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Hasbro Q&A — HasLab Sail Barge (and Yakface!) Update

From Left to Right, Steve Evans, Mark Boudreaux, and  Joe Ninivaggi

From Left to Right, Steve Evans, Mark Boudreaux, and Joe Ninivaggi

 

Today Star Wars Action News was privileged to be one of only three fan sites participating in a Q&A with the Star Wars Brand Team at Hasbro. The topic was, of course, their current crowdfunding project for the Khetanna — Jabba the Hutt’s Sail Barge playset that measures 4-feet long.

Participating in the conversation were our long-time friends from Hasbro: Steve Evans (Design Director for Star Wars toys), Mark Boudreaux (Senior Principal Designer for Star Wars toys), and Joe Ninivaggi (Director, Global Brand Strategy & Marketing – Star Wars).

The conversation revealed some new information about the current campaign, and also had a nice video tour of the newly painted Sail Barge.

You can read the transcript of the interview below, but the high points are:

  • The Yakface figure included with the Khetanna, on the Power of the Force card with the silver coin, will have the lowest production run of any modern Star Wars figure (assuming the Barge’s numbers don’t end dramatically above 5,000)
  • If you live in the US or Canada the crowdfunding is the only way you will ever be able to buy the Barge.  If the Barge is backed then Hasbro will make a small quantity of Barges available, but only for those living outside of the US and Canada.
  • The paint on the barge took over 200 man-hours. (The design of the barge took over “one thousand” Mark half-joked.)
  • The team is looking at only one Star Wars HasLab project per year.  HasLab will do multiple projects per year, but the others will be for Marvel, Transformers, and My Little Pony.
  • This is the team’s first crowdfunding effort and they’re using it as a learning experience. Future HasLab projects will take current feedback into account regarding payment plans, cost of items, duration of the campaign, etc.
  • The Barge is incredibly cool with so many details that can only be seen close-up, including a sink faucet in the galley and a retractable microphone in Jabba’s dais.
  • If the Barge is funded the Hasbro team is looking at producing an updated Jabba the Hutt figure with an improved paint application and perhaps facial sculpting from their previous efforts.

Below is an rundown of the conversation.

The team started with a run-down of the Entertainment Weekly reveal of the painted Sail Barge, and the inclusion of the Power of the Force Yakface figure.  Steve said the paint job was “200 man and woman hours” of work, to which Mark added “And that’s just to paint it. Not including the work that’s been done since… another 1,000 hours there.”  They also noted a pick-up in orders since yesterday’s news, but they still need almost 1,800 orders in 12 days.

Then the Q&A Began

Question: What is your ideal rate for Star Wars campaigns? One per year, two per year, etc?

Answer:  Joe said HasLab will likely have multiple initiatives per year across Transformers, My Little Pony, and Marvel, but they are starting with only one Star Wars initiative per year “and take it from there.”

Q: Why was a payment option not made available for the Barge as other companies do for items of similar price.

A: Joe replied, “I think this will answer a number of questions but this is our first time doing this. We’re learning a lot on this. HasbroToyShop, which, of course, is our partner that allows us to sell directly to fans, they’re set up a certain way and we went out with this particular model. There’s always opportunity to learn in the future, we’ve definitely seen that come up as a request and something that would hopefully make the product more accessible to all fans.”

Q: At Toy Fair Steve told Star Wars Action News that if the Barge is funded then there may be opportunities for it to be sold other methods. And on the HasLab FAQ it states “We reserve the rights to make the products (or similar versions of the products) available at other sources, such as online stores and retail locations, but such availability is not guaranteed.”

But in an Instagram post on March 19 Hasbro said the Barge would not be available via traditional retail outlets.

Can you clarify these statements? Is it possible the Barge will be available at retail if it is funded?

 

A: Steve clarified that if you live in the US and Canada then backing at HasbroLab.com is the only way you will be able to purchase the barge.  There are no plans to take this to retail in the US and Canada. However, since only US and Canada can purchase from HasbroLab.com then, if the Barge hits its 5,000 orders, they would make an additional, limited quantity available to international buyers only.

Q: People say there’s not enough time to budget for a $500 item in the time of the Barge.  In the future can we get a bit more notice?

Steve said they are getting insights daily and have learned a lot going for future projects like this. Their team read studies indicating 45 days is the optimal time for crowdfunding* and that longer campaigns have lower success rates.  For future crowdfunding campaigns they will look at “everything” and see how to adjust timing.

(Note: In my own research I’ve read campaigns over 30 days have a lower success rate. Either way, Steve’s point is valid. -Arnie)

Q: Perhaps in the future could Hasbro announce the campaign at Toy Fair, but launch it at San Diego Comic-Con so collectors have a few months to save up, not just 45 days.

A: Joe said that is a good idea and they may look at doing that next time.  They added that projects do not get much more ambitious in terms of size and price than the Sail Barge. They’ve wanted to do it for decades. But they know that price points for future items don’t always have to be this expensive.

Q: The Jabba on display in the published Sail Barge photos looks like the Toys R Us exclusive from a few years ago.  Is it an old Jabba or is it a new Jabba?

Mark clarified that Jabba is the same sculpt that came with the Jabba/Rancor set, but they wanted to make a special Jabba for the barge so they’re looking at enhancing his deco. The photos released show more weathering on the body and highlights to the face than the Jabba/Rancor set had. They’ll be looking at techniques, either photo-real or more traditional techniques, to make this new Jabba noticeably different from the older version.

Q: Can Slave Leia be rereleased to pose in the Barge

A: Steve said for characters that enhance the Barge, they’re doing Yakface and Skiff Guard. They’ll look at other background characters from these scenes if the Barge is successful.  As for Slave Leia–no plans but they’ll look at it.

Q: If the Barge meets its goal of 5,000, but not much higher, will this carded Yakface with the coin have the lowest production run of any modern Hasbro Star Wars figure?

A: Steve gave an emphatic “yes”. Historically Hasbro does not give production numbers for its products, but Steve compared the Yakface to their San Diego Comic-Con exclusives. For that convention he said they produce more than 5,000 of the exclusives (“not a lot more, but more”).

Steve added that Yakface on the Power of the Force card will not only be a “physical rarity” but also an “emotional rarity” given how Yakface and Blue Snaggletooth are the holy grails to many vintage Star Wars figure collectors.

Q: How will Hasbro handle broken/missing parts, and keep backers informed of progress?

A: Steve said for broken parts the usual Hasbro policy to contact Customer Service applies.

But Joe went on to say that the packaging team has been challenged to make the box secure. Additionally, they hope for the box to have nice presentation, including perhaps trays that slide out when packaged.  They hope to make the experience of the unboxing as cool as the item itself.  They feel presentation is really important with this, so it needs more than just printed inserts.  “This is a vintage item, after all, and we want to make sure to present it,” Mark said.

In regards to communication with buyers, Joe said “It’s not everyday you buy something for $500 and don’t get it for a year afterwards.” As such, if the project is successful, the Hasbro team plans to take backers on a behind-the-scenes journey, keeping them updated with the inner workings of Hasbro on how the Barge is made and shipped.

Q: Will there be tape on the Vintage box?

A: The team asked what we would be interested in, and unanimously the sites requested no tape on the Vintage box, just a flap-fold, and tape the shipping carton.

There was also discussion if the Yakface will be shipped inside the same box as the Barge. Steve said they don’t know for sure–currently it is in the box but that could change.

Q: With less than two weeks away from the end of the campaign, with about 1800 orders needed, what is the mood at Hasbro? How has this impacted you emotionally?

A: Steve said, “We’re on the edge of our  seats.  The trajectory is what we expected. It spikes, levels off, and spikes in the end.” He said that the released pictures of the painted Sail Barge helped make it real for some people, and adding the exclusive Yakface also helped.

They all agreed the campaign is emotionally draining. “It’s taken up a lot of our time personally and we have invested ourselves greatly on something that doesn’t yet exist,” Steve said. “I feel confident because it’s a great project but it’s up to the fans.”

“You don’t want to see a grown man cry,” Mark added on as the interview came to an end.

 

Then we were treated to a video tour of the painted Sail Barge and the Hasbro team pointed out many features that have not had much attention from fans:

  • The jail in the lower level has a sliding metal door to differentiate from the wood.  The Barge will come with two metal chains of different sizes to put different character sizes (perhaps a human and a Wookiee?) in the jail.
  • In the galley they wanted to “set a tone for the interiors” and then let fans embellish and fill it out to what they felt their fantasy for Jabba would be.  The Barge has a kitchen counter, a couple sinks, faucet, and Chupas hanging from the wall in the back, setting the stage for how fans might like to complete their diorama.  That’s one of the reasons they wanted to go with the Sail Barge: it’s awesome to start with, they said. Very iconic, a great movie beat with lots of characters involved, so they wanted something that could really push dioramas to the next level and interact with a lot of your characters both new and old.

    And they have some “Work in progress” images of painting that will be coming soon.

  • Next to the galley is the armory. Axes are mounted to the wall as decoration. They also have some horn racks on the back wall where you can hang your blasters, staffs, etc. and there’s a table in the back where you can repair your weapons.

    There are a couple staffs in the model photographs that were released, but those are not included with the barge.  You will need to supply your own weapons and staffs.  The axes on the wall are permanently attached decoration.

  • Moving into the lounge it’s more about comfort. A lot of wooden surfaces, wooden walls, wooden floors. There are opening and closing shutters on either side, as well as the dais which you can move back and forth a bit to adjust the floor plan.
  • You can actually pull the microphone out of the control panel on Jabba’s dias. It’s attached to a cable and for production they’re going to increase the length of the cable so you can have a C-3PO figure hold it.
  • One question they had was about foot pegs. They talked about it and, other than 2 foot pegs on the platform on the deck cannon, they’ve elected to not include foot pegs in the vehicle itself. They didn’t want to disrupt the aesthetics by putting traditional foot pegs and they didn’t want to limit character placement.
  • They have the rancor trophy mounted to the wall, Ishi Tib heads, a Gammorrean Guard head, and Jabba’s mural mounted to the wall. They wanted to include all the details seen in the film and then let you embellish with your own accessories.
  • There is a side hatch with a larger port where the Weequay can come out to surprise Luke (it’s larger as the barge isn’t QUITE to scale with 3.75 in figures).
  • They worked closely with Lucasfilm for all the details on the cockpit. They went to the archives and looked at all the reference photos, and also went into the vault to get any inspiration they might need to include other details.
  • There is a corridor so a figure can walk from the Cockpit all through the ship.
  • There will also be a trap door in the deck above that goes down into the jail.  A button on the side will allow you to activate the trap door.  “Gotta have some fun right? It can’t be all serious display stuff,” Steve said.
  • They’re making a subtle revision to the rail so if you have a Vism with a cannon open stock it will be able to fit onto the rail.
  • The sails would be removable so if you wanted to open the deck up for play it’s easy to do. The sails will stay in tact but you’re able to lift them off!

 

And with that Steve concluded the interview saying “Thank you for all your support.  Fingers crossed, trust in the force, #BacktheYak, #BacktheBarge!”

If you want to order, the campaign is open until April 3, 2018. You can back the project now at HasbroLab.com

You can see newly released photos of the Barge and its accessories in the gallery below!

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

THE LAST JEDI Comes Home in 4K Ultra HD Mar 27

 

The biggest movie of 2017 comes home this month! Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is available in HD and Ultra HD 4k digitally via Movies Anywhere on March 13. Physical Blu-ray and 4k discs will be released March 27.This marks the first 4k releases of a Star Wars film, and it is Disney’s first title available on 4k Ultra Blu-ray disc in both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

Bonus features accompanying this release include*:

  • The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
  • Balance of the Force – Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
  • Scene Breakdowns
    • Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle – Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
    • Snoke and Mirrors – Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.
    • Showdown on Crait – Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
  • Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
  • Deleted Scenes – With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
  • Audio Commentary – View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.

* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer.

Hear Now Playing Podcast’s Review of The Last Jedi 

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Movies, Movies & Television, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | Leave a Comment

New Podcast — Star Wars Action News Episode 500!

Hosted by Arnie Carvalho, Marjorie Carvalho, Daryl Whitlow, Andrew Harrison, Brock, and more!

This weekend is Toy Fair International 2018! Tons of new Star Wars collectibles will be revealed (including, likely, the first look at SOLO toys)!  Star Wars Action News will be there to cover all the releases.

But before Toy Fair, here’s a look back at the state of collecting in 2017 and expectations for 2018.
So please enjoy this 500th episode of Star Wars Action News!

February 12, 2018 Posted by | Movies, Movies & Television, News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | Comments Off on New Podcast — Star Wars Action News Episode 500!

Facebook is Changing. Here’s how to keep up with Now Playing Podcasts

Facebook is changing its News Feed so you see less news (ironically).

There will be less videos, less news articles, and more items that your friends have commented on.

But there is a way to keep your favorite Pages (like Now Playing Podcast) in your feed.  Here’s instructions how to do it on iPhone, Android, and Desktop:

For Facebook app on iPhone:

1. Select the three line menu in the bottom right corner of the app

 

 

1. Scroll down in the menu and click “Settings”

 

 

 

3. Select “news feed preferences” from the pop-up menu

 

 

 

4. Select “Prioritize who to see First” on the next screen

 

 

 

5. Click on “Now Playing Podcast” and any other pages you want to remain in your newsfeed

 

 

For Facebook app on Android:

1. Tap on the three line menu in the top right of the app.

 

 

 

 

2. Select “News Feed Preferences” from the next screen.

 

 

 

 

3. Tap “Prioritize Who to See First” on the next screen

 

 

 

3. Click on “Now Playing Podcast” and any other pages you want to remain in your newsfeed

 

 

 

 

For Facebook app on Desktop:

1. Click the arrow in the top right corner to show the drop-down menu

2. From that menu choose “News Feed Preferences.”

 

 

3. Select “Prioritize who to see first”

 

 

4. Find Now Playing (and all other pages/people you want to see in your feed) and click on them. The Blue Star means you’ll see us in your feed!

January 31, 2018 Posted by | Comic Books, Marvelicious Toys, Movies, Movies & Television, Music, News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | Comments Off on Facebook is Changing. Here’s how to keep up with Now Playing Podcasts

Star Wars Toy Sales Down as “Movie Fatigue” Sets In

Are you suffering from “Movie Tie-In Fatigue?”

Per a Bloomberg article, Star Wars toy sales are down. Specifically adult collectors are still buying (but, judging by some “fan” sites, they’re complaining the entire time they shop); however, kids have less interest in the Star Wars toys.

The article states: “While ‘Star Wars’ was still the top-selling toy line during the nine-week holiday period, sales fell from 2016 and the brand lost its No. 1 position for the year…This was despite “Last Jedi” being the top-grossing film released in the U.S. last year “

The most telling quotes? “Adult collectors, who grew up with the brand, are still buying a lot of merchandise when the toys come out, but demand dies down afterward… That doesn’t bode well for Hasbro, which has the main “Star Wars” toy partnership, or Jakks Pacific Inc., which has a secondary license. ”

What do you think? Is the problem fatigue? Is a new movie per year too much? Is it the types of toys offered? Why do YOU think sales are down?  Let us know in the comments!

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, Movies & Television, News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Podcast: Star Wars Action News Episode 499: The Last Jedi Roundtable

Hosted by Arnie Carvalho, Marjorie Carvalho, Daryl Whitlow, Andrew Harrison, Justin Kozisek, Curtis Stevenson, Steve Nixon, and Chris.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi has earned a billion dollars, is loved by critics, but also seems to divide fans online. Now the Star Wars Action News team comes together to give their reviews–and they’re divided as well. Join them to find out where the common ground lies, and their excitement for Solo in this new Star Wars Action News podcast!

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Conventions, Movies, Movies & Television, News, Now Playing Podcast, Star Wars Action News | Comments Off on New Podcast: Star Wars Action News Episode 499: The Last Jedi Roundtable

New Podcast: Now Playing — Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Hosted by Arnie Carvalho, Stuart Atkinson, and Jakob Conkling

 

 

Episode VIII finds General Leia (Carrie Fisher), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), and a dwindling number of Resistance fighters beating a hasty retreat from the rising armies of Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). Their only hope lies with recently located Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) – The Last Jedi in the universe.  But can Master Luke trust feisty apprentice Rey (Daisy Ridley) to learn the ways of The Force without succumbing to the Dark Side like his previous pupil, the murderous tyrant Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)?  Join Arnie, Jakob, and Stuart for a deep dive into the biggest movie of 2017.

December 19, 2017 Posted by | Marvelicious Toys, Movies, Movies & Television, News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | Comments Off on New Podcast: Now Playing — Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

New Podcast: Star Wars Action News — Episode 498: Black Friday & Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Hosted by Marjorie Carvalho and Arnie Carvalho

Video by Berent Lawton and Daryl Whitlow

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all our listeners from the entire Star Wars Action News Team!

It’s time for Star Wars Action News’13th annual Black Friday sale report, and holiday gift guide!

Join Arnie & Marjorie as they tell you where the best savings are for Star Wars games, toys, and more.  Then the entire Star Wars Action News Team have gathered their ideas of the best Star Wars collectibles are this season. From books to games, figures big and small, and so much more, listen now to hear it all!

BLACK FRIDAY SALES

Toys

LEGO

Hot Toys

Books

Games

Household Items

Other

 

November 23, 2017 Posted by | Books, Comic Books, Movies, Movies & Television, News, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | Comments Off on New Podcast: Star Wars Action News — Episode 498: Black Friday & Holiday Gift Guide 2017

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 497: 2 Cons 1 Porg

Hosted by Marjorie Carvalho, Arnie Carvalho, Justin Kozisek, and Daryl Whitlow

This weekend is New York Comic-Con…or it might be called a mini Star Wars Celebration! There are dozens of Star Wars guests including Mark Hamill, Felicy Jones, Ashley Eckstein, plus Star Wars comic creators, artists, and more! On this Star Wars Action News, Marjorie and Arnie run down the Force-filled events at this con! Including an interview with Star Wars author Greg Stones, whose book 99 Stormtroopers Join the Empire is on sale now and he’ll be signing at the show!

Plus hear a first-hand report of Hasbro’s own HASCON convention! Arnie was there. Hear if this is a con you should plan on going to next year. Plus Arnie is joined by Steve Niven and Joe Ninivaggi from Hasbro for an exclusive interview talking more Star Wars Toys.

With an interview with Justin, owner of FigureShield protective cases, and an early report on Hasbro’s Han Solo movie figures, it’s all in this new Star Wars Action News podcast!
Source: Star Wars Action News

 

October 2, 2017 Posted by | Movies & Television, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 497: 2 Cons 1 Porg

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 496: Force Friday II

Hosted by Marjorie Carvalho, Arnie Carvalho, Justin Kozisek, and Daryl Whitlow

This weekend was like Black Friday for Star Wars fans. Force Friday II — the weekend where Hasbro, Sideshow, Hot Toys, and every other company unleashes their new products for the first time! New figures were found in 6-inch and 3.75-inch…plus some super-articulated figures that weren’t supposed to be out yet!

On this episode of Star Wars Action News the team comes together to report on Force Friday not just across the US but across the globe! Hear reports of store finds from California, Illinois, Florida, Nebraska, and even the UK! What were everyone’s favorite finds? Join the crew to find out!

Plus on this episode Marjorie and Arnie review some new Hasbro 3.75-inch items, including the new C-3PO, Hux, and First Order Stormtrooper figures, the Rey and Praetorian Guard 2-pack, and the new deluxe Rathtar and Imperial Probe Droid!

All this and more on the new Star Wars Action News podcast!
Source: Star Wars Action News

 

September 4, 2017 Posted by | Movies & Television, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 496: Force Friday II

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 495: Summer ’17 Cons: D23 & SDCC

Hosted by Marjorie Carvalho, Arnie Carvalho, Justin Kozisek, and Daryl Whitlow

Force Friday is a few short weeks away and (aside from a few leaks) Star Wars fans have little idea what to expect. But some news was had at the two big Star Wars events in July — D23 and SDCC!

On this new Star Wars Action News podcast Daryl joins Arnie and Marjorie to bring first-hand accounts from both conventions. Find out about the exclusives, the reveals, and more!
Source: Star Wars Action News

 

August 14, 2017 Posted by | Conventions, Movies & Television, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 495: Summer ’17 Cons: D23 & SDCC

Episode 489: Rogue Group – A Rogue One Discussion

The very first Star Wars standalone movie has arrived. Without the Skywalkers and the Jedi, how does Rogue One stack up compared to the “saga” films?

On this show Arnie and Marjorie are joined by several members of the Star Wars Action News Team: Steve, Brock, Daryl, Andrew, and Jerry. Plus we have special guests Eddie from the Action Figure Blues podcast, and Chris and Sarah. They go through the new characters in the film, how it changes their view of the Original Trilogy, and which toys the film made them want to buy!

And also on this show Brock gives a spoiler-free, in-depth review of the Rogue One prequel novel Catalyst by James Luceno!

So join these Rogues on their mission to review the new film!

Then head to NowPlayingPodcast.com for Arnie, Stuart, and Jakob’s in-depth review of the movie!

Also, please check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/zikxpd/SWAN489-RogueOneRoundtable.mp3

      

December 20, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 489: Rogue Group – A Rogue One Discussion

Episode 488: The Star Wars Holiday Sale & Gift Guide 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, Star Wars Action News listeners! And welcome to our 12th Annual Holiday Shopping Guide!In this issue Marjorie and Arnie run down all the major Black Friday toy sales. Find out where to get Black Series figures, video games, Star Wars themed glasses and gifts, and other toys with the biggest savings! Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the best online Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals!Then the hosts, aided by the entire Star Wars Action News team, run down the best Star Wars themed gifts for 2016. With prices from $5 to $800, there’s something for fans of all ages and interests! What are the must have collectibles this year? Join us to find out!All this and a 2016 Toys For Tots Challenge in this issue of Star Wars Action News!Also, please check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/3f3e58/SWAN489.mp3

      

November 23, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 488: The Star Wars Holiday Sale & Gift Guide 2016

Episode 487: Troops in Black

Stores are stocking up for holiday shoppers, and a good portion of their shelf space is devoted to Star Wars: Rogue One toys! While they have been out for a bit over a month some of the first wave of figures are still elusive.

On this episode of Star Wars Action News join Arnie, Marjorie, and Scott from Tulsa as they give in-depth reviews on the Black Series 6-Inch Rogue One figures. Plus a look at Amazon’s exclusive Shadow Trooper Helmet — all in this spooky Halloween episode!

Also, please check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/b5deaj/SWAN487.mp3

      

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 487: Troops in Black

Episode 486: New York Comic Con 2016!

In just a few years New York Comic Con has become one of the top three most important conventions for collectors. Each year the number of exhibitors grow, now including Sideshow and Hot Toys, Kotobukiya, Sphero, Air Hogs, Hallmark, Beast Kingdom and more! And Hasbro isn’t on the show floor, but they use the event to reveal new toys as well.

For all the Star Wars news out of NYCC join Arnie, Marjorie, and Daryl for this podcast. Watch exclusive interviews with Hasbro, Tantrum Cases, and Kotobukiya (along with their Celebration ’17 exclusives!). Plus a booth tour of Sideshow and Hot Toys, and news from so many other collectible lines!

Plus a review of the new Star Wars novel Ahsoka, it’s all in this feature-length episode of Star Wars Action News! (and available in both full video and audio versions!)

Also, please check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/tjy9wb/SWAN486.mp3

      

October 16, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 486: New York Comic Con 2016!

Episode 485: Rogue Friday Around the World!

Last Friday the Rogue One toys were released! Well, officially any way…they had been showing up on store shelves worldwide for weeks before the official street date. But, like for The Force Awakens, these Rogue One toys were celebrated with a midnight release at Toys R Us and Walmart stores. Plus exclusive figures at Target, Walmart, K-Mart, Toys R Us, and more.

On this episode of Star Wars Action News, Arnie and Marjorie recount their Midnight Madness shopping, and are joined by collectors in California, England, and Australia to see how the experiences were in other areas as well!

Also, please check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/8c2yjk/SWAN485.mp3

      

October 2, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 485: Rogue Friday Around the World!

Episode 484: Hasbro Star Wars Figures? There’s an App for that.

Next week Star Wars will again descend upon stores across the world. Sep 30 is this year’s designated date for Rogue One toys, housewares, and more to be released. Some are hitting shelves now, but come Sep 30 everyone will have access to figures of Jyn Erso, the Deathtrooper, and more!

On this episode of Star Wars Action News the team gathers to discuss their anticipation for the toys, the new movie, and so much more. LEGO, Hot Toys, Disney Elite figures, and, of course, Hasbro Toys!

Build your anticipation for this toy release with this episode of Star Wars Action News!

Also, please check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/cddicu/SWAN484.mp3

      

September 18, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 484: Hasbro Star Wars Figures? There’s an App for that.

Episode 483: ICE — Collecting to the Extreme!

Over Labor Day weekend a group of Star Wars collectors from across the globe gathered in the Washington DC area for an International Collector’s Event–or ICE. Items were sold and traded, collections were put on display, and friends swapped stories. All while traveling through Virginia and Maryland visiting a dozen Star Wars collections!

Marjorie and Arnie were on-hand to see these impressive displays and talk to some of the other attendees. So kick back and enjoy this extra-cool episode of Star Wars Action News!

Also, please check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/34q7j3/SWAN483.mp3

      

September 7, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 483: ICE — Collecting to the Extreme!

Hear Venganza Media Podcasts on TuneIn

Venganza Media podcasts are available on TuneIn Radio

Venganza Media podcasts Star Wars Action News and Now Playing Podcast are now available on streaming audio service TuneIn, giving listeners the option to hear new and past episodes through an expanding list of platforms, including smart TV’s, gaming consoles, vehicles, and devices such as the Amazon Echo and Roku set-top box.

Users with a free or premium account can download the TuneIn Radio app to access the shows, which can be saved for quick access under the “favorites” setting.

By adding its shows to the TuneIn library, Venganza Media joins a list of content providers that includes The Nerdist, CNN, and Major League Baseball.

San Francisco-based TuneIn launched in 2002 as RadioTime and now offers users access to more than 100,000 radio stations, along with millions of audiobooks, podcasts, and on-demand programs.

August 11, 2016 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hear Venganza Media Podcasts on TuneIn

Episode 482: SDCC Exclusives — Thumbs Up!

San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, but the desire for exclusives lives on! Yesterday Hasbro Toy Shop put up for order their three Star Wars Black Series 6-Inch 2016 exclusives: Jyn Erso, Unmasked Kylo Ren, and A New Hope Obi-Wan Kenobi with talking holographic Leia! They were all gone in under an hour.

Are these figures worth the trouble it took to get them? Or the eBay prices? Join Arnie and Marjorie on this week’s show for in-depth reviews of all three Hasbro SDCC 2016 exclusives!

With a bonus review of Funko’s SDCC exclusive BB-8 with “Thumbs Up” lighter, and a look at the new Star Wars novel Aftermath: Life Debt, all this and much more is in this week’s new podcast!

Also, please check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/ufzjie/swan482.mp3

      

August 7, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 482: SDCC Exclusives — Thumbs Up!

Episode 481: Star Wars Collectibles at San Diego Comic-Con 2016

San Diego Comic-Con was last weekend, and Star Wars was everywhere! From announcements on books and comics to toys and collectibles, the Star Wars Action News team was there to bring you the highlights!

On this full video episode, Arnie and Marjorie are joined by Marvelicious Toys’ host Justin to talk about all the exclusives, the Hasbro reveals, and more.

Watch this episode for exclusive interviews with eFX Collectibles, Kotobukiya, Gentle Giant and Hasbro! Plus a tour of the floor and look at items by Beast Kingdom, Funko, and more!

And check out our photo galleries to see hundreds of pictures from the convention!

Also, please check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/99gbx8/SWAN481-edited_audio.mp3

      

July 25, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 481: Star Wars Collectibles at San Diego Comic-Con 2016

Episode 480: Celebrating Star Wars in Eurorpe, 2016!

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/feed/fi2c7q/SWAN480.mp3

      

July 19, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 480: Celebrating Star Wars in Eurorpe, 2016!

Episode 479: We Collect Eternal…Shiny and Chrome!

Star Wars fans around the world — rejoice! In the next 2 weeks comes Star Wars Celebration Europe and San Diego Comic-Con! The news will be coming quickly about new toys and collectibles, as well as information on Episode VIII, Rogue One, and Rebels! And the Star Wars Action News team is going to be at both conventions covering it all.

Join the hosts this episode for the ultimate SDCC shopping guide. From exclusive Hasbro Black Series figures to Chewbacca watches to car decals–Arnie and Marjorie run down and rate the numerous Star Wars collectibles only available at the show!

And Steve “The Gingerprince” joins in to share his excitement for this weekend’s Celebration Europe 3! With an exclusive Black Series Kylo Ren figure, a bevy of Original Trilogy stars signing autographs, and more, Steve preps you for the event.

With a review of the Kotobukiya Art-FX+ Captain Phasma and a Vintage Viewpoint reviewing Topps’ new Empire Strieks Back trading card book, it’s all in this extended Star Wars Action News podcast!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/tfgum6/SWAN479.mp3

      

July 11, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 479: We Collect Eternal…Shiny and Chrome!

Episode 478: House of Cards

Highly detailed, highly articulated Star Wars 3.75-inch figures are the mainstay of many fans’ collections. The news that The Force Awakens would only see a handful of these Black Series figures, and that they would be Walmart exclusives, made fans worry if these new toys would be obtainable. The third wave, with versions of Han Solo, General Leia, and Captain Phasma from The Force Awakens, has been elusive and fetched north of $40 per figure on eBay. But now, finally, the dam has broken and these figures are showing up coast to coast–including in the Star Wars Action News studio! On this week’s show hear a review of these latest figures and see if they’re worth more toy runs!

Yet while the Black Series 3.75-inch figures have been elusive, the main line of figures, with five points of articulation, are available at every store. Fans were divided on these detailed, but hard-to-pose figures. Now, enter Kozy–a figure customizer who has created cardbacks that elevate these figures from average to epic! He joins the Star Wars Action News hosts to talk about these cards and his inspiration for making them.

With a look at upcoming exclusives for San Diego Comic-Con International and Celebration Europe, new online sales, and much more, it’s all in this Wampa-sized episode of Star Wars Action News!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/vzvbsi/SWAN478.mp3

      

June 27, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 478: House of Cards

Episode 477: To the Maz

She’s the most intriguing new alien introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She somehow has the lightsaber Luke lost on Bespin. She knows of the Force. She has a crush on the galaxy’s favorite Wookiee. She’s Maz Kanata — and if you want her in action figure form you have to buy the Takodana Encounter figure 4-pack. On this episode of Star Wars Action News, hear a review of that set to see if it’s worth hunting for!

Also on this show, last week ticket sales began for the eighth Star Wars Celebration in the United States, this time back in Orlando! Listen as Arnie and Marjorie are joined by Jake Stevens from From 4-Lom to Zuckuss as they look ahead to next year’s biggest Star Wars party.

With two new premium format figures from Sideshow, a real-life Star Wars hologram, and more information about this year’s Star Wars Celebration in London, it’s all in this brand new Star Wars Action News!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/ei63wd/SWAN477.mp3

      

May 30, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 477: To the Maz

Episode 476: You Don’t Know the Moistness of the Dark Side

May the 4th has come and gone, but for many the credit card hangover still remains. There were new releases from Disney, Sideshow, Gentle Giant, Hot Toys, plus sales at LEGO and more! Biggest of all, the next Star Wars Celebration convention was confirmed! On this week’s podcast Marjorie and Arnie are joined by Ryan and Amy from Star Wars Collecting Cosmos. The four look back on the highs, lows, and purchases of May the 4th, 2016!

Also on this week’s show, Brock reviews the new Star Wars novel BLOODLINE. Taking place between Episode VI and VII, this book had direct input from Lucasfilm to help shape the universe for Episode VIII. Join Brock to find out if this is a must read for you.

With a review of the S.H. Figuarts Captain Phasma, a Darth Vader Humidifier, and a run-down of the perks of being a Jedi Knight or Master, it’s all in this week’s new podcast!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/7bjrp8/SWAN476.mp3

      

May 16, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 476: You Don’t Know the Moistness of the Dark Side

Episode 475: May the 4th Comes Earlier Every Year

New Black Series figures are hitting shelves — but are they the last new 6-inch Star Wars toys we’ll see until fall? On this week’s Star Wars Action News, Marjorie and Arnie are joined by Marvelicious Toys podcast host Justin as they discuss the immediate future of the line. They also review the two new waves showing up in stores now, with new figures including Jango Fett, FN-2187, The Force Awakens style Han Solo, and A New Hope version of Tattooine Luke Skywalker!

Also on this week’s show, the hosts went to Indiana Comic-Con with special guests Ray Park and Ian McDiarmid. Join them, and their guest Daryl, as they discuss the convention–and the collectibles found there!

With a run-down of all the May the 4th day Star Wars specials known so far and more, it’s all in this oversized episode of Star Wars Action News!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/5jiq3n/SWAN475.mp3

      

May 2, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 475: May the 4th Comes Earlier Every Year

Star Wars Action News Ep 474: We’re Down To buy Figuarts!

 

Star Wars action figure collectors have a wealth of options. Whereas once we had only Kenner/Hasbro action figures, these days there are options in every scale and price point. One of those new figure lines is Bandai’s S.H. Figuarts 6-inch line. The price is double that of a Hasbro 6-inch figure, but is it worth it? On this episode of Star Wars Action News Marjorie and Arnie give an in-depth review of the S.H. Figuarts First Order Stormtrooper, and tell you if it’s worth the price they paid!

And also on this week’s show, the hosts review Kotobukiya’s Art-FX+ First Order Stormtrooper statue 2-pack.  Listen in to find out why this may be a statue collection you want to troop build!
With a complete run down of all US Blu-ray releases of The Force Awakens, news of an upcoming prototype Elite Series figure, and the latest rumors for 2016’s Force Friday event, it’s all on this Star Wars Action News!
And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!
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April 18, 2016 Posted by | Movies, News, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Wars Action News Ep 474: We’re Down To buy Figuarts!

Episode 474: We’re Down To buy Figuarts

Star Wars action figure collectors have a wealth of options. Whereas once we had only Kenner/Hasbro action figures, these days there are options in every scale and price point. One of those new figure lines is Bandai’s S.H. Figuarts 6-inch line. The price is double that of a Hasbro 6-inch figure, but is it worth it? On this episode of Star Wars Action News Marjorie and Arnie give an in-depth review of the S.H. Figuarts First Order Stormtrooper, and tell you if it’s worth the price they paid!

And also on this week’s show, the hosts review Kotobukiya’s Art-FX+ First Order Stormtrooper statue 2-pack. Listen in to find out why this may be a statue collection you want to troop build!

With a complete run down of all US Blu-ray releases of The Force Awakens, news of an upcoming prototype Elite Series figure, and the latest rumors for 2016’s Force Friday event, it’s all on this Star Wars Action News!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better and bring back the full video podcasts, but we need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/x5qgzc/SWAN474.mp3

      

April 18, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 474: We’re Down To buy Figuarts

Episode 473: Blu Rey

Tomorrow The Force Awakens arrives on Blu-Ray — the first new
live-action Star Wars home release in 11 years. There are a handful of
exclusive versions and many tie-in sales. Prep for your Tuesday shopping
by joining Arnie and Marjorie to find out which version is right for
you!

Plus tomorrow also marks the rerelease of the Disney Store
exclusive Elite figures — including a new Boba Fett! Find out how you
can score these figures that have commanded top dollar on eBay.

With a report from Wizard World Chicago, a review of the latest Funko
Smuggler’s Bounty box, and more, it’s all in this new episode of Star
Wars Action News!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better, and need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/aamrge/swan473.mp3

      

April 4, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 473: Blu Rey

Episode 472: Having a Blaster at C2E2 2016

This past weekend was C2E2 in Chicago. Marjorie, Arnie, and Daryl were there checking out the panels and all the booths at the con. Join them on this episode as they report on their hunts for items like Bandai Movie Realization figures, S.H. Figuarts Stormtroopers, Hasbro Black Series, and more! Plus they highlight some special Artist’s Alley finds.

Also on this episode, Jerry is back with another Vintage Viewpoint. He looks at the classic Stormtrooper Blaster toy, and reveals its surprising Batman tie!

Finally Andrew is back with two new Hot Toys — A New Hope Luke and Stormtrooper Luke Skywalker. Does he like these Lukes? Join him to find out in this new Star Wars Action News!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better, and need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: https://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/8h9qrm/SWAN472.mp3

      

March 21, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 472: Having a Blaster at C2E2 2016

Episode 471: Hot Toys — Assemble the Troops!

While most of us spent Force Friday, 2015 standing outside our local toy stores, Hot Toys collectors were making tough choices. Up for pre-order that day were the first wave of figures for The Force Awakens — and there were lots of them! More pre-orders followed, and now Hot Toys fans are rewarded by a legion of figures showing up on their doorsteps. In this episode Andrew assembles his ranks of Hot Toys First Order Stormtroopers. How different are they, and were they worth the price? Join him to find out!

Also on this week’s show, Marjorie and Arnie review Wave 3 of the Star Wars Black Series 6-inch figures, with a First Order TIE Fighter Pilot and a Resistance Trooper. Plus they also run down all the news regarding The Force Awakens Blu-Ray releases!

All this and a report from Wizard World Cleveland in this latest episode of Star Wars Action News!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better, and need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/m4yjia/SWAN471.mp3

      

March 7, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 471: Hot Toys — Assemble the Troops!

Episode 470: Toy Fair 2016 Pt 2 – Kotobukiya, Funko and More from Javitz

Toy Fair International is over, and Star Wars Action News is here to wrap-up all the news collectors care about!

In this episode Marjorie and Arnie recap their Javitz booth visits. They spoke with Dan from Kotobukiya about their upcoming Art-FX+ statues and housewares goods. Funko reveals new POPs, and hints at upcoming Hikari Sofubi characters. Revell shows off new models and teases their Rogue One offerings. Plus several others!

And also this show you can hear Hasbro’s Star Wars Brand Presentation. Our previous episode ran down the reveals, but now you can hear the full presentation straight from Hasbro’s team!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better, and need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.podbean.com/mf/play/63q3jp/SWAN470.mp3

      

February 19, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 470: Toy Fair 2016 Pt 2 – Kotobukiya, Funko and More from Javitz

Episode 469: Toy Fair 2016 Pt 1 – LEGO, Hasbro, Jakks Pacific, and more!

Marjorie and Arnie are in New York City to bring you the latest news from Toy Fair International 2016! And if that’s not enough — they’re also giving away a Sideshow Collectibles 12-inch Boba Fett figure!

In this first part of their coverage, join them as they discuss all the latest reveals from Hasbro’s Toy Fair presentation. Hasbro displayed two new Sabine figures from Rebels, A New Hope Luke and Leia in the 6-inch Series, and more 6-inch Black Series figures. Plus they revealed news about their upcoming summer convention exclusives, for both Celebration Europe and San Diego Comic-Con! Join in to catch up on the news!

Also in this first episode the hosts run down all the new sets revealed by LEGO, and they are Hoth! Hoth! Hoth! Arnie saw the new Ultimate Collector Set Hoth diorama first hand. Listen in to find out if it’s the best new set on display, or if the new X-Wing, Carbon Freezing Chamber, or other sets stole the show!

With a thumbs-up BB-8 from Jakks Pacific and more, it’s all in this first Toy Fair 2016 episode of Star Wars Action News!

And also check out Star Wars Action News’ crowdfunding campaign on Podbean! We want to make the show better, and need your help to make it happen!

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN469.mp3

      

February 13, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 469: Toy Fair 2016 Pt 1 – LEGO, Hasbro, Jakks Pacific, and more!

Episode 468: Turning Japanese

Toy Fair International is just 5 days away! This weekend Hasbro, LEGO, Kotobukiya, and so many more companies will reveal their 2016 Star Wars line-up. But will there be much to show? On this week’s Star Wars Action News, Marjorie and Arnie prepare for the coverage and tell you what has already leaked out!

And one of the big reveals at Toy Fair last year was the Tamshii Nations Movie Realization Star Wars line featuring Darth Vader and Stormtroopers as Japanese samurai. On this show we review the newest release in that line — the Ronin Boba Fett!

With a look at new ceramic Star Wars dinnerware, a new Hot Toys figure aimed right at gamers, and much more, it’s all in this new Star Wars Action News!

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN468.mp3

      

February 7, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 468: Turning Japanese

Episode 467: In Space…No One Can Hear You Troop

Star Wars Action News is back with its first regular show of 2016, and it’s a Hot one! Marjorie and Arnie are joined by Hot Toys addict Andrew to review two of that company’s Movie Masterpiece Series Star Wars figures. First, the three look at the Star Wars Celebration Anaheim exclusive Spacetrooper figure. It’s still available on their site — should you order it?

Then Andrew talks about his biggest Hot Toys purchase, the quarter scale Boba Fett. This 18-inch Mandalorian carries a hefty bounty. Listen to find out if he’s worth a lot to Andrew!

With Brock reviewing Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization, a run-down on new figures hitting stores, and a cuddly Valentine’s Day bouquet, it’s all in this brand new episode of Star Wars Action News!

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN467.mp3

      

January 24, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 467: In Space…No One Can Hear You Troop

Episode 466: 2015 Star Wars Collectors’ Year in Review

For Star Wars collectors 2015 started in a famine and ended in a feast — with plenty of highs and lows along the way! We look back at the Star Wars Celebration: Anaheim reveals, the convention exclusives, and all the action figures, mini-busts, import figures, and high-end collectibles. Plus the bottled water, the oranges, the cereals, and all the other tie-ins!

So listen now as Arnie and Marjorie are joined by other Star Wars Action News team members and friends and look back on the year that was…and the next year to come!

Then come to our forums to talk about The Force Awakens. We have threads for both the spoiler-filled and spoiler-free conversations!

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN466.mp3

      

January 10, 2016 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 466: 2015 Star Wars Collectors’ Year in Review

Episode 465: The Fans Awaken

SPOILER WARNING: This podcast has an in-depth discussion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The toys, the movie, the books, are all fair game.

Nothing shakes up Star Wars collecting more than a new property. Every movie and TV series brings new figure lines, vehicles, and more. In the case of The Force Awakens we even got water and produce!

Fans have been collecting Force Awakens figures on blind faith ever since Force Friday in early September. For over three months we’ve speculated — why doesn’t the Finn figure come with a lightsaber? Who is Constable Zuvvio?

But now the film has awoken fans across the globe!

And on this episode of Star Wars Action News, the first part of our 2015 year-in-review coverage, Marjorie and Arnie are joined by many friends to discuss the new film Join them to find out how the movie impacted them…and their collections!

Then come to our forums to talk about The Force Awakens. We have threads for both the spoiler-filled and spoiler-free conversations!

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN465.mp3

      

December 21, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 465: The Fans Awaken

Episode 464: Rey Bans

There’s been an awakening…have you felt it? As The Force Awakens hits theaters, Star Wars Action News reporter Justin awakened the Disney empire with his Walmart store find — a new 3.75-inch Rey figure!

It was the figure find heard across the world! Some claimed the figure was a spoiler, others started their own hunts, and Disney and Lucasfilm started sending takedown notices. What’s all the hullabaloo about? And was the figure worth the trouble it caused? Justin joins Arnie and Marjorie on this show to tell the tale!

Also on this week’s show, Arnie, Marjorie, and Justin report on the latest store finds and online exclusives. With figure multi-pack exclusives at Toys R Us and Kohls, and a Disney exclusive Boba Fett that’s commanding a huge bounty, join the hosts for all the news.

With an in depth look at the new Star Wars Topps Trading Cards book and more, The Force Awakens on Star Wars Action News!

We want your pictures! Share your Force Awakens theater photos on the Star Wars Action News Facebook page!

Then come to our forums to talk about The Force Awakens. We have threads for both the spoiler-filled and spoiler-free conversations!

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN464.mp3

      

December 14, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 464: Rey Bans

Episode 463: 2015 Holiday Gift & Black Friday Guide

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Star Wars Action News community!

While your uncle gets drunk and your sister yells about football we give you our 11th annual Holiday Gift Guide. What do you get for the Star Wars collector who has everything? Or what should those in your life buy for you? Marjorie and Arnie, along with guest host Andrew, have dozens of gift ideas here in this show. From stocking stuffers to action figures to life sized statues, the whole range is in this guide!

Plus the Black Friday sales are about to start. As early as 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning stores are starting their deep discounts for the holiday season. Are there any Star Wars sales worth braving the crowds? Listen to find out!

And be sure you get, and give, a Star Wars themed gift this year! Our annual Sithmas gift exhange registration is open. Sign up before Dec 2 to join in this fun Secret Santa type fun. Find out all the details and sign up now.

Arnie C: http://swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN463.mp3

      

November 24, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 463: 2015 Holiday Gift & Black Friday Guide

Episode 462: Phasma-tastic

As The Force Awakens draws closer we get new information, new trailers, and…new toys! With the Guavian Enforcer, Captain Phasma, Constable Zuvio and Poe Dameron the second wave of 6-inch Black Series figures is hitting stores now. On this episode of Star Wars Action News Marjorie and Arnie review this new wave of figures–and try to guess how they fit into the new movie. And they also review the new KMart exclusive Kylo Ren – Starkiller Base Black Series figure.

Also on this week’s show, with tomorrow’s release of Battlefront the game, Brock joins us to look at the Star Wars: Battlefront novel Twilight Company. He also reviews the new audiobook adaptations for the young readers’ adaptations of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.

With Berent’s report from Gentle Giant Days in Burbank, a rundown of new Star Wars merchandise hitting stores, and more, it’s all in this episode of Star Wars Action News!

Listen to this episode, then head to NowPlayingPodcast.com Nov 17 as they begin their review of the Star Wars prequels, leading up to their weekend of release review of The Force Awakens!

Adopt a Pegwarmer Day – Nov 21, 2015!

Once again Star Wars Action News is championing Toys For Tots with their Adopt a Pegwarmer Day! On November 21, 2015 go out and buy a new figure or toy and put it in the Toys For Tots bin, helping move stale Star Wars stock and helping give a child a happy holiday this year!

Plus the first 100 people to send a photo of you donating a Star Wars figure to Toys For Tots to @swactionnews on Twitter will get a Star Wars Action News 10th Anniversary patch!

So pick that pegwarmer today and make a child have a very happy holiday!

Arnie C: http://traffic.libsyn.com/venganzamedia/SWAN462.mp3

      

November 15, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 462: Phasma-tastic

Episode 461: Star Wars the Flamethrower!

Only 50 days until The Force Awakens and Star Wars Action News hosts Marjorie and Arnie couldn’t be more excited. Tickets have been purchased, plans made, and the countdown is on.

But for collecting it may be easier to list the items that don’t have Star Wars tie-ins instead of those that do. Soup, bottled water, apples, coffee creamer, El Paso Tacos! On this week’s show the hosts sift through the plethora of items and tell you which are the cool ones to hunt for.

With new waves of Hasbro figures hitting shelves, Black Series exclusives from Walmart, Target, and K-Mart, and where you can find Wave 2 of the new Force Awakens figures, it’s all on this week’s Star Wars Action News!

Adopt a Pegwarmer Day – Nov 21, 2015!

Once again Star Wars Action News is championing Toys For Tots with their Adopt a Pegwarmer Day! On November 21, 2015 go out and buy a new figure or toy and put it in the Toys For Tots bin, helping move stale Star Wars stock and helping give a child a happy holiday this year!

Plus the first 100 people to send a photo of you donating a Star Wars figure to Toys For Tots to @swactionnews on Twitter will get a Star Wars Action News 10th Anniversary patch!

So pick that pegwarmer today and make a child have a very happy holiday!

Arnie C: http://traffic.libsyn.com/venganzamedia/SWAN461.mp3

      

November 1, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 461: Star Wars the Flamethrower!

Episode 460: Han Hot First!

Hot Toys has shipped its half-witted, scruffy looking, nerf herder…and his walking carpet pal! That’s right, the first Hot Toys Star Wars figures ever announced — Han Solo and Chewbacca — have now shipped, and Andrew has them in hand! Listen to this episode to find out why one of them has become his favorite Hot Toys figure yet!

Also in this week’s episode, Arnie has come back from New York Comic-Con with tons of photos and news about Hasbro, Kotobukiya, and other Star Wars collectibles. Join him, Marjorie, and guest Matt Booker from JediNews.uk to find out all the news, and then listen to an exclusive Q&A with the Hasbro Brand Team. They revealed when stores will fully stock new figures only to Star Wars Action News!

With Brock looking at the new short stories in the Rise of the Empire novel collection, Steve running down his thoughts on the new Force Awakens 3.75-inch figures, and more, it’s all on this week’s Star Wars Action News!

Arnie C: http://traffic.libsyn.com/venganzamedia/SWAN460.mp3

      

October 18, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Episode 460: Han Hot First!

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 459: Fifty Shades of White

It’s been one month since Force Friday but the onslaught of new Star Wars products has not let up. From tie in items like vitamins to cereal to toothpaste to Pop Chips, Star Wars is on everything. And of course that means lots of new toys too!

On this episode of Star Wars Action News Arnie and Marjorie are joined by Andrew to look at some of the new Star Wars items in a head to head match.

First we put two BB-8s to the test — Hasbro’s Target Exclusive Remote Control BB-8 versus Sphero’s App Controlled BB-8. One is bigger, one is more expensive, but should you buy one, both, or neither?

Then we look at Disney’s new Elite line of 6.5-inch Die Cast action figures. They’re $5 more than Hasbro’s Black Series 6-inch, but every bit as in demand, selling out nationwide. On this show we put Disney’s Elite First Order Stormtrooper to the test against Hasbro’s Black Series counterpart.

Plus Brock joins us for a review of the novel Aftermath, we look at Hot Toys’ new Star Wars releases, and more on this episode of Star Wars Action News!

Arnie C: http://traffic.libsyn.com/venganzamedia/SWAN459.mp3

      

October 5, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 459: Fifty Shades of White

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 458: Force Friday Rockin Eve!

There’s been an awakening…has your wallet felt it?

Last Friday was declared “Force Friday” by Lucasfilm — the day that hundreds of items would be revealed and released for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Hasbro figures big and small, Jakks Pacific gumbo figures, Micro Machines, LEGO sets, Disney Store exclusives, and so much more was unleashed upon fans in a global, coordinated 12:01 a.m. release.

But the biggest event happened at the Times Square Toys R Us. With a day full of events, a traveling Rancho Obi-Wan exhibit from Steve Sansweet, and hundreds of fans hungry for toys, the flagship Toys R Us was the center of activity — and Marjorie & Arnie were there to cover it!

On this episode of Star Wars Action News, join Marjorie & Arnie as they recount the events of Force Friday, including both before and after interviews with Steve Sansweet.

Then other Star Wars Action News team members report in with midwest toy releases, a report from the Disneyland exclusive ticketed toy release, and even a report from the UK on the release! All the hosts share their experiences, their purchases, and their frustrations in this episode of Star Wars Action News!

And after you watch, come to the Star Wars Action News forums and share your tale of Force Friday shopping!

Arnie C: http://traffic.libsyn.com/venganzamedia/SWAN458.mp3

      

September 6, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 458: Force Friday Rockin Eve!

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 457: Star Wars Action News 10th Anniversary from Wizard World Chicago

A long time ago…on a web site far, far away

Ten years ago, August 30, 2005, two Star Wars collectors released the world’s first podcast dedicated to Star Wars collecting: Star Wars Action News. From the Revenge of the Sith line through The Black Series, and even looking back at Vintage and 90s toys, Marjorie and Arnie have covered it all.

This episode celebrates the milestone, bringing in Star Wars Action News team members Arnie, Marjorie, Brock, Jerry, Daryl, Andrew, and others as they look forward to a new era of Star Wars collecting with The Force Unleashed!

Join them as they talk Wizard World Chicago, leaked images of The Force Awakens toys and figures, and their plans for next week’s Force Friday event!

Arnie C: http://traffic.libsyn.com/venganzamedia/SWAN457.mp3

      

August 24, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 457: Star Wars Action News 10th Anniversary from Wizard World Chicago

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 456: Finger Falcon

We are less than one month away from Force Friday – the day when an onslaught of new Star Wars toys, books, collectibles, and more will be released! On this week’s Star Wars Action News, Marjorie and Arnie look forward to the upcoming event and want your story from that night!

Also on this week’s show, the hosts review the new Star Wars line of die cast starships from Hot Wheels. With a mix of Original Trilogy, Prequel, Clone Wars, and Rebels ships, this line enters an already crowded area of miniature Star Wars vehicles. Listen to find out if these ships are the ones you should collect!

With a gaming report from 2015’s Gen Con, a review of some quality Star Wars ladies’ accessories, some deep discount Star Wars graphic novels and more, it’s all in this new episode of Star Wars Action News!

Plus, in 2 weeks Star Wars Action News turns 10! To celebrate, the crew is throwing a FREE party at Wizard World Chicago, Saturday Aug. 22. There will be tons of prizes donated by DorksideToys.com, Big Bad Toy Store, Kotobukiya, Diamond Select Toys, and others!

Plus there will be an exclusive T-Shirt, and an exclusive 10th Anniversary Star Wars Action News coin available only to attendees!

Find out all details and get your tickets now!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN456.MP3

      

August 10, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 456: Finger Falcon

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 455: Star Wars at Conventions From San Diego to London

The 2015 San Diego Comic-Con is gone, but not forgotten. In addition to the exclusive First Order Stormtrooper selling out faster than you can say “Blast it!”, the images of giant TIE Fighters, working R2-D2 robots, and McQuarrie art based statues still dance in our heads.

Last week you had a floor tour of the major booths at the con. Now join Marjorie and Arnie this week as they recap San Diego Comic-Con, including the companies with the best showings and the coolest items coming soon. They are also joined by resident Hot Toys expert Andrew to discuss that TIE Fighter and that even bigger Millennium Falcon, and Berent recounts his experience getting into the Star Wars panel at Hall H!

Also on this week’s show, Steve “The Gingerprince” reports in from a convention on the other side of the pond: London Film and Comic Con. He recounts his celebrity meetings and rare purchases at the con.

All this and Brock’s review of Dark Disciple in this week’s new Star Wars Action News!

Plus, next month Star Wars Action News turns 10! To celebrate, the crew is throwing a party at Wizard World Chicago, Saturday Aug. 22. There will be tons of prizes donated by DorksideToys.com, Big Bad Toy Store, Kotobukiya, Diamond Select Toys, and others!

Plus there will be an exclusive T-Shirt, and an exclusive 10th Anniversary Star Wars Action News coin available only to attendees!

Find out all details and get your tickets now!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN455.MP3

      

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 455: Star Wars at Conventions From San Diego to London

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 454: The Force is With SDCC 2015

Star Wars was back in a big way at San Diego Comic-Con 2015. Hasbro and Hot Toys competed for the most impressive TIE Fighter on the floor. eFX filled a booth with upcoming prop replicas–including a fully functional, life-sized R2-D2, and Gentle Giant couldn’t satiate the demand for both the Jumbo and mini-Bust versions of Boba Fett.

Marjorie and Arnie were there on the floor of the con the entire time, posting interviews, panels, and more to the Star Wars Action News YouTube channel. Now you can download their coverage to your iPhone and feel like you were there at the convention!

With an exclusive Hasbro Q&A, a look forward at offerings from Gentle Giant, a Hot Toys booth tour and so much more, it’s on this episode of Star Wars Action News.

For even more coverage, subscribe to our YouTube channel where you can see the Hasbro Panel, the Star Wars Collectibles Panel, and the Star Wars Books panels in full!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN454.MP3

      

July 19, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 454: The Force is With SDCC 2015

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 453: The First Order

San Diego Comic-Con draws closer, and with that come even more reveals. From Lucasfilm’s Hall H panel on Friday to something even more exciting for collectors — the reveals of the first toys from Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens. Marjorie and Arnie run down this news, and rate your chances of scoring the SDCC exclusive Hasbro figure, on this week’s show!

Then Brock and Jerry join forces for a segment that’s both a book review and a segment for vintage collectors as they look back on the various books that help collectors of the early Star Wars toys.

With Darryl providing a review of the new Star Wars figures from S.H. Figuarts, Steve “The Gingerprince” reporting on the latest UK conventions, and a contest to win a custom melted Vader head, it’s all in this issue of Star Wars Action News!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN453.MP3

      

June 21, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 453: The First Order

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 452: Cuckoo for Koto Stuffs

Kotobukiya had one of the most stunning booth displays at Star Wars Celebration 2015. Their Art-FX+ display of dozens of Stormtroopers standing at the ready, with Royal Guards and Vader at the fore, was truly a spectacular sight to behold. They also continued to grow this line of tenth-scale statues with their celebration exclusive K-3PO and R3-A2 droid pack. Marjorie and Arnie review those new droids, as well as the Royal Guard Art-FX+ two-pack, in this episode of Star Wars Action News!

Also in this episode, a rundown of the recently announced SDCC exclusives, more news on finding the “cancelled” wave of Droid Factory figures, A New Hope for Hot Toys, and more — it’s all in this brand new Star Wars Action News show!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN452.MP3

      

June 7, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 452: Cuckoo for Koto Stuffs

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 451: Hot Toys Stormtroopers – Shiny and New

Hot Toys’ line of Movie Masterpiece 12-inch scale figures continues to grow. Luke and Leia have been teased, and recently they shipped their first non-exclusive figure: The Stormtrooper, soldindividually and in a two-pack. Andrew has them in hand and is here with an in-depth review.

Also in this week’s show is a discussion of the “cancelled” wave of Droid Factory figures that inexplicably appeared for sale at Go! Calendar stores across the country. Johnathan has them in hand and gives his thoughts, as well as a report of what he’s finding in stores.

With Brock reviewing Paul S Kemp’s new novel Lords of the Sith, Steve the Gingerprince giving a report from Star Wars Fan Fun Days, and Arnie and Marjorie recording live at Wizard World St. Louis, it’s all in this week’s Star Wars Action News podcast!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN451.MP3

      

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 451: Hot Toys Stormtroopers – Shiny and New

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 450: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 Coverage Part 3 – Floor Tour & Wrap Up

Note: This podcast discusses details of The Force Awakens obtained from the second trailer and the props shown at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.

It’s May 4th, the day fans designated “Star Wars day” and has been quickly co-opted by every Star Wars licensee to discount the items that don’t sell! But here is welcome relief from a deluge of 10% off codes — a new episode of Star Wars Action News!

In this, our final episode from Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015, Marjorie and Arnie record right from the show floor. Join them for booth tours of Sideshow, eFX Collectibles, the Celebration official store, and more!

Plus join Arnie as he talks action figures with the Hasbro Star Wars brand team. You submitted your questions and Arnie asks them!

With a group of fans giving their reactions to the new Force Awakens trailer moments after it was shown, and a recap on the convention as a whole, it’s all in this episode of Star Wars Action News!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN450.MP3

      

May 3, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 450: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 Coverage Part 3 – Floor Tour & Wrap Up

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 449: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 Coverage Part 2 – Sunday Podcast All-Stars Live Show

Note: This podcast discusses details of The Force Awakens obtained from the second trailer and the props shown at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.

Toys, panels, autographs, swap meets, trading, exclusive reveals and more — Star Wars Celebration Anaheim had so much to do that no one podcast can contain it all. So in this episode we get four!

Marjorie, Berent, and Arnie from Star Wars Action News, Matt Fox from This Week in Star Wars, Jason Luttrull and Ryan Beise from Galaxy of Toys, and Amy Sjoberg from Star Wars Collecting Cosmos came together for the biggest podcast of the convention!

Join the gang as they discuss Star Wars collecting at Celebration, The Force Awakens, and so much more!

If you missed Celebration this show will make you feel like you were there! If you attended the con, relive the experience, all with this mega-packed podcast!

Watch now, and then join us in a few days for even more coverage of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN449.MP3

      

April 27, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 449: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 Coverage Part 2 – Sunday Podcast All-Stars Live Show

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 448: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 Coverage Part 1 – Saturday Live Show

Note: This podcast discusses details of The Force Awakens obtained from the second trailer and the props shown at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.

The seventh Star Wars Celebration convention was an explosion of fandom held in Anaheim, CA. With new trailers and teasers shown for the next two Star Wars films, a gaggle of celebrities, and tens of thousands of fans, the event captivated fans worldwide!

Now in the first part of Star Wars Action News’ coverage of the convention comes this recording of the Live Podcast recorded Saturday afternoon at Celebration! Marjorie and Arnie are joined by Star Wars Action News team members Daryl and Andrew to discuss the reveals, the exclusives, the lines, and more!

Watch now, and then join us in a few days for even more coverage of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN448.MP3

      

April 22, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 448: Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2015 Coverage Part 1 – Saturday Live Show

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 447: Celebration SWAG-ger

In 3 days the world’s largest Star Wars party begins — Star Wars Celebration Anaheim! With attendance projected to be the largest of any Star Wars convention and overnights already planned for the J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy panel, it’s the single largest collection of Star Wars fans and collectors–and that means plenty of exclusives! From Kotobukiya to Gentle Giant to the official Celebration store–listen as Marjorie and Arnie run down the must buys!

But not all the collectibles are for sale–some are just given away! Yes, more than the official exclusives this seems to be the celebration of Star Wars SWAG! Patches, pins, buttons, toys, Star Tots, and so much more is just waiting to join your collection! The Star Wars Action News hosts discuss this–and preview the Star Wars Action News Celebration Anaheim SWAG–in this week’s episode!

With a store report by Johnathan, a discussion of the digital download releases of the Star Wars saga, and Jerry with a neo-Vintage Viewpoint, it’s plenty to keep you entertained in line while you wait to get in the con! So download this episode of Star Wars Action News now!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN447.MP3

      

April 12, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 447: Celebration SWAG-ger

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 446: Hot Toys — Out of the Shadows

Star Wars Celebration is just 2 weeks away–have you gotten in line yet? Star Wars Action News hosts Marjorie and Arnie will be there running the Collector’s Social Area, part of the official Celebration Collector’s Track of events! On this week’s podcast, they run down the exclusives announced so far for the convention, and tell you about the one event no Star Wars collector should miss–the Swap Meet Saturday night at 7pm.

Also on this week’s show Andrew joins the hosts to look at the first figure in a new line of Star Wars figures: Hot Toys’ Shadow Trooper. After many years of creating the single best figure line for Marvel movie fans Hot Toys has now come to the Galaxy Far, Far Away. They’ve put seven figures up for pre-order already, but the first to ship was the black-armored trooper. Watch this week’s show to see how this figure ranks, and if you have to add it to your collection!

All this and more in this week’s Star Wars Action News!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN446.MP3

      

March 30, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 446: Hot Toys — Out of the Shadows

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 445: Maximize Your Fun at Celebration With a Bottle of Water and a Plan

In less than one month the world’s largest Star Wars party takes place in Anaheim — Star Wars Celebration! There will be celebrities, exclusives, panels, vendors and more! There will also be lines, standing and waiting, rooms filled before you get in, and bottles of soda for almost $5 each.

On this week’s Star Wars Action News Marjorie and Arnie help you prepare to get the most out of Celebration! At Celebration 5 and 6 they presented their panel A Bottle of Water and a Plan and now they bring it to the podcast so everyone can have the best time at Celebration!

And for this special show they are joined by other convention veterans, Jerry, Daryl, and Chris! All the panelists have been at multiple Star Wars Celebrations, as well as a combined hundreds of other conventions including San Diego Comic-Con! They even recorded this at Indiana Comic-Con this weekend! Save your feet with their tips!

Plus find out about the Star Wars Celebration Collectors’ Swap Meet, special exclusive Celebration patches and pins, and more! It’s all in this pre-Celebration episode of Star Wars Action News!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN445.MP3

      

March 16, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 445: Maximize Your Fun at Celebration With a Bottle of Water and a Plan

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 444: Keep Feeling Fabrikation

At Toy Fair International last week Funko was one of the few companies with lots of new Star Wars toys and collectibles on display. A rising Force in Star Wars collections, Funko has cornered the market on “cute” Star Wars figures. Last year they expanded that line to include Star Wars Fabrikations. They’re part action figure, part plushie, and all adorable. On this week’s Star Wars Action News Marjorie and Arnie look at three figures in this line: Boba Fett, Chewbacca, and Yoda!

For more high end Star Wars collectors, the first Star Wars figure from Hot Toys is shipping soon–the Shadow Stormtrooper! To prepare, listen to a review of that other Hot Toys Star Wars figure–the Bespin Luke Skywalker. Done as part of Sideshow’s 1/6 scale figure line, this version of Luke was a partnership with Hot Toys and shows what fans can expect from the new company.

With a review of the new Star Wars novel Heir to the Jedi, a review of the Disney Store exclusive Empire Strikes Back figure set, Star Wars Celebration Anaheim announcements, and more, it’s all in this week’s Star Wars Action News show!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN444.MP3

      

March 2, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 444: Keep Feeling Fabrikation

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 443: Toy Fair 2015 Part 2 – Kotobukiya, Funko, and More from the Javits Center

Want to lift X-Wing starfighters with the power of your mind? Or proudly display figures showing Darth Vader as a feudal samurai? What about having a rubbery vinyl toy of a Wampa with blood spilled down his front? From new Celebration Anaheim exclusives to toys that boggle the mind, all that and more was revealed in New York City’s Javits Center during Toy Fair International 2015!

On this episode of Star Wars Action News join Marjorie and Arnie for a virtual tour around the booths of Toy Fair featuring Statues, Role Playing Games, toys, housewares and more! Find out about the funky new Funko collectibles including a rainbow Bossk! Then hear an exclusive interview with Kotobukiya’s Dan Lujan to find out about upcoming statues, including the fate of the female Stormtrooper Bishoujo.

The Force Awakens in 2012, but not for 10 more months, so find out all the Star Wars goodies coming before then in this Star Wars Action News show!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN443.MP3

      

February 23, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 443: Toy Fair 2015 Part 2 – Kotobukiya, Funko, and More from the Javits Center

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 442: Toy Fair 2015 Part 1 – Hasbro, Jakks Pacific, and LEGO

Star Wars Celebration, San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic-Con…when it comes to toy news they all pale compared to New York Toy Fair International. The show is where toy manufacturers reveal most of the toys that will ship throughout the year. The show is for the toy makers to sell to wholesalers and retailers, but press is let in and for collectors it becomes a preview of the year’s new Star Wars toys!

On the first part of the Star Wars Action News report from Toy Fair find out about all the announcements from some of the biggest Star Wars toy manufacturers–LEGO, Hasbro, and Jakks Pacific! With an exclusive interview with Hasbro’s Star Wars brand team and more, it’s all in this episode!

And check back next week for more interviews and news from Toy Fair!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN442.MP3

      

February 15, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 442: Toy Fair 2015 Part 1 – Hasbro, Jakks Pacific, and LEGO

New Podcast: Star Wars Action News Ep 441: 1995 – Now: 20 Years of Modern Figures

2015 marks Hasbro’s 20th consecutive year of making Hasbro Star Wars figures.  In1995 the first figures in what’s dubbed “Hasbro’s modern figure line” were released–the Power of the Force series.  To commemorate this, Star Wars Action News hosts Marjorie and Arnie dug deep into the show archives to bring you an encore presentation of this episode from 1995!
Join Marjorie and Arnie as they review Wave 1 of Kenner’s Power of the Force 2 figure line, including Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and the Stormtrooper!
Then join Brock for the review of the then-new novel Darksaber, and Nathan P. Butler reflects on the conclusion of the Dark Empire saga with the “new” release Empire’s End!
All that, plus a look back on what it means to have 20 years of figures, on this encore presentation of Star Wars Action News!
We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details! 
And welcome our new show sponsor — Dorkside Toys – with new Black Series and Rebels figures up for pre-order now!   
Download the show now at http://swactionnews.com

January 26, 2015 Posted by | News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Star Wars Action News Ep 441: 1995 – Now: 20 Years of Modern Figures

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 440: 2014 Year in Review Part 2 and 2015 in Preview

The Star Wars Action News Year-End shows conclude with this second part of the team’s roundtable discussion!

Arnie and Marjorie are joined by Steve “The Gingerprince”, Johnathan, Curtis, Daryl, Brock, Jay and Andrew to look back at the high-end collectibles that Force-d them to open their wallets! From Gentle Giant mini-busts to Sideshow Premium Format Figures and the new, high end sixth scale figure line from Hot Toys, it’s all discussed in this show!

Then the team puts 2014 to bed and looks forward to what 2015 Awakens. With the first new live-action Star Wars film in a decade coming this December, Rebels on television, and a new continuity for novels and comics, join them to hear what is in store!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details in our forums!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN440.MP3

      

January 12, 2015 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 440: 2014 Year in Review Part 2 and 2015 in Preview

New Podcast: Star Wars Action News 2014 In Review Part 1 – Watch now!

SWActionNews420pxFor Star Wars fans 2014 came in with a whimper but went out with a bang! From a year that started with few Star Wars figures to be found in either the 4 or 6-inch scales, it ended with Expanded Universe 6-Inch figures, new lines of 3.75-inch figures, and Star Wars fans everywhere trying to “get to da Chopper!”

Now in the first part of the Star Wars Action News year in review, the Star Wars Action News team looks back at 2014 from the point of view of a toy collector. Marjorie and Arnie are joined by several other collectors to rate the best and worst of Star Wars collecting this year!

Download the show now at swactionnews.com

December 30, 2014 Posted by | News, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Star Wars Action News 2014 In Review Part 1 – Watch now!

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 439: 2014 Year in Review Part 1 – Hasbro Star Wars Toys

For Star Wars fans 2014 came in with a whimper but went out with a bang! From a year that started with few Star Wars figures to be found in either the 4 or 6-inch scales, it ended with Expanded Universe 6-Inch figures, new lines of 3.75-inch figures, and Star Wars fans everywhere trying to “get to da Chopper!”

Now in the first part of the Star Wars Action News year in review, the Star Wars Action News team looks back at 2014 from the point of view of a toy collector. Marjorie and Arnie are joined by several other collectors to rate the best and worst of Star Wars collecting this year!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details in our forums!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN439.MP3

      

December 29, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 439: 2014 Year in Review Part 1 – Hasbro Star Wars Toys

New Podcast: Star Wars Action News Episode 438: Tarkin ‘Bout Toys

It’s been a long time since Star Wars action figure collectors could shop exclusively at their local brick-and-mortar stores to get the figures they wanted.  Since the release of Hasbro’s The Vintage Collection in 2010 store supplies have been scarce.  Now, however, that seems ready to change!  Across the country collectors are finding new Black Series figures in both 3.75-inch and 6-inch lines, plus new Rebels and Mission Series figures too!  On this episode of Star Wars Action News you can listen to find out which stores to hit to score full waves of new figures.
Also on this week’s show, Arnie and Marjorie discuss Hot Toys’ first exclusive release in their Star Wars Movie Masterpiece Series–the Shadow Stormtrooper.  A repaint of their basic Stormtrooper figure, this release sold out in just a few hours at Sideshow Collectibles.  What’s the fuss all about?  Listen to find out!

With a review of James Lucino’s new Star Wars novel Tarkin and Jerry looking back on books of yesteryear, and ThinkGeek plushes too, you’ll find all this and more in this Episode of Star Wars Action News!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details in our forums!

December 16, 2014 Posted by | News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Star Wars Action News Episode 438: Tarkin ‘Bout Toys

New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 438: Tarkin ‘Bout Toys

It’s been a long time since Star Wars action figure collectors could shop exclusively at their local brick-and-mortar stores to get the figures they wanted. Since the release of Hasbro’s The Vintage Collection in 2010 store supplies have been scarce. Now, however, that seems ready to change! Across the country collectors are finding new Black Series figures in both 3.75-inch and 6-inch lines, plus new Rebels and Mission Series figures too! On this episode of Star Wars Action News you can listen to find out which stores to hit to score full waves of new figures.

Also on this week’s show, Arnie and Marjorie discuss Hot Toys’ first exclusive release in their Star Wars Movie Masterpiece Series–the Shadow Stormtrooper. A repaint of their basic Stormtrooper figure, this release sold out in just a few hours at Sideshow Collectibles. What’s the fuss all about? Listen to find out!

With a review of James Lucino’s new Star Wars novel Tarkin and Jerry looking back on books of yesteryear, and ThinkGeek plushes too, you’ll find all this and more in this Episode of Star Wars Action News!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details in our forums!

Arnie C: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN438.MP3

      

December 15, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast – Star Wars Action News Episode 438: Tarkin ‘Bout Toys

New Podcast: Episode 437: Black Friday Deals and 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Want to know where to save big on Star Wars LEGOs, Blu Rays, and more this weekend? Then join Marjorie and Arnie for the 2014 Black Friday (and Thursday) shopping guide! While the Star Wars bargains are few, there are some choice items for those brave enough to face the lines and the crowds. Listen to this episode to find out what!

Then keep listening for the Star Wars Action News annual holiday gift guide! This year has gift ideas ranging from $3.00 to over $7,0000! No matter if you’re buying for young or old, man or woman, listen to find what to get the Star Wars collector who seems to already have everything!

And don’t forget to sign up for the Star Wars Action Sithmas Gift Exchange! Sign-ups end December 2nd. Get and give some Star Wars joy this season by joining this Secret Santa gift exchange! All the details are at http://www.swactionnews.com/Sithmas/

All this and more in this Episode of Star Wars Action News!

: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN437.MP3

Category: Movies & Television

    

November 26, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Episode 437: Black Friday Deals and 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

New Podcast: Episode 436: Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys

George Lucas’ 1977 space fantasy Star Wars changed the way American audiences consumed films. More, though, it also changed the landscape for movie merchandising, with more money being made on toys, games, and collectibles than on the movies themselves. Now the documentary Plastic Galaxy looks back at the first generation of Star Wars toys, released between 1977 and 1985 from Kenner. Does this film capture the childhood magic of Star Wars figures, and can the documentary appeal to anyone not already obsessed with little plastic Stormtroopers? Find out in this special Now Playing/Star Wars Action News crossover podcast hosted by Marjorie, Arnie, and Jerry!

: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN436.MP3

Category: Movies & Television

    

November 10, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Episode 436: Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys

New Podcast: Episode 435: It’s the Yoda Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Halloween is this week and the costumes and decorations have started to go on sale! On this week’s Star Wars Action News hosts Marjorie and Arnie discuss the hard-to-find collectibles that combine Trick-or-Treating with the Galaxy Far, Far Away!

Also on this week’s show–reviews of two new 6-inch figures! First they look at the Hasbro Black Series Biker Scout with Speeder Bike, the first vehicle in the new, larger scale. Does it live up to the preview shown at SDCC?

And then the first Walgreens exclusive Hasbro Star Wars figure–Boba Fett in Prototype Armor. How does this compare to the original outfit, and is it worth the (bounty) hunt?

With Johnathan joining for an On The Pegs segment and a look at the latest offerings from Gentle Giant and Sideshow, it’s all on this new episode of Star Wars Action News!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details in our forums!

: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN435.MP3

Category: Movies & Television

    

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Episode 435: It’s the Yoda Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

New Podcast: Episode 433: Collecting Nirvana in Aberdeen

Marjorie & Arnie are back from a trip across the American west, and of course they did some Star Wars shopping while there! Visiting with the members of SARLACC in Seattle, they visited several stores–including one of the oddest Star Wars toy shops out there. Watch to see a Star Wars shop unlike any other!

Also on this week’s show, new toys are showing up in stores! With the impending premiere of Rebels on Disney XD stores are stocking up with tons of new Star Wars merchandise from chairs to Christmas ornaments to even a few new action figures! Listen to find out what’s hitting, as well as a brief review of the Toys R Us exclusive Jedi Reveal Rebels figure 3-pack.

But the biggest news last week was a new sixth-scale Star Wars figure line from high end Hong Kong company Hot Toys! Through Sideshow Collectibles, the first two figures have gone up for pre-order–Han Solo and Chewbacca. Join Arnie, who has over 50 Hot Toys in his collection, to hear his impressions of these new Star Wars collectibles!

With a look at the Disney Store original trilogy figure sets, Halloween themed Star Wars collectibles, a review of the Star Wars Lootcrate and more, it’s all in this new Star Wars Action News podcast!

And for our next show we want your input! What is your Star Wars collectible holy grail? A screen-used prop? A carded Vlix? A replacement for the stuffed Ewok you used to own? Let us know in our voicemail at 415-508-JEDI and your call may be used on our next show!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details in our forums!

: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN433.MP3

Category: Movies & Television

    

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Episode 433: Collecting Nirvana in Aberdeen

The 40 Year-Old-Critic: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

MV5BNTc4MTc3NTQ5OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTg0NjI4NA@@._V1_SX640_SY720_In The 40-Year-Old Critic, Venganza Media creator and host Arnie Carvalho recalls a memorable film for each year of his life. This series appears daily on the Venganza Media Gazette.

See a list of all reviews

Star Wars’ greatest legacy may not be the (now endless) sequels, or the billions of dollars in box office revenue, or even the tens of billions of ancillary revenue the franchise has generated for Lucasfilm (now Disney). No, the longest lasting impact of Star Wars may be the people inspired by that film saga to go on and create themselves.

Filmmakers as varied as Jon Favreau, Damon Lindelof, and Eli Roth have all cited Star Wars as an important inspiration to their works, as have numerous authors, artists, game designers, and more.

In 2005 Star Wars inspired me as well… to become a podcaster.

By the time Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was released I was pretty far-gone in terms of my fandom. Any lull I had experienced from 2000 to 2002 was long gone. My 2-bedroom townhouse had become a virtual Star Wars shrine with toys, prop replicas, and other various bric-a-brac on display in every room. As much due to my collection as it was a desire to build equity, Marjorie and I eventually left the rental property behind and moved into a home specifically selected for its ability to handle and display my Star Wars collection.

I had gotten three Star Wars tattoos since Attack of the Clones was released, including a Yoda that was based on the art in Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars micro TV series that bridged the story between Episode II and III. I was the ultimate Star Wars consumer — if it had a Star Wars logo I either bought it or put it on a long list to buy. I even, much to the amusement of the Target clerk and the embarrassment of my wife, bought a pair of Star Wars underwear intended for small children. To outsiders it was an undergarment, but to me it was a collectible.

The birth of Darth Vader was the moment fans had waited 28 years for.

The birth of Darth Vader was the moment fans had waited 28 years for.

The excitement grew as we drew close to Revenge of the Sith’s May 2005 release date. The premiere was May 19 at 12 a.m., and I took the day off of work to sit outside the theater trying to get the best seats. Though I arrived at 10 a.m., I was not the first in line.

Coming off the high of the Star Wars Celebration III convention we attended in April, Marjorie and I had prepared line party events, including trivia, prizes, and music. I rolled up in my convertible with two 12-inch subwoofers in the trunk and blasted dance mixes of Star Wars themes. It was a party, and a blast.

I did have to leave the party for a couple hours to teach class — which I did wearing a Darth Maul tie.

What about the movie? It was far from an afterthought in all the festivities, it was the main event. The conventions, the toys, the party, they were all ways to express our fandom and excitement for the upcoming release. But when I sat in that theater the early morning hours of May 19 I was enthralled. Instantly I knew this was the best of the Star Wars prequels, by a long shot. It was the first of the new trilogy to have emotional weight. Plus it had great action, exciting new characters, and even succeeded in besting The Phantom Menace by having the best lightsaber fight of the entire series. I had high expectations for Episode III and the film lived up to them.

The CGI visuals in Revenge of the Sith were striking and stunning.

The CGI visuals in Revenge of the Sith were striking and stunning.

I lived on a euphoric high for weeks after seeing Revenge of the Sith. I went several times in local theaters, not out of a sense of obligation as I did with Phantom Menace but because I wanted to enjoy the film again. Then Marjorie and I drove to Chicago to see the film digitally with Stuart, my Now Playing Podcast co-host and longtime friend.

My Star Wars collecting went to even greater heights. Every day during our lunch hour Marjorie and I would go on a toy run, visiting one or more stores looking for new Star Wars toys.

Weeks passed, though, and while my fandom never wavered the anticipation turned into a feeling of melancholia. I had been looking forward to the Star Wars prequels since they were first officially announced in 1993 (in, of all things, a Star Wars screensaver). For twelve years I’d always had the next Star Wars film to which I could look forward. With the prequels done I wondered if I would ever again experience that level of anticipation.

To continue to experience fandom in new ways I read more Star Wars novels and comics, and visited websites and online forums. There I saw repeated mentions of something called a “podcast.”

Still a better ending than Christopher Lee got in the Lord of the Rings series.

Still a better ending than Christopher Lee got in the Lord of the Rings series.

Being a tech head and, at that time, a college professor of Computer Science, I had heard of podcasting. I never understood the appeal; I was no fan of talk radio. More, I didn’t have an iPod, preferring the Creative Labs Nomad player. Yet now I saw there were podcasts discussing Star Wars, so I listened, and was excited. In my daily life I knew no Star Wars fans other than Marjorie, but on these shows were fans just like me, and they spent hours each week talking about nothing except Star Wars! Even more impressive, the Canadian podcast Star Wars En Direct even had Star Wars authors on the show to discuss their books.

I not only listened to the new podcasts, I went back and consumed the archives of many of these shows. Yet one thing frustrated me; while there were podcasts about Star Wars books, movies, and comics, none existed to talk about Star Wars collecting. Slowly the idea dawned on me… I should do my own.

I had a background in audio production. My desire to entertain, inspired by Pump Up the Volume, had sent me to study Mass Media Communications as an undergraduate. I was a radio DJ, and in my spare time experimented with digital audio, including rudimentary audio editing. As time went on I experimented in other computer multimedia, including video editing. I had the basic skills to do it, and just a few hours of research showed me all the technologies I would need to make it happen.

I also had my own website. My career goal had been to become a video game designer, and to build my resume I created a site reviewing PC games new and old.

So on Sunday, August 28, 2005, a little more than three months since Revenge of the Sith had visited theaters, I was inspired to create my own Star Wars podcast. I will never forget the conversation I had with Marjorie that Sunday morning.

“What plans do we have today?” I asked.

“Nothing,” she replied. It was a rare day that we had no obligations.

“Do you want to help me make a podcast?”

“Sure.”  Then, after a moment, she asked “What’s a podcast?”

Palpatine's slow corruption of Anakin Skywalker was a highlight.

Palpatine’s slow corruption of Anakin Skywalker was a highlight.

Within a few hours I had dug some old microphones out of a tote in my closet, installed the necessary audio editing software, and we were off. I didn’t know if anyone would listen, though I hoped they would. No matter what, though, I knew we’d always have the designation of having done it first.

That day Star Wars Action News was born.

I eventually learned that people did listen. I had reached out to several of the Star Wars websites and podcasts I’d read as a fan, and they actually posted about our show. I received immediate feedback, and that first week we had more than 50 downloads. The very next weekend I was at Best Buy to purchase better microphones and take some of that feedback to improve the show.

Tens of listeners became hundreds. Hundreds became thousands. Our show was a success. And while it was not earning money, I had finally found an outlet for my dream of entertaining people. Sure, I worked days at a bank, nights at a college, but on weekends I was a Star Wars commentator and collector.

That one podcast led to another… and another… and another. Marjorie and I have since traveled the country as invited Star Wars experts to speak at conventions. We have taken the mentality of throwing a Star Wars line party and grown it — at the last Star Wars Celebration we threw a party for almost 500 listeners and friends. Plus every year at San Diego Comic-Con we host the Star Wars Fan Breakfast for a sold-out crowd.

Most importantly, though, new friendships were formed. Marjorie and I met people near and far thanks to the reach of our Star Wars podcast. Now I had friends with whom I could chat about the saga, in addition to the regular show discussing my collecting.

And, of course, you’re probably reading this specifically because of Star Wars Action News. After all, without Star Wars Action News there’d be no Now Playing Podcast, the movie review show Marjorie and I started in 2007 and, with years of nurturing and attention, has grown to have an audience that even exceeds that of our cardinal show.

Darth Maul take note: lightsaber fights mean more when there's a background between the characters.

Darth Maul take note: lightsaber fights mean more when there’s a background between the characters.

These days it’s common for me to say “My life is weird.” I think this when I attend press events to interview the stars and directors of Leprechaun: Origins. The thought crosses my mind when I’m having a normal day at work and a piece of fan mail appears on my phone. I say it out loud when I see lines of people anxiously waiting to get into an event I’m hosting, just as I was anxious to see Star Wars in theaters. I’ve had the tremendous fortune to do things, meet people, and go places that many only dream of. I don’t take any of that for granted, but I always acknowledge that it’s a path I was inspired to take because of Star Wars Episode III:  Revenge of the Sith.

Tomorrow — 2006!

Arnie is a movie critic for Now Playing Podcast, a book reviewer for the Books & Nachos podcast, and co-host of the collecting podcasts Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys.  You can follow him on Twitter @thearniec    

September 4, 2014 Posted by | 40-Year-Old Critic, Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Podcast: Episode 432: A New Dawn for Star Wars Fiction

Last Spring it was announced that the Star Wars canon was taking a new direction. To pave way for the upcoming Episode VII as well as the Rebels TV series the previous Star Wars “Expanded Universe” was reclassified as Star Wars Legends, wiping the slate clean for a new era of Star Wars stories. That begins today with the release of A New Dawn, the Star Wars Rebels tie-in novel by John Jackson Miller. In this episode of Star Wars Action News Brock joins us with a review of this first novel in a new age of Star Wars fiction.

​Also on this week’s show, Marjorie and Arnie review Hasbro’s 4th wave of Black Series 3.75-inch figures. From Dagobah Luke to Yoda to Toryn Farr, watch the video to see hands-on reviews of these collector-oriented figures!

With reports from Wizard World Chicago and GenCon, eating fresh with Rebels, and much more, it’s all in this episode of Star Wars Action News!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details in our forums!

: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN432.MP3

Category: Movies & Television

    

September 2, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Episode 432: A New Dawn for Star Wars Fiction

The 40 Year-Old-Critic: Attack of the Clones (2002)

star_wars_episode_two_attack_of_the_clones_ver2In The 40-Year-Old Critic, Venganza Media creator and host Arnie Carvalho recalls a memorable film for each year of his life. This series appears daily on the Venganza Media Gazette.

See a list of all reviews

A week ago, while attending Wizard World Chicago, I had a debate with a Now Playing Podcast listener who claimed Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was the worst movie in the Star Wars saga. I strongly disagreed.

Not to say I think any of the Star Wars films are bad, per se. I have three tattoos taken from the series. I host Star Wars Action News, a biweekly podcast about Star Wars collecting. I am a devoted Star Wars fan — but I’m also a discerning Star Wars fan that can recognize that those Ewok TV movies are horrible and also distinguish differences in quality among the six films in the saga.

To me, Attack of the Clones was a much needed course correction for the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

To say Episode I: The Phantom Menace left me cold would be a literal truth, as I sat out one night in the freezing rain to get tickets. But it’s also metaphorically true. Perhaps it was how I binged on that first prequel film, seeing it seven times in three days. More, though, I think it was the movie itself. While it boasted the most exciting lightsaber fight in the series, the overall story was somewhat incomprehensible — I had to read various “expanded universe” novels to understand what the Trade Federation was trying to do, and I still think it was stretching. More, the film was completely devoid of humor. The first three Star Wars films had all been fun, with the cocky attitude of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) a centerpiece. Here that sardonic fun was replaced with a walking CGI fish creature stepping in crap.

This was the Star Wars prequel I'd dreamt of as a child.  Phantom Menace did not deliver.

This was the Star Wars prequel I’d dreamt of as a child. Phantom Menace did not deliver.

After The Phantom Menace I slowly found myself drifting away from Star Wars — a major lifestyle change. I had been reading Star Wars novels since 1993, played the video games constantly on my PC, and collected the toys obsessively since 1995. That all peaked with Phantom Menace’s release, when the Toys ‘R’ Us employees informed me that I’d spent the most money of anyone during their midnight toy release, and when I traveled 60 miles every Thursday to get the latest Kentucky Fried Chicken basket topper.

But in the summer of 1999 the glut of Episode I toys clogged shelves. With no new figures found, just the same ones that had been available for months, the thrill of collecting waned and I stopped bothering to look for the next wave of toys. More, I was let down by The Phantom Menace and didn’t wish to dwell on it. I pursued other interests, and stopped buying Star Wars books, toys, and games altogether. It was not a conscious break; when Phantom Menace was re-released in theaters in November of that same year — this time with proceeds going to charity — I saw it again. But that viewing solidified my feeling that my childhood was dead, it was time to move past Star Wars.

Reservoir Jedi

Reservoir Jedi

That stance lasted for a couple years. I even tried to sell my Star Wars collection, only to find that I wasn’t alone. A toy store in Chicago offered me 5 cents for brand new, mint figures — 1 percent of the retail price. He told me no one wanted Star Wars toys, new or old, and that he had a warehouse full of them that he couldn’t sell.

Also during that time my life changed a lot. I met Marjorie, we dated, and eventually moved in together. I also quit my low-paying job and returned to school full-time. We were living off her income and what savings I had put together. Times were tough, bills went unpaid, and there was no extra income to spend on toys. What movies we saw were mostly from the $1 rental bin, not full price theatrical fare.

Despite all this, when the first teaser trailer for Attack of the Clones was released I started to get excited. The trailer was attached to Harry Potter, and so Marjorie and I bought tickets just to see it in the theater. When it played… I was not thrilled. It looked like more of the same that we got in 1999 with Phantom Menace. We were so disappointed we actually left the theater without staying for Potter.

McGregor showed us Star Wars could be fun again.

McGregor showed us Star Wars could be fun again.

For me, Star Wars was in a nosedive. But it did pull out, and I remember the moment perfectly. A secret trailer for Attack of the Clones named “Mystery” was released online. A friend came over and he, Marjorie, and I all gathered around my laptop to watch. Another tease, this one focused on an assassin out to get Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). It showed action, it showed suspense, but best of all it showed humor! It seemed Lucas had realized how dull every character in Phantom Menace had been, and now the sarcastic wit was back courtesy of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor).

I watched that trailer repeatedly. By the time the third trailer came, my break from Star Wars was over.

But there’s more than that — this film changed my entire life forever.

As mentioned, Marjorie and I were engaged. We knew we were going to get married, but I was hesitating because I was an unemployed graduate student. I had no money, and neither of our parents’ would pay for a wedding. As such, the engagement had no end date, and I hadn’t even scraped the money together for a proper ring. Instead I gave her a placeholder ring that took the last of my cash: $25.

Our excitement for Attack of the Clones grew together; she was as excited for the film as I (and she was nowhere near as hard on Phantom Menace). As such, Marjorie suggested, “What if we have a Star Wars wedding?”

Marjorie, Arnie, and their minister pose for a photo at the wedding.

Marjorie, Arnie, and their minister pose for a photo at the wedding.

The thought had occurred to me; I’m not very traditional to begin with, and I considered all weddings to be pomp and circumstance. A tuxedo means nothing to me, nor does a wedding dress to Marjorie. All wedding garb is a costume, so why not make it a Star Wars costume? Plus there was no better time to do it than surrounding the release of a new movie, so a date was set and the Carvalho Star Wars wedding was on.

Her parents were excited. My parents were mortified. We kept certain things traditional — we were married in a church and there were no full-on costumes (I had never heard of the 501st costuming club, if I had I surely would have invited them). As I was the unemployed one I did much of the planning, and I did borrow some money — since repaid — from my godparents to get Marjorie a proper diamond engagement ring; smaller than she deserved but what I could give.

But she had another crazy idea.

The Star Wars Celebration II convention was the weekend before our wedding. As planning had left us stressed, we decided to max out our last credit card and go. I was hesitant; I had gone to a couple conventions in the past but didn’t see the appeal. That said, I had gone only for a couple hours, never an entire weekend. This was a totally new experience, and when we arrived we were immersed in Star Wars. Men in realistic-looking Stormtrooper armor worked security, triggering a latent fear of the men in white. On top of that, celebrities were everywhere; we even had Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and other stars sign our wedding invitation!

Plus, there was new Attack of the Clones footage screened exclusively for convention attendees. We got to see a trailer that parodied Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, ending with Yoda, lightsaber lit, jumping around like a crazy frog.

I had been excited for Episode II, but now I was practically vibrating with anticipation. I wanted to see Yoda kick ass!

Marjorie and Arnie's wedding invitation, signed by Star Wars celebrities.

Marjorie and Arnie’s wedding invitation, signed by Star Wars celebrities.

Star Wars Celebration II was a magical weekend bested only by the next one, when Marjorie and I were married. Because of the Star Wars connection local media showed up, and once it hit the AP wire we were known around the country. Our honeymoon in New Orleans felt like a press tour as we woke up every morning at 5 a.m. to talk about our wedding on radio shows, and we were even taken to the local NBC affiliate to appear on MSNBC.

On that honeymoon we went to a midnight screening of Attack of the Clones, which turned out to be one of the worst theatrical experiences in my life. As it was told to me, the theater was showing the film on 16 screens, but had only 4 prints. They were trying to daisy chain the prints from projector to projector, and it didn’t work; the film simply ripped. They had to show the prints to 4 theaters, and the other 12 waited. Finally at 2:30 a.m. the movie started.

I was nervous, what if it was terrible? We were booked to go on MSNBC the next morning, and Marjorie and I had already rehearsed saying, “Loved it!” in unison — lest we look like fools, going on national television about a wedding to tie into a sucky film. The trailers looked good, but after The Phantom Menace I knew there was a risk.

I needn’t have worried. That next morning, when asked by Natalie Morales what we thought of the film, we were honest in expressing excitement. It truly was a return to the Star Wars I’d loved as a child.

The sheer enormity of the clone army excited me.

The sheer enormity of the clone army excited me.

I’ve seen the movie dozens of times since 2002. Removed from the excitement of the release and the sentiment of our wedding I can clearly see it’s not a perfect film. If ranking the 6 live-action theatrical releases it would be second to last, Phantom Menace at the bottom. I felt the inclusion of Boba Fett as a child was unnecessary to the plot and some of the mysteries never made sense (though at the time I trusted, falsely, that Episode III would answer these questions). Still, the acting was far improved — Portman decided to use her skill this time, and McGregor was a joy throughout. The CGI effects were also better, with the huge battle at the end truly impressing and enthralling me. The lightsaber fight was exciting, and Yoda lived up to my expectations. It has flaws, but was certainly a step in the right direction.

Best of all, it ended with a wedding. Marjorie and I had both gone in spoiler-free and had no idea that we would be married only four days before Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Padme would also tie the knot. To have a Star Wars wedding tying into a new Star Wars film release was one thing, but to be that close to one that also involved a wedding seemed like kismet.

The wedding in Star Wars seemed perfectly timed for our Star Wars wedding.

The wedding in Star Wars seemed perfectly timed for our Star Wars wedding.

Though I couldn’t buy Marjorie the ring she deserved, and though the wedding had to be done on a very tight budget, marrying her was the best decision in my life. We have not only shared a life, but we share Star Wars, both through our wedding and now through our podcasts. It would have happened anyway but, to quote Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Thanks to this movie, it started earlier and has given me more great days than I’d have had otherwise.

More, Attack of the Clones brought me back into the Star Wars fold. I saw it multiple times in theaters, including a trip to Chicago to see it on IMAX — my first IMAX viewing experience. It righted much of what The Phantom Menace wronged.

It brought me back into collecting, as well. New figures were on shelves, but I couldn’t afford them. I finally gave up looking for a dream job and, to pay the bills (and buy a few figures), I took another low-paying temp job. In another unexpected twist, that temp job grew quickly into the career I have today.

And, yes, for our 10th anniversary I finally gave her the ring I wish I could have given her in 2002.

My wife, my work, and my continued love of Star Wars can all be traced back to Attack of the Clones. For that I can forgive its few cinematic flaws and appreciate it for the fun space fantasy that it is.

Tomorrow — 2003!

Arnie is a movie critic for Now Playing Podcast, a book reviewer for the Books & Nachos podcast, and co-host of the collecting podcasts Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys.  You can follow him on Twitter @thearniec    

September 1, 2014 Posted by | 40-Year-Old Critic, Conventions, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The 40 Year-Old-Critic: Attack of the Clones (2002)

New Podcast: Episode 431: Exclusive Showdown

The irony of San Diego Comic-Con is that while everyone rushes to buy the exclusives, there’s no time at the con to really look at them! Now Marjorie and Arnie are back home and have unpacked their SDCC shipment, and are ready to tell you if Hasbro’s 6-Inch Jabba the Hut exclusive, or the SDCC/Toys R Us exclusive Cantina Showdown set, was worth the trouble.

Also on this week’s show Steve the Gingerprince reports in from the London Film and Comic Con. With a not-too-surprising number of Star Wars guests (given where Episode VII is filming) and tons of toys, listen in to find out about that European event.

With Johnathan telling us what’s hitting stores, a look at the Star Wars Celebration pin set, and more, it’s all in this episode of Star Wars Action News!

We want you to join our team! We have openings currently for video editors, audio editors, and photo editors! Find out all the details in our forums!

: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN431.MP3

Category: Movies & Television

    

August 18, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Episode 431: Exclusive Showdown

40 Year-Old-Critic: Return of the Jedi (1983)

return_of_the_jedi_ver1In The 40-Year-Old Critic, Venganza Media creator and host Arnie Carvalho recalls a memorable film for each year of his life. This series appears daily on the Venganza Media Gazette.

See a list of all reviews

Anticipation for a film can be like great sex.

The foreplay starts when the film is announced, giving fans a hint that something great is to come. The slow build of anticipation can be excitingly agonizing. News bits are teased like a nibble on your earlobe, pictures are released from the set — the brief flashes making moviegoers anxious for the full reveal — and quotes tease the mind with plot threads as vague as an erect nipple through a cotton blouse. Finally, it all climaxes on the opening weekend; and that first viewing can sometimes be even better than the build up, or it can be a frustrating experience as the film exposes itself as something lesser than the fantasy built up in your mind.

To properly hype a film is a delicate dance. Studio marketing teams must be careful not to show too much too quickly, while still ensuring the filmgoer remains not only interested, but almost intoxicated by the perfume of previews.

I learned all of this as an 8-year-old. The film that taught me this lesson was Return of the Jedi.

Arnie's childhood soccer team was The Force to be reckoned with.

Arnie’s childhood soccer team was The Force to be reckoned with.

Up until the spring of 1983 moviegoing was always spurred by an adult in my life.  Even when I picked the film we attended I chose by simply looking at the newspaper listings, with no knowledge of release dates or whether the film was leaving theaters soon.

I usually became aware of a film upon its release. As mentioned in yesterday’s E.T. article, I watched Siskel & Ebert At The Movies weekly to learn about new films, but until their review aired I knew nothing about new movies being made. I may have seen an ad or two on television or trailers before other movies started, but I was too young for any of that to grab my attention.

I was too young to plan.

But that started to change after The Empire Strikes Back, with its unresolved cliffhanger of an ending. Being only 5 years old when I first saw Empire, I couldn’t fathom waiting three years for a conclusion to a story. After all, that was more than half my lifetime!

Primarily due to the toys, Star Wars was a constant topic of playground conversation, and throughout first, second, and third grade rumors about the next Star Wars film spread through the grapevine like urban legend.

“George Lucas was going to make Return of the Jedi three years after Empire, just as Empire was three years after Star Wars!”

"Are you done yet???"  Arnie's sister builds his AT-AT on Christmas day, 1982.

“Are you done yet???” Arnie’s sister builds his AT-AT on Christmas day, 1982.

“Then he’s planning to take a break for a few years, and release the next movie — Episode I — in 1989!”

To this day I don’t know how much of the “news” I heard about future Star Wars films was made up, how much came from news and magazines — passed down from parent to child — or how much I’ve learned since that has retroactively mingled in my imaginings.

What I do remember is the anticipation — for years — of that next Star Wars film.

I was not a child who dealt well with suspense. Commercial breaks were often agonizing torture, and season-finale cliffhangers would cause me physical pain — the need to know. But for three years I battled, wanting so badly to see what happened in the final Star Wars film.

Yet, despite all the anguish and all the talk about that third film it never felt real until late 1982 — six months before Return of the Jedi‘s release. When the trailers and magazine articles started, when toys started to hit shelves bearing the new, red Return of the Jedi logo, when bookstores had entire displays of Star Wars books promoting the upcoming film… that was when 8-year-old Arnie went insane.

It's finally done!

It’s finally done!

Toys, books, and magazines were all purchased in anticipation of this film — surrogates I used to try and satiate my desires until the Jedi’s release. My godparents would placate me with a deal: If I did good in school that week, then on Saturday they would take me to buy one action figure.

ONE!?!?!  But there were dozens on the store shelves, and so many more to come! I would watch Saturday morning cartoons and make lists of all the figures being released. I took a cardback and would X off each figure I owned as a way of marking time until I could have them all.

My parents, however, were not as indulgent regarding toys. They did however encourage me to read, and so I remember one Sunday going to the (now closed) local bookshop, The Book Emporium. There I saw a massive display of Star Wars novels, and a poster promoting the upcoming release of a Return of the Jedi novelization! That image of two hands clasping the blue lightsaber was burned into my brain, and to this day it is my iconic image of that film. I couldn’t bear it so I badgered my father to buy me all the Star Wars books, and I took my pleasures where I could — reading the novelizations of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back to fully re-experience those stories before seeing Return of the Jedi.

Arnie - Star Wars Pics 1980 through 1983 6

Arnie’s 1983 Birthday Cake

Finally, two weeks before the film was out, the novelization by James Kahn was in stores. I bought it the Saturday after it was released and tore into it. I couldn’t wait any longer for Return of the Jedi — the thirteen days until the film would be in theaters was agonizing.  I had to have it now. I read like I’d never read before, page after page, excited for every new reveal.

It was a feeling like I was doing something naughty. There was forbidden knowledge in this book! I knew things no one else on the playground knew!

So excited was I about my insight into this upcoming movie that I would regale my sister Susan with anecdotes from the novel. Perhaps wanting me to have a pure movie experience (perhaps just wanting to shut me up), she introduced me to the concept of what we now call a “spoiler.”

She asked me if I was ruining the movie by knowing all about it before I saw it. Now, I wanted to see this movie more than I wanted air to breathe, so I promised her I would not read the last 50 pages. The film’s ending I would save for the screen.

But the waiting was killing me. Never before had I paid careful attention to a film’s opening date, but that year I knew Return of the Jedi would open on May 25. I had never been to an evening movie before — my parents always saved money by taking me to matinees — but Susan promised to take me opening night. My childhood best friend Stuart, now my co-host on Now Playing Podcast, also joined us.

We went early; Susan knowing that her brother wasn’t the only one anxious for Jedi. Still, the line was long at the Fox Theater in Springfield. It ran the full length of the strip mall, and for a half-hour we stood right outside the toy store where I practically drooled over the giant Star Wars toy display in the window.

ROTJ Vader

Vader walked the line at our Return of the Jedi screening.

Walking down the line, working the crowd, was Darth Vader. I’d seen costumed characters before on stage shows, and sometimes superheroes would appear at that very same toy store. But those were scheduled appearances. I had no concept of cosplay, and I was somewhat frightened by this tall man carrying the Kenner lightsaber. Part of me knew he wasn’t the real Darth Vader, and part of me hoped he was indeed the Sith Lord come to terrorize my town.

When we got to the box office we were told there were only 3 tickets left for the film — all of us could get in, but we couldn’t sit together. My sister was flummoxed by this, as we were two children in her care for the night.

But I didn’t care who I sat by, or didn’t sit by, just get me in that theater! Sorry Stuart. Sorry Susan. I cared more about seeing Return of the Jedi than spending time with either of you!

That was another radical shift. Up until that point in my life, movies were always a social event. I couldn’t imagine watching a movie alone, and going to a cinema was always as much about time with friends and family as it was the film itself.

Not this time. This time Return of the Jedi and I had to be together. Now.

So in we went. I had an end-of-the-aisle seat next to a stranger. Before the lights dimmed I tried to look around and see where Stuart and Susan were seated, but the theater was large and soon I ceased to care. They never once entered my thoughts as I was transported at 0.5-past-lightspeed to a galaxy far, far away.

In 1983 there was no better birthday gift for Arnie than an Ewok village.

In 1983 there was no better birthday gift for Arnie than an Ewok village.

The film moved so fast and had so many vivid creature designs that I instantly forgot everything I had read in the book. On the page I had only my own imaginings, and a few photos in the middle of the novel, to aid in the visualization of the story. Now, with dancing Twi’leks, organ-playing muppets, and slithering Hutts the film consumed me whole — as the Rancor would to the Gamorrean guard. The Emperor, the red-robed Royal Guards, the speeder bikes, they enthralled me. But my favorite were the Ewoks. Some have claimed the fierce teddy bears were Lucas’ crass marketing attempt to appeal to children. It worked. I was hooked by these furry, man-eating creatures, and immediately every Ewok figure was at the top of my toy-buying list.

When the Death Star exploded, I didn’t care that it was a retread of the same climax Lucas had done six years earlier, the one I’d watched on VHS nearly every day after school. Evil was defeated. That was what mattered.

This film lived up to what I wanted at that age. It was love-at-first-viewing, and like any new romance the euphoria made me proclaim it the best movie I’d ever seen. I knew I had seen E.T. 12 times in theaters the year before, so I would not be satisfied until I’d seen Jedi 13 times and it could claim my record.

(At 17 viewings, counting the ‘97 rerelease and a convention screening, Jedi is to this day the movie I’ve seen most often theatrically.)

As an adult I feel Return of the Jedi, while still very good, is by far the weakest of the three original Star Wars films. The pacing is downright odd, with too much time spent rescuing Han Solo in a subplot far removed from the main action of the saga. Lucas had painted himself into a corner and it took a long side-trip to the Pit of Carkoon to fix it. Yoda’s death was convenient, Luke and Leia’s sibling relationship was contrived, and Han Solo was neutered.

"Obi-Wan, invite the creepy guy to join us, did you?"

“Obi-Wan, invite the creepy guy to join us, did you?”

Jedi was also the first Star Wars film where I felt Lucas was too ambitious and the technology was not able to realize his vision. From Imperial Walkers to Tauntauns to Landspeeders to Yoda, the effects wizards in Lucas’ employ had made it all work in his previous films. But in Jedi the seams were showing — quite literally in the case of the puppets in Jabba’s palace. From the shoddy matting of the Rancor to the poor articulation in the Ewok faces, this is the Star Wars film that looks the most fake.

 

Lucas would try to fix some of these technical issues in myriad re-releases, starting with the Special Edition in 1997. Each time Jedi got a little worse, right down to the creepy insertion of Hayden Christensen at the end, and Darth Vader’s lame battle cry of “Noooooo.”

Still, despite these issues, the core storyline of Vader’s redemption, a son’s determination to save his father, and the final battle between good and evil makes this a worthy entry in the Star Wars franchise.

But this experience — anticipating a film so hotly that I was near-obsessed — was euphoric. To this day few experiences in my life are as pleasurable as the anticipation for a great, exciting movie.

Arnie - Star Wars Pics 1980 through 1983 1

More birthday gifts from 1983

It was this level of hype I had for the remake of Friday the 13th that launched Now Playing Podcast’s first retrospective series. That same hype for The Avengers, more than one year before its release, instigated Now Playing’s Marvel Movie Retrospective.

As for future hype, I look at Star Wars Episode VII. I believed for 30 years that the Star Wars story ended with Return of the Jedi, but Lucas’ decision to retire — combined with Disney shareholders’ lust for profit — mean the story will continue. Part of me feels like this is a spinoff, a story based on characters created by George Lucas. Episode VII is in completely unnecessary, save for the Disney folks who watch it with dollar signs in their eyes.

But… it could be good. The recent reveal of an X-Wing is pulling at my nostalgic love for the original trilogy. Certainly all the marketers at Disney will try to seduce me. The images revealed, the first trailers, will all be Episode VII courting me, teasing me, trying to gain my interest and make me excited. Time will tell if Star Wars can still get me hot and bothered 32 years later.

But I’ll never forget my first, and as such Return of the Jedi will always be special.

Arnie is a movie critic for Now Playing Podcast, a book reviewer for the Books & Nachos podcast, and co-host of the collecting podcasts Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys.  You can follow him on Twitter @thearniec

August 13, 2014 Posted by | 40-Year-Old Critic, Marvelicious Toys, Movies, Podcasts, Reviews, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Now Playing soars on iTunes, Bleeding Cool covers ‘The 40-Year-Old Critic’

Venganza Media celebrated dual successes on Thursday, as Now Playing Podcast’s Guardians of the Galaxy review cracked the Top 5 on iTunes, while the company’s latest project — Arnie Carvalho’s The 40-Year-Old Critic — received a welcome reception from pop culture website BleedingCool.com.

“I love hearing people talk passionately about their interests, and there are fewer people that do so with as much vigor and resourcefulness as one Arnie Carvalho,” Bleeding Cool’s Jeremy Konrad wrote of the Venganza Media founder and Now Playing Podcast co-host.

In anticipation of his 40th birthday, Carvalho has been taking a look back at an influential film for every year of his life. That list includes hits like Jaws and E.T., but also notorious flops such as Popeye and Howard the Duck – the latter having previously been featured in one of Now Playing Podcast’s most famous episodes.

Konrad’s Q&A also covers the podcast’s popular donation shows, Carvalho’s toy collection, and Now Playing Podcast’s continued dominance of Apple’s iTunes podcast page.

Now Playing Podcast is currently featured in iTunes “What’s Hot” section, and on Thursday the review of Guardians of the Galaxy reached No. 3 on the Top 200 TV & Film episode chart. The review — released Monday — is the latest entry into Now Playing’s celebrated Marvel Comics Movie Retrospective Series, which began in 2011 and has covered every theatrical and television film featuring a Marvel superhero.

Now Playing Podcast is also wrapping up its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles retrospective, with the final film in the five-episode series scheduled for release Tuesday, Aug. 12.

http://www.venganzamedia.com/Gazette/2014/07/31/venganza-media-announces-the-40-year-old-critic-series/

 

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/08/07/a-podcaster-looks-at-40-arnie-carvalho-the-podcast-guru-talks-now-playing-star-wars-action-news-and-more/

 

August 8, 2014 Posted by | 40-Year-Old Critic, Comic Books, Marvelicious Toys, Movies, News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews, Site Information, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Now Playing soars on iTunes, Bleeding Cool covers ‘The 40-Year-Old Critic’

40 Year-Old-Critic: Star Wars (1977)

e948_classic_star_wars_movie_posters1In The 40-Year-Old Critic, Venganza Media creator and host Arnie Carvalho recalls a memorable film for each year of his life. This series appears daily on the Venganza Media Gazette.

See a list of all reviews

For each year of this series I spent quite a bit of time deciding which film was the most influential on my life. I read lists of all films released, as it’s certainly possible a low-grossing cult hit could have impacted me more than any blockbuster or award-winner. I spent at least 30 minutes researching every year before making my decision.

Well, every year except 1977.

I only half-jokingly ask: Were any movies released in 1977 other than Star Wars? More accurately, do any other films matter when stacked up against Star Wars? Looking at the year’s biggest films, there was Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which furthered Stephen Spielberg’s career and has legions of fans (I’m not one of them). The Woody Allen crowd will point to Oscar-winner Annie Hall. It’s an okay film but, to me, forgettable. Smokey and the Bandit and Oh, God! were products of their time, and neither aged well. Even that year’s James Bond release — The Spy who Loved Meis a letdown.

But then there is Star Wars (and note, I refuse to call it A New Hope; when it came out in 1977 it was simply Star Wars). The film is more than a cultural phenomenon, it is a global icon. Star Wars transcends nationality, race, gender, and age. Everywhere I go, from Illinois to California to Germany to Spain to Mexico, I find Star Wars fans and collectibles.

It is not hyperbole to say Star Wars forever changed cinema. On a meager budget George Lucas’ team developed entirely new ways to film special effects. John Dykstra’s computer-controlled Dykstraflex camera allowed for dynamic, active shots of ships in space without use of visible fishing lines. The rapid-fire, Academy Award-winning editing — courtesy of Paul Hirsch, Richard Chew, and (George’s ex-wife) Marcia Lucas — created an excitStar Wars X-Wing Fighting feel while trusting audiences to keep up with a story that starts in the middle of the action. Not only did Star Wars raise the bar for science-fiction and action spectacles, it quite literally and fundamentally changed the way movies were made.

I have heard and read the complaints that Star Wars forever ruined movies by relying on hackneyed character tropes, choosing action over acting, and making audiences care more about the spectacle than the story.

I dismiss those comments as rhetoric.  People love to lay blame, and there’s a hipster-coolness to attacking any cultural touchstone.

Yes, there are numerous Star Wars imitators that have taken these impulses to mind-numbing extremes, but that is the fault of each film’s creator. Star Wars simply showed moviegoers and movie-makers alike what could be done.

Personally, Star Wars was a film that would shape the way I view movies. As a child it made me believe in magic. In my late teens it introduced me to Campbellian mythological structure and archetypes. Honestly, it has — directly or indirectly — influenced every major decision of my life.

I’m told my parents took me to see Star Wars in 1977. I would have been 3, maybe 4 years old, and I have no memory of seeing it on the big screen.

Arnie Carvalho - 1978 and 1979  24 CAPTIONEDI do remember the toys. When I was still too young to read I saw a little green alien action figure (Greedo) in the toy aisle of our Kroger grocery store and I wanted him. My parents read this as me loving the film and started to buy me more figures in the toy line — which confused me at first. But over time I grew to understand not just the figures, but the movie which I watched in an endless loop for many years. Then I expanded to the video games (on the Atari 2600), Star Wars novels, role-playing games, and more.

As the Star Wars sequels were released I became even more enthralled with the universe, and it is a love that never waned. In the late 80s, when Star Wars was in a lull, I still watched the movies and reread the books. In 1993 my college dorm held Star Wars Sundays. HBO seemed to play the trilogy every week, and I formed a bond with my fellow students through this shared childhood love.

It was Star Wars that led me to online forums. It was Star Wars that motivated me in 1996 to build my first personal website about the Star Wars toys I collected and the role-playing game I was running. In 2005, it was Star Wars that motivated me to look up the definition of a podcast, and then to dig an old microphone out of the closet and start my first show, Star Wars Action News.

Throughout the past nine years I have traveled across this country — and to Germany — taking part and speaking at several conventions. I have hosted sold-out Star Wars fan events and even presented on the Kotobukiya stage at San Diego Comic-Con.

I was honored to have StarWars.com claim my Star Wars collection was one of the largest in the world. I have had the honor of touring Lucasfilm, and even briefly met George Lucas himself. Since starting Star Wars Action News I’ve gone to new places, had new experiences, interviewed actors, producers and writers, and made dozens of new friends.

All of that goes back to this one film from 1977.

The truth is, without Star Wars you would not be reading this article. My love of Star Wars grew into a love of film, and my Star Wars podcasting grew into a network of podcasts that includes the movie review show Now Playing Podcast, which has become our most-downloaded show and a staple in the iTunes top TV & Film audio podcasts category.

As a film critic, Star Wars is the film by which I measure all other blockbusters. Transformers may have modern effects and louder explosions, but does it create the same sense of wonder in its audience? Is Sam Witwicky a suitable audience avatar — a hero in the vein of Luke Skywalker?

(Answer: he’s not. Listen to our Transformers Movie Review Retrospective to hear why.)

Now, I do realize every Star Wars film has its flaws, from wooden acting to redundant plot points to convenient character revelations. But I don’t care. I may be turning 40, but when I watch Star Wars I’m 6 years old again, and I love it.

Star Wars has shaped my life, and there is no other film from 1977 that can compete.

Tomorrow — 1978!

Arnie is a movie critic for Now Playing Podcast, a book reviewer for the Books & Nachos podcast, and co-host of the collecting podcasts Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys.  You can follow him on Twitter @thearniec 

August 7, 2014 Posted by | 40-Year-Old Critic, Movies, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pre-Order Alert: eFX Collectibles Biker Scout Helmet and Pistol

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Up for pre-order now from eFX Collectibles is their Legend Edition Scout Trooper Helmet & Pistol!  This is described by eFX as “the most accurate reproduction of this incredible helmet produced to date.”  The master molds for the helmet were made from the original master tools ILM used to make the helmets used for Return of the Jedi, and then an original ILM decal sheet was used to make the markings and symbols on the helmet.  Finally the helmet is made in ABS, just like the on-screen prop helmets.


Additionally this helmet comes with a replica Biker Scout Pistol, cast from an original, screen-used prop!


The price is $899 and, limited to 500 pieces, this is sure to sell out fast.  So if you want yours head to eFX’s web site now!

July 8, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: eFX Collectibles Biker Scout Helmet and Pistol

Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow 12-inch Bomb Squad Clone Trooper

1001921-bomb-squad-clone-trooper-ordnance-specialist-001

Continuing their pre-San Diego Comic-Con releases, Sideshow Collectibles has just put up a surprise pre-order:  the 12-inch Bomb Squad Clone Trooper: Ordnance Specialist.  They write:

Called in to protect Naboo from biological warfare, the Clone Ordnance Specialist boasts his trademark orange deco with shoulder insignia, and is fully equipped with everything he needs to get the job done, including blasters, backpack, and wire cutters for diffusing deadly virus bombs.

As an intergalactic conflict rages on, a massive army of Clone Troopers fights in service of the Republic.

This 1/6 scale figure comes with

  • Fully Articulated Trooper Body
  • Weathered Full Body Armor with Ordnance Specialist Marking Deco
  • Detailed Phase I Helmet
  • Backpack with Fabric Cover
  • Two (2) Virus Bombs with extending Blue Shadow Virus Canisters
  • Thirteen (13) Interchangeable hands including:
    -Right and Left Fists
    -Right and Left Trigger Hands
    -Right and Left C-Grip Hands
    -Right Salute Hand
    -Left Thumbs up Hand
    -Two (2) Left Pointer Hands
    -One (1) Right Pointer Hand
    -One (1) Left Virus Bomb Holding Hand
    -One (1) Right Wire Clipper Holding Hand
  • One (1) Pair Standing Pose Feet
  • One (1) Pair Action Pose Feet
  • DC-15A Blaster Rifle with Optional Spear Attachment
  • DC-15S Blaster Carbine

 

So hurry and place your order now at Sideshow’s Site!

July 7, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow 12-inch Bomb Squad Clone Trooper

Star Wars Exclusive Action Figure at…WALGREENS?

Walgreens Screenshot - Boba Fett Exclusive - WATERMARKED

If you follow Marvel Toy collecting then you know the community has been buzzing this week with Hasbro’s confirmation that the formerly-cancelled Agent Venom Marvel Legends figure will be released this August as an exclusive.  More shocking was where the exclusive would be sold–Walgreens, the ubiquitous corner drug-store chain.  This is the first time Walgreens has carried an exclusive Hasbro toy, but per our sources another may be coming very soon.

We received an e-mail with the included screenshot from a Walgreens system showing that there also is a Star Wars exclusive action figure coming to Walgreens.  The listing reads “STAR WARS BOBA FETT EXCLUSIVE DISP” and is listed as “ACTION FIGURES/ACCESSRY”.  The retail price shown is $19.99, which seems inexpensive for a Black Series 6-inch figure (given Walgreens inflated prices) but overpriced for a 3.75-inch figure.

Our source speculates it may be a repainted Boba Fett 6-inch, perhaps in the white McQuarrie colored armor, or perhaps with the Return of the Jedi markings.  (Hasbro’s Darryl DePriest has said the intent was to have last year’s San Diego Comic-Con exclusive be the Boba Fett and the regular retail version have Return of the Jedi coloring).

The expected arrival date is listed as August 27, 2014–around the same time the Venom should be hitting the corner of happy & healthy.

We have reached out to our friends at Hasbro asking for confirmation.  More news as we get it!

And, as always, all news is considered rumor until confirmed by Hasbro.

What do you want the figure to be?  Let us know in the comments below!

June 24, 2014 Posted by | News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow 12-inch Cade Bane – Denal Disguise

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Up for preorder now at Sideshow Collectibles is one of the most accessory-laden 12-inch Star Wars figures to date!  From the Clone Wars series you can now order Cad Bane in Denal Disguise!

From the Season 2 Clone Wars episode “Cargo of Doom” Cad Bane donned the clone armor to infiltrate Anakin Skywalker’s ship.  Now you can have this variant of the blue Duros bounty hunter.

But more than just swappable heads on the figure, this set comes with 13 different interchangable hands, action feet, two blasters, plus two different backpack types.

And if you hurry and order the exclusive version you also get a special Clone Denal themed figure stand.

This is up for order now at Sideshow’s site.  So get yours while you can!

 

June 12, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow 12-inch Cade Bane – Denal Disguise

Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow Exclusive Sixth Scale Wolfpack Clone Trooper

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Sideshow Collectibles’ latest sixth scale figure is up for preorder – the Wolfpack Clone Trooper from the 104th Battalion!

Shipping this November, the figure comes with

  • Fully Articulated Trooper Body
  • Battle Weathered Full Body Armor with 104th Marking Deco
  • Detailed Phase II Helmet with Wolfpack Deco
  • JT-12 Jet Pack
  • Backpack with Fabric Cover
  • Thirteen (13) Interchangeable hands
  • One (1) Pair Standing Pose Feet
  • One (1) Pair Action Pose Feet
  • DC-15A Blaster Rifle with Optional Spear Attachment
  • DC-15S Blaster Carbine
  • ‘Star Wars’ logo Base
  • Base with Wolfpack Designation Artwork

So place your order now at Sideshow Collectibles!

 

May 22, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow Exclusive Sixth Scale Wolfpack Clone Trooper

New Podcast: Star Wars Action News Episode 424: Jabba in a Box!

424 coverIn this episode the hosts of Star Wars Action News look at the Episode VII casting announcement, new toy offerings by Disney, report from the Toy Man Toy Show, and much more!

Star Wars Action News is back and with May the 4th behind us there is tons of collecting news to talk about. Sideshow Collectibles has released more than half a dozen new products in one-sixth, one-quarter, and full scales; Disney Stores have stocked up on exclusive figures, plushies, and statues, and Hasbro has revealed their San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive Jabba the Hutt! Listen as Marjorie and Arnie discuss all the latest news in this podcast.

Also on this show, Steve the Gingerprince hasn’t had much time to collect lately but he made up for it over May the 4th weekend at Star Wars Fun Days. Listen as he reports in on all the finds across the pond. And joining in also is Jerry with a look at pseudo-Vintage Star Wars items.

With a stand-ing report by Scott From Tulsa, a look at last weekend’s Toy Man Toy Show, collecting news from Star Wars Celebration Anaheim and reactions to the Episode VII casting news, it’s all in the latest Star Wars Action News podcast!

Download the show now at swactionnews.com

May 12, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Star Wars Action News Episode 424: Jabba in a Box!

May the SALES Be With You!

It’s May the 4th time again, and what started as an internet joke has become a major marketing tool for Lucasfilm and their partners to offer discounts on Star Wars items, or release new, exclusive ones!  With all the news that is going to be released on the 4th, keep checking back to this page as we update with all the sales info!

And do you know of a sale we missed?  E-mail us the details at show@swactionnews.com

Toys and Statues

Entertainment Earth has two sales going on!  May 4th only all in-stock Star Wars Action Figures are on sale!  This includes older figures, comic packs, and the new Black Series figures in both 3.75-inch and 6-inch scales!  But also at Entertainment Earth all week you can get Star Wars statues and busts for 20% off.  This sale includes pre-orders so get your Kotobukiya Mara Jade or your Gentle Giant Padme, Yoda, and Holiday Special Boba Fett!

Not a sale, but Sideshow Collectibles unveiled a new life-sized Star Wars statue — Yoda.  This is the third life-sized item recently, added to the Han Solo in Carbonite and Boba Fett statues.

Sideshow also put up for pre-order their exclusive 1/6 Scale R2-D2 Deluxe figure.  The exclusive edition comes with 3 extra accessories – a saw arm, a laser welding arm, and a spacecraft linkage arm!

Amazon.com has all their FX Lightsabers for 37% off!   This is good through May 10th.  Plus keep your eye on Amazon for the Black Series 6-Inch Stormtrooper which has been popping in and out of stock.

LEGO.com has another exclusive minifigure for May 4th this year — Darth Revan from Knights of the Old Republic!  He is free at Lego.com with a purchase of $75 or more.  You can also get a free Star Wars LEGO poster with any Star Wars LEGO Purchase.

Midtown Comics has ALL their Star Wars statues, figures, and more for 20% off May 4th only.

Rancho Obi-Wanis offering, today only, 15% off all of their fixed-price eBay auctions!

Plus Star Wars Action News sponsor Brian’s Toys has added nearly 1,000 Vintage Figures to their web site, so if you’re wanting to complete your vintage Star Wars collection now is the time!  And through May 18th you can get $15 off any order at Brian’s Toys $75 or more by using coupon code 4THBWU at checkout!

Books, Comics, and Video

Dark Horse comics is again having their digital May the 4th Megabundle.  This is 150 digital Star Wars comics for just $100, including series like Crimson Empire, Dark Times, and the new Star Wars series!  They also have a May the 4th Kids MegaBundle for only $30 which comprises 18 comics and small books aimed at younger readers.

With Star Wars Episode 7 coming out the Star Wars Insider will have plenty of new, exclusive content.  And through May 5th you can get 20% off with a subscription plus a free, exclusive T-Shirt!

Amazon also has their Star Wars DVDs and Blu Rays on sale, including the Star Wars films and the five seasons of The Clone Wars.

Amazon’s Star Wars eBooks and eComics are also on sale with tons of graphic novels for 99 cents or $1.99 and dozens of novels at discount as well (even if most of them are Legends now).

Gus Lopez and Duncan Jenkins are having a sale on their Star Wars Collectors’ books!  Throughout all of May you can purchase their Price Guide for only $25, or bundle it with their guide to Star Wars Prototypes for just $50.

Clothes

Her Universe is celebrating the day with 40% off most of their Star Wars items, plus unveiling new designs and a “mystery tee”

Also Think Geek is having 20% off most of their Star Wars items including a Han in Carbonite rug, Star Wars chopsabers, their Dark Roast Coffee, Hoodies, and so, so much more!

Cufflinks.com is having 37% off all their Star Wars items on May 4th only.  They have a very cool, wide selection of ties, socks, money clips, and (shocker!) cufflinks!

Amazon has some exclusive REBELS T-Shirts as well.

Hot Topic has 20% off all their Star Wars items, which is mostly T-Shirts but also some stickers, posters, car accessories, and POP Vinyl figures.

For even more Star Wars T-Shirts We Love Fine has 25% off their Star Wars T-Shirts May 4th only with coupon code MAYTHEFOURTH14

Video Games and Tech

Steam has their Star Wars gaming bundle on sale for 2/3 off, getting you 14 classic Star Wars games, including ttlefront II, Jedi Knight 1 and 2, The Force Unleashed, Knights of the Old Republic, Dark Forces, and many more for  $33.99.

Sony and Microsoft also both have sales on their digital console games on their respective online stores.

If you still have a need for thumb drives (or just like cute designs) Mimoco has 20% off all their Star Wars MIMOBOTs on May 4th only.

Misc

Super 7 has a new silkscreened 16 x 20 Darth Vader poster, limited to 200, available starting today.

 

Check back here as we will be updating the page all day long, and if there’s a sale of note that we missed e-mail us!

May 3, 2014 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , | Comments Off on May the SALES Be With You!

Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow Collectibles Jango Fett Sixth Scale Figure

2149-product-feature1-740x448 He’s just a sixth-scale figure trying to make his way in the universe

It has been some time since Sideshow Collectibles put up for order a new Star Wars 12-inch scale figure.  They previewed an upcoming sixth-scale Artoo Detoo, but then today they put up for pre-order a totally different figure:  Jango Fett!  

This villain from Attack of the Clones is loaded with accessories and detail.  With a fully articulated body and a detailed flight suit including the “durasteel” Armored Vest, Thigh, Knee, Shin, and Boot armor, he also has a belt with pouches, a dual holster belt, left and right gaultnets, boots, a poncho, two Jetpacks, and more!  Plus he comes with two Blaster Pistols and a Kamino Saber Dart!  Also, the blasters and jet packs have flare attachments for a more action-oriented display.

And if you order the Sideshow Exclusive Edition today you get a swap-out head, showing Jango Fett unmasked, wearing his pilot’s head gear!

This figure is available for pre-order now for $219.99, and payment plans available as low as $73.33 per month, so head to Sideshow Collectibles and get yours now!

 

May 2, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow Collectibles Jango Fett Sixth Scale Figure

Why Now is the Time To Order Your Kotobukiya Mara Jade Statue

KTSV96lgNews was revealed last Friday on StarWars.com that the Star Wars Expanded Universe is no longer canonical.  As discussed on the Star Wars Action News podcast covering C2E2 2014, the previous Star Wars continuity is being rebranded “Legends”.  Now a new Star Wars canon begins, with only the six Star Wars films and The Clone Wars TV Series considered gospel.

This turns 23 years of novels, beginning with Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire into an extended “what if” scenario.  Chewbacca was no longer killed by a moon.  Luke was never Lando’s wingman on the latter man’s quest for a wife.  Princess Leia never had three children (two of whom were later killed).

And this also means Luke Skywalker never met, married, and had a child with Mara Jade.  More, Jade never existed.  All the retcons of this Force-strong female working in secret for the Emperor, infiltrating Jabba’s palace, and later murdered by her nephew, are all now an alternate take on what happens in the Star Wars universe.

With this rebranding all future Star Wars fiction, from books to comics to movies to video games, is being monitered by a Lucasfilm Story Group.  Some characters and events can be cherry picked from the “Legends” timeline if future creators wish, but as of today we face a new Star Wars where Mara Jade is not only dead, she never existed at all.

Which is why I placed my order today for the Kotobukiya Mara Jade Bishoujo Statue.  And I highly suggest you do the same.  Plus, if you haven’t already, get Kotobukiya’s first Star Wars Bishoujo statue, Jaina Solo.

I have asked the reps at Kotobukiya about the Mara Jade statue on several occasions, most recently in February at New York Toy Fair 2014.  It was at that event that Hasbro Vice President Daryl DePriest mentioned that his company was no longer allowed by Lucasfilm to make or rerelease characters from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.  Given that stance I have been worried that Kotobukiya’s second Star Wars Bishoujo statue may never see the light of day.

Now scheduled for release within the next 30 days I do now believe Kotobukiya’s Mara Jade will be released.  However, given the character’s deep love in the community (the well-known Star Wars book site Club Jade, is named after her), I now think this statue will sell very quickly.

The Jaina Solo Bishoujo statue sold out from resellers and the price went up considerably on the secondary market.  Realizing the demand for that statue Kotobukiya produced another run and she is now priced at $49.95 shipped on Amazon.

But with the new status quo of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, wiping both of these characters away, I wonder:

1)  Once these statues sell out, would Kotobukiya choose to do another run for a character that’s removed from continuity?

2)  If Kotobukiya chose to make more of these statues, would Lucasfilm allow them to continue to manufacture non-canonical characters? (Especially given that Hasbro cannot?)

3)  If these statues, especially Mara Jade, become as rare and coveted as I expect, what will happen to their prices on the secondary market?

Once before Kotobukiya produced a Bishoujo statue they were not allowed to make another run of–DC Comics’ Catwoman.  That statue, that originally retailed for about $65, is now over $200 on eBay.  I can certainly see a similar fate for Mara Jade.

And that is why I placed my order today, to ensure I received a Mara Jade statue from Kotobukiya’s first shipment, securing her place in my collection.  The Expanded Universe may reboot, but my fandom of those characters continues, and I want them represented in my Star Wars display.

If you are fans of these characters, I suggest you do the same and order your Mara Jade today!

Do you agree? Disagree?  Will you be ordering the Mara Jade?  Let me know in the comments below!

April 28, 2014 Posted by | Books, Movies, News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why Now is the Time To Order Your Kotobukiya Mara Jade Statue

Today Only: 30% Off Select Gentle Giant Jumbo Figures at Entertainment Earth


Han and Zuckuss

Entertainment Earth is having a sale today only on Gentle Giant Jumbo figure from The Empire Strikes Back!  Right now is the time to save big on Hoth Outfit Han Solo and Zuckuss (who really should be named 4-LOM if it’s a vintage reproduction, but it is what it is).

These figures normally retail for $79.99 but until 11:59pm PST on Monday, April 28, they are only $56.00 each at Entertainment Earth!

April 28, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Today Only: 30% Off Select Gentle Giant Jumbo Figures at Entertainment Earth

Update – Chewbacca out of Wave 4 Case, Stormtrooper, Boba Fett Back in

Wave4Case

Chewbacca will no longer be part of Hasbro’s Star Wars 6-Inch Black Series figure line.  The Episode III Obi-Wan figure is also no longer included.  Instead the wave will include carry-forwards of the hard to find 6-inch Boba Fett and Stormtrooper figures.

We first reported the rumor that Wave 4 of Hasbro’s 6-Inch Black Series action figure line may not have Chewie included.  This wave was originally solicited as three new fligures (Chewbacca, Anakin Skywalker, and a Clone Trooper) plus one carry-forward (the truly awful Episode III Obi-Wan Kenobi, watch our review of this figure on Star Wars Action News Episode 421).  Per the rumor, Lucasfilm did not like Chewie’s hunched pose in the small window box and the figure may be delayed until the new blue and black, taller window box was used.

Now DorksideToys.com has revealed that rumor was true, Chewbacca will not be included in Wave 4.  Instead of Chewbacca and Ob-Wan Hasbro has included the two hardest to find figures in this line:  Boba Fett and the Stormtrooper.  Clearly this will help fans get these figures at retail pricing.  With the Stormtrooper and Clone Trooper in this wave it’s possible Boba Fett may even become common as troop builders, buying multiples of just those two figures, leave droves of the bounty hunter behind.

Are you excited by this change, or upset at Chewbacca’s delay?  Let us know in the comments below!

April 17, 2014 Posted by | News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Star Wars Collecting: A discounted Boba Fett, Sideshow’s Savage Opress, and a Life Sized Han in Carbonite

Star Wars Collectors have three new items to check out today!

The first two come from Sideshow Collectibles300190-savage-opress-004 as they continue their high end line of Star Wars memorabilia.  First up is a new Premium Format Figure — Savage Opress.  As seen in The Clone Wars cartoon series, Savage is the Zabrack brother of Darth Maul.  Transformed into an unstoppable killing machine by Nightsister magic this character has been everything–Sith apprentice, rogue assassin, loyal brother, and more.  And now you can own this reproduction of the character in 1/4 scale.  Standing over 21-inches tall, weighing 15 pounds, this statue can stand alone or compliment Sideshow’s previous Darth Maul Premium Format Release.

 

 

 

 
400072-han-solo-in-carbonite-002But for the big spenders out there, Sideshow also has quite the trophy for your collection:  A life sized Han Solo in Carbonite.  Icons’ version of this piece has been sought by collectors for nearly two decades, but now Sideshow has rendered that older piece obsolete.  Standing on a platform that recreates Cloud City’s carbon freeze chamber, with a light up side panels and rear power canister, this is quite simply the most accurate prop replica ever made of this piece.  Standing 7.5 feet tall this is a true centerpiece for Star Wars collectors.

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 2.29.24 PM

But after two high priced items, how about a bargain?  Today only (April 10, 2014) Entertainment Earth has on sale the Boba Fett: A good Day to Die Giclee Print from Acme Archives.  This art print is 19-inches tall and 13-inches wide and was limited to only 50 prints worldwide.  From artist William Silvers this print has artistic flourishes that accent the artistic nature of the print while also showing the bounty hunter in all his glory.  It’s 34% off, only $95, until midnight tonight so order yours now!

 

 

 

 

April 10, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Wars Collecting: A discounted Boba Fett, Sideshow’s Savage Opress, and a Life Sized Han in Carbonite

RUMOR: Could Chewbacca Delay 6-Inch Black Series Wave 4?

 

Star Wars Chewbacca - Bent Knees Package

Could Hasbro have a problem with Chewbacca?  That is the word that comes to us from a reliable source in the UK.  Please note everything in this article should be taken as rumor until confirmation from Hasbro.

At Toy Fair International 2014 Hasbro announced the new package for the Star Wars Black Series figures.  At the time they said the new box with the larger window area allowed for inclusion of taller figures into the line, such as Darth Vader and, yes, Chewbacca.  But even with the new box design the Chewbacca figure, based on actor Peter Mayhew’s 7′ 2″ height, had to be squeezed in, his knees and legs bent to fit in the space allotted.  As Han Solo might say “I don’t think they had wookiees in mind when they designed her.”

Per our source, this odd posturing of Solo’s hirsute companion had originally been approved by Hasbro’s partners at Lucasfilm Licensing, but now they have reconsidered and dictated that Hasbro needs to find another way to let the wookiee in.

Chewbacca was intended to be one of three new figures in Wave 4 of this action figure line, along with an Episode II Clone Trooper and Episode III Anakin Skywalker.  That wave was expected to ship to stores and online retailers in the next 2 months.  Per our source, that wave may now need to be delayed.

However, this may end up being good news for Star Wars collectors.  Rather than delay the entire wave, our source tells us that they may ship Wave 4 as planned, but replace Chewbacca with an older figure in the line, and the top two choices being considered are Wave 2’s Boba Fett and Wave 3’s Stormtrooper.  Both figures have been difficult to find at retail and secondary market prices have been high, so a rerelease of either figure would be welcome relief for struggling Star Wars fans.

Once more, all of this is unconfirmed rumor at this time, but we wanted to make you aware as soon as we could.  Obviously the final news will be known if/when this wave is delayed, reconfigured, or if Chewbacca shows up in a radically different pose than Hasbro’s pre-release promotional photos.

Got any news?  E-mail us at show@swactionnews.com!

April 2, 2014 Posted by | News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Deal Alert: Gentle Giant C6 Exclusive Clone Trooper Statue – 35% Off

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Gentle Giant’s Star Wars statues are often in high demand with edition sizes over 1,000. And Clone Troopers from the Star Wars prequel films are fan-favorites–they’re like stormtroopers with big guns and good aim! So it makes no sense to me, no sense at all, that Gentle Giant’s Clone Trooper Lieutenant Statue, exclusive to Star Wars Celebration VI in 2012 and with an edition size of only 600, is not only still available but (today only) 35% off at Entertainment Earth.

This statue, showing the blue-accented clone in a kneeling position, stands 10 inches tall, and comes with the Gentle Giant signature black base, with a high-gloss top that reflects the bright white armor of the statue.

It’s Entertainment Earth’s daily deal, and I have to believe that quantities of this statue are dwindling.  In years to come fans and collectors may well kick themselves for passing on this piece, so get yours today!

March 17, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Deal Alert: Gentle Giant C6 Exclusive Clone Trooper Statue – 35% Off

Preorder Alert: Star Wars Geonosis Infantry Battle Droids by Sideshow

100285-product-feature-740x448

Battle Droids – the canon fodder of the Separatist Army!  On Naboo they killed countless Gungans, but on Geonosis they faced a more fierce enemy–Jedi.  Through sheer numbers these red-plated war machines fought a pitched battle in the arena before the war spread across the planet, then across the galaxy!

Now Sideshow Collectibles gives you a chance to add these military to your 1/6 scale figure collection–2 at a time!  Up for pre-order now is the Geonosis Infantry Battle Droid Figure Set.  For just $129.99 you get 2 12-inch Battle Droid figures, each with a unique battle-hardened paint deco.  Each has an E-5 Blaster Rifle and a communication backpack with extendable antenna.

After a steady increase in cost of 12-inch figures from Sideshow, this set comes out to $65 per figure–a welcome return to the pricing found early on in the line.  And at this price you can army build to your heart’s content!  So put in your preorder now at Sideshow Collectibles!

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Also up for order now is the Geonosis Commander Battle Droid.  While this is one droid alone for the $129.99 price, this one comes with the yellow markings of a commander droid, and a special accessory–a light up “holographic” Count Dooku!  The droid also comes with an E-5 Blaster and backpack communications array.

the Captain Rex Sixth Scale figure–exclusive edition!  This Phase II version of the Clone Wars hero has battle-damaged armor, a removable helmet to show the clone’s face underneath, and an exceedingly detailed paint job on the helmet with Rex’s kill count drawn on.  He also comes with 13, yes thirteen, interchangable hands, two pairs of interchangable feet, and he’s armed to the hilt with a droid popper, 2 DC-17 hand blasters, a DC-15S Blaster Carbine.  Finally, if you hurry to get the exclusive edition you also get the special Captain Rex Display Base not available with the regular edition.But where there are battle droids there must be clones to fight, so finally Sideshow has also put up for order

 

All these are up for order now at Sideshow’s site!

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February 20, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Preorder Alert: Star Wars Geonosis Infantry Battle Droids by Sideshow

Save on Gentle Giant Jumbo “Vintage” Figures — Today Only

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 6.26.52 AM

 

Gentle Giant’s Vintage Jumbo Figures have been a huge hit with Star Wars collectors.  These figures are blown-up versions of Kenner’s vintage Star Wars figures, digitally scanned and recreated at a 12-inch size.

If you’ve been hunting for a bargain on some of these today is a great day to stock up as Entertainment Earth’s One Day Sale today is entirely focused on these large figures.  More, all the figures available are fan-favorite bounty hunters from The Empire Strikes Back.  Dengar, Bossk, IG-88, and 4-LOM, all are available right now for only $52 each at Entertainment Earth.

Also if you like to display your Jumbo Figures loose, the Mos Eisley Cantina Jumbo Kenner Playset is also only $52.00 today, 42% off its normal $88.99 price.

 

These sales end tonight at midnight, and may sell out long before then, so get yours now at Entertainment Earth!

February 5, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Save on Gentle Giant Jumbo “Vintage” Figures — Today Only

eFX Collectibles UNLEASHES Star Wars Incinerator Trooper Helmet Replica

efx-star-wars-force-unleashed-incinerator-trooper-pcr-helmet-replica-4Available now and coming out of the blue is eFX Collectibles’ latest prop replica — The Force Unleashed Incinerator Trooper Helmet.  

This helmet is exclusive to CozmicToys.com and is limited to 501 pieces worldwide.

This PCR helmet is one of the lower detail “stunt” replicas made by eFX, but that also keeps the price very low at only $199.99 plus shipping.  Having seen many of these PCR helmets in person they have a great displayability  that far exceeds their cost.

So if you’re interested in this order yours now at Cozmic Toys!

 

January 23, 2014 Posted by | Movies, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on eFX Collectibles UNLEASHES Star Wars Incinerator Trooper Helmet Replica

Sideshow makes Star Wars collectors choose the color of Han Solo’s coat.

Hoth Han Solo Sideshow Figures

 

The color of Han Solo’s jacket on Hoth seems to endlessly be a bane for collectors.  Depending on the lighting, the lens filter, and the shot, sometimes in The Empire Strikes Back Han’s coat looks decidely brown.  In other shots, it’s blue.  Collectors often seem to side towards blue, their memories influenced by Kenner’s Hoth Han Solo figure with its striking blue coat.  But as the years have passed the question kept coming up, wiht some Hoth Han Solos using a blue/brown color to split the difference, and Hasbro even releasing variants of the same figure with two colored coats.

But now for high-end 1/6 scale figure collectors a choice must be made–indecision will be costly.  Continuing their line of Hoth themed Star Wars figures, Sideshow has put up for order today Captain Han Solo in Hoth gear.  But there are three versions of this figure being released!

The primary figure is Han Solo in Brown Hoth Coat.  This is not currently listed on Sideshow’s site (presumably it will be available through Sideshow authorized resellers in the regular version), but from Sideshow comes this exclusive version which has a swap-out head giving you the choice to display Han with or without his headgear on.  So that is two versions–Brown Coat regular edition, and Brown Coat Sideshow Exclusive Edition.  

But, in the words of the infomercials, “Wait, there’s more!”  There is also another version of the figure that is also exclusive to Sideshow Collectible–Hoth Han Solo with Blue Coat.  This figure also has the same swap-out head as the Sideshow Exclusive Brown Coat figure, it’s the same figure in every way, save that the coat is now blue.

Both figures, Blue Coat or Brown, have

  • Two heads – with and without Headgear
  • Two cscarves
  • Belt with blaster holster and droid caller
  • Sculpted boots
  • Binoculars accessory with fabric strap
  • Life Scanner accessory with both retracted and extended antennae
  • DL-44 Blaster (Han version)
  • Four pairs of hands for swap-out
  • Sculpted snow environment Base

At $199 per figure buying both is a costly option.  So let us know in our forums, will you be buying the Blue Coat Han, the Brown Coat Han, or both?

 

January 9, 2014 Posted by | Movies, Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , | Comments Off on Sideshow makes Star Wars collectors choose the color of Han Solo’s coat.

New Podcast: Episode 413: 2013 Year In Review Part 2 – Statues, Books, LEGO, and More!

Note: Star Wars Action News’ enhanced podcasts are now full HD video podcasts! Read all about it in Arnie’s blog post.

In 2013 Gentle Giant had the Admiral Ackbar Magnitude bust, Sideshow Collectibles had Premium Format Figures from The Force Unleashed and The Old Republic video games, and LEGO sold a Fury-Class Interceptor from The Old Republic. In short, for Star Wars collecting companies the universe expanded last year. In this episode of the Star Wars Action News podcast join Arnie, Marjorie, Nathan, Brock, Steve, and Jerry as they look back on the strange and interesting year where companies tried to find a footing marketing Star Wars while biding their time until Episode VII in 2015! We look back on the books, busts, statues, 1/6 scale figures, LEGO sets and so much more in this new video-enhanced Star Wars Action News podcast!

Listen Now: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN413.MP3

Category: Movies & Television

    

January 6, 2014 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Episode 413: 2013 Year In Review Part 2 – Statues, Books, LEGO, and More!

Press Release: Marvel to Publish Star Wars Comics & Graphic Novels

UPDATE 12:16PM CST:  Dark Horse has released their own Press Release.  It is printed below the Marvel Press Release.

Graphics added by Venganza Media; not part of original press releases.
marvel star wars

Marvel Press Release:

DISNEY’S LUCASFILM AND MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT JOIN FORCES TO PUBLISH STAR WARS™ COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

 

Jedi, Sith, and the rest of the Star Wars Universe Come to Marvel Comics in 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 3, 2014) – The Walt Disney Company’s Lucasfilm Ltd. and Marvel Entertainment are joining forces to bring new Star Wars adventures to readers across the galaxy, with Marvel granted exclusive rights to create and publish Star Wars comics and graphic novels beginning in 2015.

The agreement marks a homecoming for the Star Wars comic books. Marvel Comics published the first Star Wars comic book, Star Wars #1, in March 1977, which went on to sell more than 1 million copies. Marvel Comics published its Star Wars series for nine years. In 1991, Dark Horse Comics took over the license, publishing fan-favorite titles like Dark Empire and Star Wars: Legacy. Last year, Dark Horse released The Star Wars #1, an adaptation of George Lucas’ original rough-draft screenplay for the film, garnering rave reviews and national media attention and ranking among the top-selling Star Wars comics of all time.

“Dark Horse Comics published exceptional Star Wars comics for over 20 years, and we will always be grateful for their enormous contributions to the mythos, and the terrific partnership that we had,” said Carol Roeder, director of Lucasfilm franchise publishing, Disney Publishing Worldwide.  “In 2015, the cosmic adventures of Luke, Han, Leia and Chewbacca will make the lightspeed jump back to Marvel, to begin a new age of adventures within the Star Wars universe.”

“We here at Marvel could not be more excited to continue the publication of Star Wars comic books and graphic novels,” said Marvel Worldwide Publisher and President, Dan Buckley. “The perennial brand of Star Wars is one of the most iconic in entertainment history and we are honored to have the opportunity to bring our creative talent pool to continue, and expand Star Wars into galaxies far, far away.”

“We’re incredibly excited by this next chapter in the Star Wars saga,” said Andrew B. Sugerman, executive vice president of Disney Publishing Worldwide. “Bringing together the iconic Lucasfilm and Marvel brands to tell new stories will allow us to continue to thrill lovers of the original Star Wars comic books and entertain generations to come.”

Marvel has continued to push comic book publishing forward with innovations and experiments like motion comics and digital-only releases, in addition to its deep, ongoing catalog of monthly series and graphic novels created by some of the industry’s most gifted artists and writers.

STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

About Marvel Entertainment, LLC

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information, visit marvel.com.

 

About Lucasfilm Ltd.

Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production.  In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company’s activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment software, and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises.   Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.

 

STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM 2013 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

 

About Disney Publishing Worldwide

Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines with over 700 million products sold each year. DPW consists of an extensive worldwide licensing structure as well as vertically integrated publishing imprints, including Disney Book Group in the U.S. and Disney Libri in Italy. DPW publishes a range of children’s magazines globally, as well as Disney kids magazines in the U.S. Disney English is DPW’s English language learning business, which includes Disney English learning centers in China and a worldwide retail-licensing program. DPW’s digital products include bestselling eBook titles as well as original apps. Headquartered in Glendale, California, DPW publishes books, magazines, and digital products in 85 countries in 75 languages. For more information visit www.disneypublishing.com.

 

Dark Horse Press Release:

 

The End of an Era

All things come to pass. So too, do all licensed deals. I am sad to report that Disney, the new owner of Lucasfilm, has notified us here at Dark Horse of their intention to move the Star Wars publishing license to another of their recent acquisitions, Marvel Comics, beginning in 2015. This will end a partnership that has lasted more than two decades.

For those who are new to the industry, Dark Horse revolutionized the treatment of comics based on films. After a history of movie properties being poorly handled with little regard for execution and continuity, Dark Horse took a new approach, carefully choosing licenses and approaching them with excitement and creative energy. Our goal was to create sequels and prequels to the films we loved, paying careful attention to quality and detail, essentially treating those films as though they were our own. Star Wars has been the crown jewel of this approach. We began chasing the title as far back as 1989, and with the launch of Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy’s Dark Empire, a new era in comics was born. I’m not ashamed to admit that we were Star Wars geeks, and we have been determined to spare neither effort nor expense in the pursuit of excellence.

It is ironic that this announcement comes at a time when Dark Horse is experiencing its most successful year ever. For obvious reasons, we have prepared for this eventuality by finding new and exciting projects to place on our schedule for 2015 and beyond. Will they take the place of Star Wars? That’s a tall order, but we will do our best to make that happen. In the meantime, 2014 may be our last year at the helm of the Star Wars comics franchise, but we plan to make it a memorable one. We know that fans of the franchise will expect no less. The Force is with us still.

Mike Richardson

About Dark Horse

Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Brian Wood, Gerard Way, Geof Darrow, Guillermo Del Toro and comics legends such as Will Eisner, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties such as The MaskGhost, Captain Midnight, and X. Its successful line of comics, books, and products based on popular properties includes Star WarsMass Effect, Buffy the Vampire SlayerAliensConanAvatar: The Last AirbenderHaloSerenityThe Legend of Zelda, Game of Thronesand Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of both creator-owned content and licensed comics material.

January 3, 2014 Posted by | Books, Comic Books, Marvelicious Toys, Movies, News, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Press Release: Marvel to Publish Star Wars Comics & Graphic Novels

Venganza Media Now Offering Video Podcasts for Star Wars Action News & Marvelicious Toys

In 2005 I started Star Wars Action News, the first podcast focused solely on Star Wars collecting.  Our first podcasts were rough, but from that first episode I was focused on improving, both in terms of content and in terms of technology.  We focused on improving our audio quality, and our photography, eventually setting up a photo studio and going from consumer grade to professional DSLR cameras.

But by 2008 listeners started telling us about a new podcast format offered by Apple – the enhanced M4A file.  This new podcast type allowed broadcasters to insert chapter markers in our shows, and to have a constantly updating slideshow.  For a show focused on collecting this seemed like a must-have, but there was a barrier:  this was Apple only.  To make an enhanced podcast required a Mac computer, and then the enhanced podcast could only be viewed on an iPod, iPhone, or in Quicktime software.

Still, thanks to the help of our staff, specifically Kevin Gawthrope who enhanced our show every week for the first year, and then Berent Lawton who has tirelessly enhanced our shows for five years–four of which he was the only enhancer.

The result was an instant success–the enhanced podcast was downloaded 10-times more than the audio-only MP3, and one listener, Fernanda, actually crashed her car due to the detailed images included in our enhanced podcast review of Master Replicas’ Millennium Falcon.  We were the first enhanced Star Wars podcast, and in the years since while podcasts about Star Wars toys have proliferated only one other to my knowledge offers an enhanced podcast.

Then in 2010 we added to the roster including an enhanced podcast version of Marvelicious Toys, offering listeners  the only enhanced podcast dedicated completely to Marvel toy collecting.  For collecting shows it seems that having images synched with the audio would be required, but in my experience only one other podcast that even discusses Marvel toys (and it is only a small portion of their content) is enhanced.

But now I do imagine the number of enhanced podcasts will actually decrease rather than increase, for in the past 5 years Apple has started to deprecate the M4A format.  Early versions of the iPad would not show enhanced images.  Then in iTunes 11 Apple buried the ability to view the enhanced images.  Finally, in GarageBand version 10 chapter settings were removed that made enhancing podcasts a reality.

The writing was on the wall–the Apple enhanced M4A will eventually disappear completely.  These changes to Apple’s software has already led many listeners to think our enhanced podcasts were discontinued, all due to Apple’s software “upgrades.”

But our desire at Venganza Media to continue to improve, both in content and technology, has continued.  Firstly, we do not want to be caught unprepared when the M4A file dies completely.  But equally important, at the same time as Apple slowly kills the enhanced podcast format listeners are also moving away from Apple.  Our site statistics show a significant increase in listeners coming in through Android and Windows phones and tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy, the HTC One, and Microsoft Surface.

Why should Apple users have all the fun?

So starting today, January 1, 2014, the team at Venganza Media is converting all our enhanced podcasts to video podcasts.  That’s right, each week Venganza Media will now be putting out at least 1 hour of video content, delivered in 720p HD!

We have worked for weeks to find the perfect MP4 encoding that works on Apple, Windows, and Android devices.  These video shows will continue to have chapter markers for the devices which support that technology.  Additionally, these shows will enable us to have dynamic, moving pictures and, when the item warrants it, video recordings adding a totally new, dynamic element to our shows.  We do know that with any change are some trade-offs–these video podcasts will be about twice the size of our normal enhanced podcast resulting in a longer download time and a bit more use of space on your phone or tablet, but we hope that our listeners will agree these are minor downsides compared to the ability to offer HD video.  Additionally, for those who cannot view HD video or do not want the additional file size, audio-only copies will continue to be available (as they always have been for non-Apple users).

None of this would be possible without the effort of the podcast enhancing/video editing team of Berent, Andrew Harrison, Shane Rossman, and Daryl Whitlow.  Supporting this effort also is Marvelicious Toys graphic designer Justin Kozisek and Star Wars Action News graphic designer Chris Klink, who will be redesigning our logos for the new HD format.

As with any new technology we fully anticipate a learning curve, and we appreciate you sticking with us as we adopt this new technology.  Know that we do it to provide you with a more entertaining and informative show to help you collect better!

The first video podcast is now available, Marvelicious Toys Episode 106.  You can view that now at marvelicioustoys.com

Thank you for listening to our show, and we look forward to brining you great audio and video content in 2014!  We are very excited by what this will mean for our coverage of New York Toy Fair in February, 2014–just don’t watch it while driving!

January 1, 2014 Posted by | Marvelicious Toys, Podcasts, Star Wars Action News | , , | 1 Comment

New Podcast: Episode 411: Get the 411 On Star Wars Discounts

Collecting Hasbro’s Star Wars toys is filled with highs and lows, and this holiday season it seems to be both at once! While the new 6-inch and 3.75-inch Black Series figures remain elusive, bargains abound on exclusive vehicles and figures. On this week’s podcast Marjorie and Arnie look at the discounts and tell you how to save the most money on the toys, and also discuss what these markdowns may mean for future exclusives. All that, plus a detailed review of Hasbro’s Black Series Wave 2, including Mara Jade, Pablo Jill, and more!

Also on this week’s show it’s a special focus on Star Wars trading cards. Jerry’s Vintage Viewpoint focuses on the rerelease of the Star Wars Radio Drama from Highbridge Audio, and looks at the new Topps trading card set based on the Radio Drama. Then Marjorie and Arnie talk to Topps sketch card artist Christian Slade about his work on the cards, as well as his new prints coming from Acme Archives on Dec 15th!

With a report from this weekend’s Toy Man Toy Show, a new sixth-scale Tauntaun, Imperial Probe Drones, and more, it’s all on this Star Wars Action News podcast!

Listen Now: http://www.swactionnews.com/Podcasts/SWAN411.MP3

Category: Movies & Television

    

December 9, 2013 Posted by | Podcasts, Star Wars, Star Wars Action News | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: Episode 411: Get the 411 On Star Wars Discounts