector's already know about the majority of these as they've been announced since 2014. The question is, "When will we get them?" Spring is a safe bet - At least that's when we're anticipating a fair amount of these. It should also be around that time that we start hearing about newer releases we have yet to see.


 Baxter Stockman (Fly Mutation)*Monkey Brains

 Dark Dream Beaver*Dire Dream Beaver

 Savage Mikey

New to the round up are the Head Poppin' Turtles which is yet another sub series of the four basic figures with a unique head popping feature.

 Head Poppin' Leonardo*Head Poppin' Michelangelo

 Head Poppin' Donatello*Head Poppin' Raphael

It's great to finally see some images of the upcoming vehicles, and also get some names associated with them.

 Quad Rotor with Cruisin' Leo*Tri-Flyer with Jet Jammin' Raph


No playsets coming just yet, but we hope that more do. We're still waiting for the Pop-Up Pizza Playset of Shredder's Lair that was announced over a year ago, but still hasn't materialized.
For a look at a few more of the new figures coming our way, look to the new cardbacks of the Mystic Turtles as well as the re-released older figures. We've found three variations of cards that showcase a whole bunch of good stuff;
The left card showcases what we've all seen already; Karai, Turflytle and Baxter as a Fly
The card on the right shows us the all new Napoleon Bonafrog as well as Monkey Brains and Dark Dream Beaver

The card on the left shows us the same stuff as seen on the Rocksteady card, but in a different order
However, the Dojo Splinter card shows us some all new stuff in the form of Muckman and Atilla the Frog - Oddly enough it doesn't show us any of the other new stuff as seen in the other cards, or of what we've seen before.
In light of the cardbacks, we were really looking forward to thumbing through the new catalog inside. Sadly, it wasn't new, nor did it showcase anything beyond what has already been released.
Which ones of these new figures are you looking forward to? Any characters you haven't seen yet that you're still waiting on? Let us know in the comment section.

We'll keep you posted on any future news we hear. For a look at all the prior Nickelodeon TMNT waves, click "HERE".

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Wizard (Wizard Entertainment)

Wizard Entertainment
1991 - 2011

When Wizard Magazine launched in 1991, comic book collectors flocked to it as the ultimate resource for industry news. We anxiously awaited every issue to see which of our favorite characters would be granted the covetous cover spot, and eagerly flipped through page after page taking in every bit of information we could for upcoming new series, and sneak peaks at current ones.

Even if you felt that the price guide was nonsense, or that the articles were often construed as biased, one thing was for sure - There was no other place to get your monthly comic book news from. As such, Wizard took off like a blast from a cannon.

Interestingly enough, Wizard Zero (above left and middle) was published long after the first issue (above right and below left) hit newsstands.

Big changes occurred in the magazine with issue number seven which did away with its low quality black and white printed pages. Now each issue was presented in full color with glossy paper, and was backed by upcoming comic companies such as Image and Valiant who heavily promoted their releases through the magazine. Several of these "hot" artists even contributed cover art showcasing their all new characters and series.

Issue number six (above right and below left) would be the first of many issues to have multiple covers.

The infamous issue number 10 (above right) by artist Rob Liefeld sparked a bit of controversy in the comic world when it featured the Marvel character Cable alongside the Image character Shaft. Of course, Liefeld himself has been known to cause quite a bit of controversy in the industry as a whole.

Issue 16 (above) would be the first of many Wizard cover's to sport a gatefold image. Most gatefold covers were the equivalent of two pages, while others spanned as many as three (aka trifold).

Issue number 23 (above) was the first to feature a trifold cover.

Beginning with issue 31 (above and below left), multiple covers pretty much became the name of the game for Wizard. Several of the magazines had anywhere from two to four covers for each release - Something that collectors quickly found annoying.

Multiple covers and chase variants were quickly doing vast amounts of damage to the comic book industry as a whole during the mid 90's, turning the hobby into more of a cover gallery collection than that of collecting books that were actually good. As such, when Wizard started making it a mainstay feature with their magazine it became a problem for some readers. In a sense, Wizard was establishing themselves as a collectible - Something that many don't agree to be the case.

Issue 48 (above) was the last issue to feature a gatefold cover.

Issue 54 (above) was the last issue to feature a trifold cover.

An issue that was slowly coming to light, and would soon consume the who magazine was the shift in which it was taking to be more of a pop culture magazine than the "Guide to Comics" Wizard original professed to be. This turned many readers off, but in turn brought in many more - A supposed acceptable loss as far as Wizard Entertainment was concrened.

Wizard hit issue 100 in January of 2000 (above right and below left). Sadly, the celebration was not as extravagant as readers had hoped it would be.

With the release of comic book based movies, Wizard only moved further and further towards reporting on television and films, and further and further away from reporting on comics. The decision to cover X-Men the movie pretty much cemented the direction in which the magazine would go in the future.

Stapled magazines replaced the "perfect bound" style in January 2006 with issue 171 (above left and middle). Issue 172 was a sneak peak at the upcoming Superman Returns movie starring Not Christopher Reeves (above right).

In January of 2006 the magazine did away with its "perfect bound" style of issues, and instead went with a traditionally stapled magazine. The decision for this was based on pages being added, which made each issue thicker than ever. It was probably also a cost saving measure as it's far easier to staple things than to binde them with glues and adhesives.

When Wizard began publishing articles about Lost (above right) and Horror Movie Heat (below middle), comic book fans pretty much knew that the guide to comics was long gone in place of a pop culture magazine. Though it wasn't the ultimate ending for press on the comic book industry, it was most assuredly less about the books, and more about what was on TV or in theaters.

2006 also brought with it heavy blows to top tier staff at Wizard as well as ten percent of its regular staff. Between 2006 and 2008 Editor-in-Chief and co-founder Pat McCullem, Editor Brian Cunningham and Editor/Former Staff Writer Mike Cotton were all fired from the magazine with no explanation given to the public. In February of 2007, Scott Gramling stepped in to take the role of Editor-in-Chief.

Though many claim that issue 200 (above left and above middle) was a shift towards better horizons for the magazine, others strongly disagree claiming that it was just more nails in the coffin.

With issue 200 came a stronger shift back to upcoming comics as well as industry related movies. Sections were done away with completely, such as Magic Words, which was replaced with Fan Mail.

Issue 228 (above left) would be the beginning of the end for Wizard Magazine.

Wizard Magazine was re-launched in August of 2010 with issue number 228. The magazine went back to its comic book roots, promising to focus strictly on relevant subject matter of comics, films and TV. Sadly by this time many readers had moved on, and Wizard was barely treading water.

On January 24, 2011, Wizard confirmed that it would end its run with issue 228 (above right). It was a decision that many saw inevitably coming for a long time. The magazine rose and fell several times during its (almost) twenty years. And though it didn't appeal to all of its readers all the time, and even lost as many as it gained on the way, it still stood the test of time to be a highly memorable magazine for so many comic book and pop culture fans.

But, what really killed Wizard Magazine? Industry experts such as Gary Dills of Laughing Ogre Comics says the internet was the biggest culprit. With the advancement of the internet, and a fair dose of industry insider leaks, up to the minute information became just a click away. By the time that Wizard hit newsstands, it was unfortunately reporting on old news.

Prices may have also played a huge part in its demise. By the end of its run, Wizard was costing readers in the US alone upwards of $5.99 per magazine (before tax). By 2011 the economy was pretty much taking a bite out of everyone's wallets as many struggled to stretch dollars as far as they could go. Things such as magazines quickly became something that people could do without - Especially going back to the first scenario of the internet being readily available to the majority of the world.

The above and below photos serve as an honorable mention for the numerous specials that Wizard released during its long run.

Join us next time when we take a look at Hardened!

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