Venganza Media Gazette

Tech, TV, Movies, Games, and More

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

On 10th Anniversary, ‘Now Playing’ Hosts Talk Milestones, Memorable Moments

Let’s jump back in time 10 years to summer 2007. Sam Raimi had just tanked the Spider-Man franchise, the Fast & Furious films had stalled with Tokyo Drift, and nobody knew if George Lucas would ever launch another Star Wars trilogy.

This was when Now Playing Podcast first went on the air. Back when we still believed Crystal Skull might be good and before they rebooted Freddy’s origin story to make it, just, icky.

Not only does 2017 mark Now Playing’s 10th anniversary, the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes review marks its 700th episode. That’s a lot of movies (and also the occasional failed TV pilot or one of those superhero shows that played theatrically in Bulgaria or wherever).

To mark the occasion, the show’s hosts came together for a Q&A about their time behind the mics and what’s changed during the last 10 years.

Venganza Media Gazette: What do you remember thinking after you heard your voice for the first time on Now Playing?

Arnie: “Well our first episode was recorded in a car in the parking lot of a Toys r Us. So my thought was, ‘For being in a car that doesn’t sound TOO bad.’”

Marjorie:I was used to hearing my voice on Star Wars Action News but I still thought I sounded under 13. And then you have the thoughts such as ‘I really sound like that?’ or ‘What if people find my voice irritating?’”

Stuart: I like to be behind the scenes — directing, writing, evaluating other people’s art. It was pretty painful to step in front of a mic and even more awkward listening to myself on some of my early shows. I was grateful that there weren’t too many listeners back in 2008 and early 2009.”

Jakob: “I was no stranger to hearing my voice; I had sang in bands and had been podcasting on and off for a few years prior. But at the time a huge part of our listenership were horror fans, a genre I wasn’t very familiar with. So there was some anxiety with having my introduction with the SAW movies and having to speak about a genre I just didn’t have a lot of exposure to.”

Venganza Gazette: What’s changed about you as a host?

Jakob: “I watch a lot more movies and I discuss them a lot more — not just with my co-hosts, but with my family. We spend a lot of time discussing why a film does or doesn’t work.”

Marjorie: I have a different view of movies now. I see so much more that goes into a movie. More than just ‘it was good.’ I also can’t ever ‘turn off’ reviewing. When I see movies I’m not reviewing, I tend to dissect them.” 

Jakob: “My wife and I share what we consider great scenes with our girls, even if they may be too young for the entire movie. Is it crossing a line that we reenacted the ‘I drink your milkshake’ scene from THERE WILL BE BLOOD for our 10 and 6-year-old?”

Stuart: ”The biggest change for me is the zip code where I record. I’m no longer ‘Stuart In L.A.’ When I started Now Playing I always worried that things I said might come back to haunt me working in the Los Angeles entertainment industry. Now that I’ve stepped away from that scene, I sleep better at night.”  

Arnie: The differences are greater than the similarities, in my mind. What’s the same? A rotating cast of hosts and we devote one episode to one movie. What’s different? Everything else. Now Playing started as a show where we would record short, spoiler-free movie reviews.”

The first Now Playing Podcast episode, a review of "Spider-Man 3" was released on May 4, 2007.

The first Now Playing Podcast episode, a review of Spider-Man 3 was released on May 4, 2007.

Stuart: “A long show in 2007 was 30 minutes. Now we go twice as long on an episode of Twin Peaks.”

Arnie: “They weren’t going to be edited at all, as editing takes five-to-10 times the length of a given show.”

Brock: I do remember editing the first show I did with my wife – back then it was a two person review show, much like what Arnie and Marjorie do on Star Wars Action News.”

Arnie:As I had Star Wars Action News already I didn’t feel I had the time to undertake more editing. So they would be instant reaction thoughts, recorded immediately upon leaving the theater, and published as-is [with] minimal editing, [and] we also were going to focus on new releases only. Now we go through the history of film, with spoiler-filled critiques that are very long, and very well edited by a great team including Heath and David.”

Jakob: “We just go so much more in depth now. But for me, personally, I approach the show with a different attitude. When I first came on, I had a MST3K mentality. I mean, I had to review a bunch of SAW films — not really my thing — so I thought, ‘How many jokes can I make?’ Now, while we still shoot for humor at times, I try focus on the filmmaking and storytelling so I can articulate how those contribute to a film, good or bad.”

Brock: “Today we are a well-oiled machine, even more comfortable sharing our opinions and talking with one another. The shows back then, and especially when we started the roundtable format, had the best we could do technically at the time, and now the production values are insanely great thanks to our equipment, sure, but mostly because of the countless hours Arnie puts in producing each and every episode. And also the incredible, tireless work of our talented editors who make us all sound so good.”

Marjorie: “We are all so much older and wiser! I think that we all found our rhythm with each other. I have a natural rapport with Arnie because we are married and therefore spend a lot of time together. But Stuart, Jakob and myself had to build that.” 

The July 14 review of War for the Planet of the Apes will mark Now Playing Podcast's 700th episode.

The July 14, 2017 War for the Planet of the Apes review marks Now Playing Podcast’s 700th episode.

In addition to hitting the 700th episode milestone, several of the hosts are racking up big numbers behind the microphone. When the War for the Planet of the Apes review is released, Arnie will have hosted 676 Now Playing episodes, Stuart will have hosted 618, and Jakob will have hosted his 469th show.

Venganza Gazette: Do you have a favorite Now Playing episode?

Stuart:INCEPTION was an early favorite of mine because I think it was such a turning point for the show. Now Playing proved in that podcast that we could do more than heckle. On top of really liking the movie, I was proud of the way we broke down all of Nolan’s multi-level storylines and daunting thematic readings in a very concise 73 minutes.”

Arnie: I really am proud of PROMETHEUS. That was a film with disparate, and surprising, opinions from the hosts, and yet the conversation was always lively, and I think everyone made such great points. I re-listened to that show recently because of ALIEN: COVENANT and so it’s recent to my memory, but even before that it was a go-to for me to see three of the hosts bringing their A-game.”

Brock:I really liked what the guys did with RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Sometimes with a really good movie, a classic, practically flawless movie the show can be a little harder for us panelists to do. You can’t tear it apart, and there aren’t always opportunities to make jokes because the jokes have been made for 30 years already. Everyone is so familiar with the movie itself and the behind the scenes information already and on top of that the listeners know going in it that the hosts are all going to give it a green arrow. The team embraced all these challenges and showed us why Now Playing is as good as it gets with review shows. The guys did a great job with the commentary, the trivia, and played off one another beautifully making an entertaining show that was structurally and technically proficient. So much so that I have enjoyed listening to that show multiple times over. A highlight for me is when Stuart brought up the CASABLANCA correlation; not many people get that aspect of RAIDERS and I’m glad he did and shared it with the audience.”

Jakob: “I’m really enjoying our current Now Peaking discussions for TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN. What’s fascinating is we had the chance to do a whole David Lynch retrospective building up to this new series. With Lynch, as an auteur, there is so much of him in this return to Twin Peaks. It feels like a culmination of his entire aesthetic and viewpoint. Within the first two episodes we had brought up the influences of ERASERHEAD, BLUE VELVET, LOST HIGHWAY, MULHOLLAND DRIVE, and INLAND EMPIRE. I’m still not sold on this third season, but it has been insightful to discuss it in the context of Lynch’s complete works and not just the original run of the television show.”

Venganza Gazette: What’s the most positive feedback you’ve ever received from a listener?

Arnie: I can’t begin to express how touched I am by some listeners’ messages to us.  From troops stationed overseas who use our show to experience movies they can’t yet see to adults who say our show is like a conversation with friends, each message means so much.”

Marjorie: There have been a few people who have written to us about how listening to Now Playing got them through a rough patch in their life. And I think it’s utterly amazing that, even remotely, I was able to help someone.” 

Stuart: I never thought three people riffing on movies had the potential to heal, but I have been incredibly moved by all the stories fans have shared over the years about how we helped them laugh away depression, death, and some real big life challenges.”

Arnie:A handful of people have e-mailed with a very specific message and I’m humbled every time I read them.  These are people who have been in bad situations: illness or accident, divorce, job loss, the death of someone close to them, or sometimes a combination of those.  These are people who tell us they felt hopeless.  One person said, ‘I felt like I would never be able to laugh again.’  A couple people mentioned contemplating suicide.  These are deeply personal moments being shared via e-mail with us. Then their notes change tone and discuss how our show helped them through. We entertained them, in that one case we gave him the first laugh he’d had. We took their minds off their troubles and brought them a bit of happiness. That is my dream come true — to be able to entertain people and give them a few moments where they aren’t thinking about their day, their responsibilities, and their problems.”  

Stuart: “I never expected to have such impact on anyone, and I’m incredibly humbled by that.”

Arnie:It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I considered being a lawyer or a stockbroker. But in high school I realized the importance of entertainment in my life.  I had my own dark days in my teen and early adult years. What got me through those times were video games, movies, television, books – entertainment. So starting in high school, and really for the rest of my life, my goal has been to entertain. I wanted to give people that escape the way Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Will Wright, and Stephen King helped me to escape. My path to finding podcasting as that vehicle was a winding one, but it was the outlet I found. And I can’t express how touched I am when I read what we do does provide that for some of our listeners.  It fills me with purpose, and reminds me that we’re not just discussing the eighth in a bad series of direct-to-video sequels, we’re hopefully also entertaining and informing at the same time.”  

Venganza Gazette: What’s the strangest feedback you’ve ever received from a listener?

Brock: “I was at a Comic Con, talking to the vendor on the other side of the table about an action figure or something, and this guy standing next to me exclaimed ‘Hey, you’re Brock! I recognize your voice!’ That was pretty cool to be picked out by my voice alone.”

Marjorie: “I had some weird messages from guys who liked my voice.” 

Stuart:It was pointed out very bluntly a few times on Facebook that I have a ‘squeaky voice’ when I get excited. Hey, I’m not going to say that’s untrue, but there’s only so much I can do about that until I finish going through puberty. How I wish I could hire Barry White to say all the things I’ve got to say!”

Brock: “There was this one [comment] we received years ago that accused me of trying to sound professional, putting on a radio voice when I talk or something. Arnie told Stuart and I about this thing one night when we were recording, and we all got a great laugh because this is how I talk! I wouldn’t have the patience or the discipline to put on a fake voice for hours on end, each and every time we do a recording session. I mean, I guess that is sort of a compliment, that my voice sounds that way, but the guy clearly didn’t have a clue about what he was talking about.”

Jakob: “One listener offered to pay for my dental work after he punched my teeth out because of my views on one film. I wonder if the police I had to involve became fans of Now Playing after I reported [him]?”

Arnie: I need to be vague about this for privacy, but a listener wrote in and told me how, in 2012, he had a workplace encounter with Bradley Cooper [and] he ended up turning Cooper on to Now Playing, specifically our HOWARD THE DUCK show. The next day Cooper told him he laughed his ass off listening to that podcast. He said he downloaded some other shows, including our ROCKY reviews. That is totally surreal to think of the voice actor who performed in GUARDIANS has listened to our HOWARD THE DUCK review.”  

Stuart: We get a lot of positive feedback when we slam a problematic movie like HOWARD THE DUCK or HALLOWEEN III.”

Venganza Gazette: What’s the one film you’re still waiting to review?

Jakob: I’d love the work through Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER. It’s a film that I’ve done a complete 180° on since its theatrical release. Originally, I recognized the amazing acting but the story left me cold. I recently re-watched it with my wife, who is a huge Phillip Seymour Hoffman fan. As we worked our way through the film, she helped me realize what a heartbreaking romance it is in the midst of some heavy ideas about religion and post-war America. I would love to discuss such a dense piece of work.”

Stuart:THE MANITOU! There is no crazier horror movie from the 1970s. It would be a perfect Easter Egg pairing with THE OMEN and ROSEMARY’S BABY franchises.”

Marjorie: “I would love to do a 70s disaster movie retrospective. There was a small heyday of disaster movies.”

Arnie: DONNIE DARKO is a favorite film of mine that I think is so rich for analysis, even if the director did make it so obvious with various supplements and the director’s cut.  

Brock: BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. It’s my favorite movie, and the first movie I say when people ask me for a film recommendation. Every time. Not enough people watch it anymore but they really should. It’s not a traditional western, but can be a hard sell to people who deeply dislike westerns. Perhaps we can bundle it THE STING and that sequel they made in 1979 with Tom Berenger. I have avoided watching that sequel but I’d watch it for Now Playing.”

Arnie:I made a vow to never watch S DARKO, the cash-grab DONNIE sequel with hardly anyone from the original involved.  If we reviewed DONNIE I’d probably have to watch S, and I really don’t want to taint my love of the original with a super-shitty sequel.”

Now Playing Podcast will release its War for the Planet of the Apes episode as part of its 2017 Spring Donation Drive. Supporters of the show can hear the review, along with all of the episodes in the Planet of the Apes series, at NowPlayingPodcast.com.

 

July 10, 2017 Posted by | Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Star Wars Collecting Sites Join Forces for Star Wars Celebration Patch Giveaway

Star Wars Collecting Fan Sites and Podcasts have again combined Forces at 2017’s Star Wars Celebration Orlando!

Visit the Celebration Collecting Track Social Lounge (Room W305) to meet  the faces behind top Star Wars collecting sites and receive and get exclusive swag!

Jedi Business (JediBusiness.com), Jedi News (JediNews.co.uk), Jedi Temple Archives (JediTempleArchives.com), Star Wars Action News (SWActionNews.com), and This Week in Star Wars (ThisWeekInStarWars.com) each will be on hand to greet fellow collectors, and during their slots they will be giving out one piece of a six-part patch set featuring vintage Star Wars action figures.  

The 6th patch is being given away by the Celebration Collecting Track Social Lounge itself.  These patches will be randomly given away through the Collecting Track social media. Participants in the Collecting Track’s Collection Re-Collections: Your Star Wars Story video project will also receive this 6th patch piece.  Details on this program are at http://bit.ly/2nN9Lpf

Collect all 6 patches to assemble a puzzle featuring all 12 characters from the first wave of Kenner figures released nearly 40 years ago!

The Scheduled Meet-And-Greet times are below.  The first 300 people at each Meet-And-Greet are guaranteed that site’s patch. Plus, for those who miss out on the meet-and-greets, the sites will be randomly giving away 10 patches each day to Celebration attendees.  Follow the sites on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for details how to win!

 

March 31, 2017 Posted by | Conventions, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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!

Go Rogue! Order Your Star Wars Rogue One Toys Online Now!

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Why go out late on a work/school night, stand in the cold, and brave the crowds only to be met by disappointment when the guy in front of you takes the last Deathtrooper Black Series figure?

There is another way–order online! Entertainment Earth just put up all the new Rogue One toys for order–and here’s a directory for each!

LEGO

LEGO Star Wars 75121 Constraction Imperial Death Trooper
LEGO Star Wars 75120 Constraction K-2SO
LEGO Star Wars 75119 Constraction Sergeant Jyn Erso
LEGO Star Wars 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank
LEGO Star Wars 75153 AT-ST Walker
LEGO Star Wars 75154 TIE Striker
LEGO Star Wars 75155 Rebel U-Wing Fighter
LEGO Star Wars 75156 Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle

Hasbro Black Series 6-Inch Figures

Star Wars The Black Series Jyn Erso 6-Inch Action Figure
Star Wars The Black Series Cassian Andor Action Figure
Star Wars The Black Series K-2SO 6-Inch Action Figure
Star Wars Black Series Death Trooper 6-Inch Action Figure
Star Wars The Black Series Kylo Ren Unmasked 6-Inch Figure
Star Wars Rogue One 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure 2-Packs Wave 1
Star Wars The Black Series 6-Inch Action Figures Wave 7 Case

Hasbro 3.75-inch Figures

Star Wars Rogue One Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu) Action Figure
Star Wars Rogue One K-2SO Action Figure
Star Wars Rebels Kanan Jarrus (Stormtrooper Disguise) Figure
Star Wars Rogue One Imperial Ground Crew Action Figure
Star Wars Rogue One Rebels Sabine Wren Action Figure
Star Wars Rogue One Nerf Sergeant Jyn Erso Deluxe Blaster
Star Wars Rogue One Nerf Imperial Death Trooper Blaster
Star Wars Rogue One Nerf Glowstrike Darts
Star Wars Rogue One 3 3/4-Inch Action Figures Wave 1 Case

Funko POP! Figures

Star Wars Rogue One Jyn Erso Pop! Vinyl Bobble Head
Star Wars Rogue One Captain Cassian Andor Pop! Vinyl
Star Wars Rogue One K-2SO Pop! Vinyl Bobble Head
Star Wars Rogue One Chirrut Imwe Pop! Vinyl Bobble Head
Star Wars Rogue One Baze Malbus Pop! Vinyl Bobble Head
Star Wars Rogue One Director Orson Krennic Pop! Vinyl
Star Wars Rogue One Scarif Stormtrooper Pop! Vinyl
Star Wars Rogue One Imperial Death Trooper Pop! Vinyl
Star Wars Rogue One Darth Vader Pop! Vinyl Bobble Head
Star Wars Rogue One C2-B5 Pop! Vinyl Bobble Head

Jakks Pacific Big Figs

Star Wars Rogue One 20-Inch Action Figure Wave 1 Case
Star Wars Rogue One 20-Inch Action Figure Wave 2 Case
Star Wars Rogue One 20-Inch Action Figure Wave 2 Case
Star Wars Rogue One 31-Inch Stormtrooper Action Figure
Star Wars Rogue One 31-Inch Death Trooper Action Figure

Hasbro Galactic Heroes

Star Wars Galactic Heroes Rivals Jedi vs. Sith Set

Hasbro Ships and Vehicles

Star Wars Rogue One Class I Vehicles Wave 1 Case
Star Wars Rogue One Hero Electronic Action Figures Wave 1
Star Wars Rogue One Class II Vehicles Wave 1 Case
Star Wars Rogue One Value Vehicles Wave 1

Role Play Toys and Masks

Star Wars Rogue One Deluxe Class I Vehicles Wave 1
Star Wars Rogue One Masks Wave 1 Case
Star Wars Rogue One Extendable Lightsabers Wave 3
Star Wars Rogue One Extendable Lightsabers Wave 3 Revision 1
Star Wars Rogue One Extendable Lightsabers Wave 3 Revision 2
Star Wars Rogue One Imperial Death Trooper Mask
Star Wars Stormtrooper Voice-Changer Helmet Prop Replica
Star Wars Rogue One Captain Cassian Andor Nerf Blaster
Star Wars Rogue One Spin-Action Lightsaber
Star Wars Rogue One Blast Tech Lightsaber
Star Wars Electronic Darth Vader Voice Changer Helmet
Star Wars Rogue One Extendable Lightsabers Wave 3 Revision 3
Star Wars Rogue One Electronic Lightsabers Wave 4 Case

Micro Machine Sets

Star Wars Rogue One MicroMachines Death Star Playset
Star Wars Rogue One MicroMachines DX Vehicles Wave 4 Case
Star Wars Rogue One MicroMachines DX Vehicles Wave 4 Set
Star Wars Rogue One MicroMachines 3-Packs Wave 5
Star Wars Rogue One MicroMachines 3-Packs Wave 5 Set

Titanium Ships and Helmets

Star Wars: The Black Series Die-Cast Metal Vehicles Wave 5
Star Wars: The Black Series Die-Cast Metal Vehicles Wave 6

Board Games

Star Wars Edition Monopoly Open and Play Game
Star Wars Trivial Pursuit Game
Star Wars Operation Game
Star Wars Trouble Game

Hot Wheels

Star Wars Rogue One Hot Wheels Char. Car 2016 Mix 1 Case
Star Wars Rogue One Hot Wheels Char. Car 2016 Mix 2 Case
Star Wars Rogue One Hot Wheels Char. Car 2016 Mix 3 Case
Star Wars Rogue One Hot Wheels Char. Car 2016 Mix 4 Case
Star Wars Rogue One Hot Wheels Char. Car 2016 Mix 5 Case
Star Wars Rogue 1 Hot Wheels Char. Car 2-Pack 2016 Mix 1
Star Wars Rogue 1 Hot Wheels Char. Car 2-Pack 2016 Mix 2
Star Wars Rogue 1 Hot Wheels Char. Car 2-Pack 2016 Mix 3
Star Wars Rogue 1 Hot Wheels Char. Car 2-Pack 2016 Mix 4
Star Wars Rogue One Hot Wheels Starships Mix 1 Case
Star Wars Rogue One Hot Wheels Starships Mix 2 Case

Hasbro Interactech Figures

Star Wars Rogue One Electronic Stormtrooper Action Figure

Other Toys

Star Wars: The Force Awakens RC Radio Control BB-8 Droid
Star Wars Rogue One Rebel U-Wing Fighter Vehicle
Star Wars Rogue One Rip N Go BB-8 Beeping and Moving Droid
Star Wars Rogue One TIE Striker Vehicle
Star Wars TFA Hero Series 12-Inch Action Figures Wave 6 Case
Star Wars Play-Doh AT-AT Attack Can Heads Set

Housewares

Star Wars: Rogue One 16 oz. Laser Decal Glass 2-Pack
Star Wars: Rogue One 18 oz. Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Star Wars: Rogue One Large Tin Tote
Star Wars: Rogue 1 20 oz. Ceramic Mug

September 29, 2016 Posted by | Books, Comic Books, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Go Rogue! Order Your Star Wars Rogue One Toys Online Now!

Hasbro Announces Star Wars Rogue One Exclusive Toys for 2016

Hasbro’s new Star Wars toys, tying into the new movie Rogue One, will hit store shelves on Sep 30th.  Today Hasbro announced what exclusive toys will be released the 30th or after.

Read on for the full press release and the photos of the items:

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY RETAILER EXCLUSIVES

STAR WARS SMART R2-D2
(Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $99.99/Available: Fall 2016)
Bring home your very own astromech droid with this programmable and interactive R2-D2! Download the accompanying app to control R2-D2’s movements and actions. Listen as R2-D2 responds to your voice with expressive droid sound effects, and watch as R2-D2 shakes in fear of DARTH VADER. The SMART R2-D2 even recognizes music and dances along to the lyrics of your favorite songs. Requires 4 AA batteries, not included. App is available for free on iOS and Android devices. Available exclusively at Walmart.

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES 6-Inch JYN ERSO (Mountain Base)
(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Suggested Retail Price: $24.99/Available: Fall 2016)
A skilled warrior in the Rebel Alliance, JYN ERSO is on a mission to destroy the Death Star! This collectible 6-inch figure features extensive articulation and detail, including a new poncho and hat as seen in the film. Fans can connect an additional STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES figure with diorama base to create the ultimate collection. Each sold separately. Available exclusively at Kmart.

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES SHADOW TROOPER HELMET
(Ages 5 years & up/Approx. Suggested Retail Price: $79.99/Available: Fall 2016)
Disguise your voice like the shadow warrior from ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY! Intimidate the Rebel Alliance with mirrored lenses and an exclusive black SHADOW TROOPER deco. Press the button to activate voice-changing technology for several seconds, allowing for hands-free play! Requires 3 AAA batteries, not included. Available exclusively at Amazon.

STAR WARS NERF CAPTAIN CASSIAN ANDOR BLASTER
(Ages 6 years & up/Approx. Suggested Retail Price: $79.99/Available: Fall 2016)
Gear up for battle against the Galactic Empire with a customizable blaster for almost any mission! When the battle escalates, attach the scope, stock, or barrel for enhanced precision and targeting. Features exclusive blue deco and 6-dart clip with 12 glow-in-the-dark darts for nighttime operations. Available exclusively at Target.

(Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Suggested Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Fall 2016)
An elite soldier for the Galactic Empire, this impressive 6-inch scale IMPERIAL HOVERTANK PILOT figure features articulated movement and true-to-story detail. Recreate battles from ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY with exclusive army building unit and new pilot character class. Available exclusively at Toys “R” Us.

September 23, 2016 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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!

Amazon puts Star Wars: Rogue One figures up for pre-order

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Didn’t expect this today! Amazon.com has put up for order a ton of new Hasbro figure for Rogue one!  Plus other new figures that will be shipping around this new major toy release

Up now is

Also up for order is the new, big, AT-ACT vehicle!

So if you want to get your orders secured, head to Amazon now!

 

Thanks to JediTempleArchives.com’s Facebook Page for the heads up on this!

August 19, 2016 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Amazon puts Star Wars: Rogue One figures up for pre-order

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

NOW LIVE – Hasbro’s SDCC 2016 Exclusive Toys

SDCC exclusives 2016Up for order right now are Hasbro’s 2016 San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive toys!

If you want them, read the rest of this article later.  Go now to Hasbro’s order page and try to get yours!

Hasbro updated their Hasbro Toy Shop site in the early hours of Aug 9, 2016 listing all the SDCC exclusive toys that are now available.  They listed them as “Out of Stock” so orders were held until the allotted time.  Many of our listeners let us know they thought they had missed out on this sale and have already gone to eBay.

But now the items are online!  Up for sale are:

Star Wars:

  • Black Series 6-Inch Obi-Wan Kenobi Pack  Sold Out at 10:22 am CST
  • Black Series 6-Inch Kylo Ren Pack Sold Out at 10:49 am CST
  • Black Series 6-Inch Sergeant Jyn Erso Pack  Sold Out at 10:10 am CST

Marvel:

  • The Collector’s Vault 3.75-inch Legends Figure Set (with Howard the Duck!!)
  • The Raft 6-inch Legends Figure Set  Sold Out at 12:50pm CST

Transformers

  • Generations Titans Return Titan Force Set
  • Generation Titans Return Titan Class Fortress Maximus (Convention Edition)
  • Evolution Soundwave (Convention Exclusive Featuring Tablet Mode)

Other

  • My Little Pony DIscord and Fluttershy Set
  • Micronauts Comic Con Set
  • Visionaries: Knight of the Magical Light Mighty Muggs
  • Magic the Gathering 20166 SDCC Exclusive Set
  • Yo-Kai Watch Jewelnyan

 

So hurry to Hasbro Toy Shop and get your orders in fast! Some of these products (Magic the Gathering, all 3 Star Wars figures, and the 6-Inch Marvel Legends set for sure) won’t last long!

 

Good Luck

August 9, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Conventions, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on NOW LIVE – Hasbro’s SDCC 2016 Exclusive Toys

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!

A New Voice Joins Now Playing Podcast

JustKozyNow Playing Podcast is getting a new host; one whose voice will sound familiar to longtime Venganza Media listeners. Justin Kozisek, a host and contributor to Marvelicious Toys and Star Wars Action News, will add Now Playing duties to his plate for some upcoming, unannounced (that means it’s a secret) shows.

Kozisek becomes the seventh member of the rotating panel, and although he’s primarily known for his collecting and customizing knowledge, listeners have heard him offer film critique during movie segments on Marvelicious Toys, a show that he has hosted since its launch in 2010.

A fan of indie comedies, Kozisek ranked Wet Hot American Summer, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and Dazed & Confused among his favorites, although he can find reasons to love films of every genre.

“I’m a ‘try anything once’ kind of guy and will give almost any movie a chance,” he said. “I look at movies as entertainment first and art second, then based on what a film is trying to accomplish I adjust my outlook accordingly.”

“I very rarely hate a movie and when I love a movie it’s because it earned it!”

Kozisek is also a professional industrial designer with experience in model making, drafting, special FX and latex make-up design.  He has created album artwork for hundreds of bands, PC and Nintendo games. More than a fan of films, Kozisek’s design background has led to him working on several.  He was creative director on the documentary There Will Be No Stay, also designing its movie poster. He also was a graphic designer on indie film No Resolution.

“All of this adds up to me being infatuated by the treatment of products in films,” he said.  “If an item like Pepsi pops up in a movie today we all know that it was paid for, but I enjoy catching a glimpse of things that were supposed to be obscured in older movies (before the tie-in game was afoot).  I love it when someone like Tarantino makes a brand for his movie universe – Apple Cigarettes is a great example.”

Movie making is a family affair for Kozisek. His wife Chevy is a producer and make-up artist with work MV5BMTkwNzE5Nzk0OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzU2NzA0NDE@._V1_UY1200_CR88,0,630,1200_AL_ranging from horror films to music videos.  She has done both studio and FX make-up. Her effects work can be seen in April Showers, a film about a school shooting directed by Columbine survivor Andrew Robinson.  Chevy also produced the 2016 drama No Resolution.

When asked about his favorite Now Playing Podcast retrospective, Kozisek pointed to the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street series, which is well known among fans for including songs from an obscure “Freddy’s Greatest Hits” album (featuring a surprisingly game Robert Englund).
“I think that retrospective really helped solidify what Now Playing is all about,” he said. “I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that truly loves all of those movies, but the shows really made revisiting them a lot of fun.”

As do the fans. Kozisek credited Now Playing’s longevity (the show will turn 10 next year) and the popularity of Venganza’s podcasts to its listenership and the community they’ve formed on social media and the show forums. The podcast format, he said, creates a shared experience, much like watching a film you own on television.

“There’s something comforting about knowing you are watching the same movie that other people are watching, and Now Playing creates a ‘couch’ for people to gather and enjoy the experience together.”

Hear Justin’s First Now Playing Review – Short Circuit – at NowPlayingPodcast.com

June 30, 2016 Posted by | Movies, News, Podcasts | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A New Voice Joins Now Playing Podcast

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

Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow Collectibles Exclusive First Order Stormtrooper Premium Format Statue

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Attention troop builders and first order fans, Sideshow Collectibles has just put up for pre-order their Premium Format First Order Stormtrooper statue

This screen accurate collectible features the sleekly designed armor and helmet of the most feared fighting force in the Galaxy and also wields his blaster rifle. Plus there is a Sideshow Exclusive version that comes equipped with an SE-44C Blaster Pistol and thigh holster display option.

So hurry and get your order in now at Sideshow.

May 19, 2016 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow Collectibles Exclusive First Order Stormtrooper Premium Format Statue

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!
Show Links:

Support Star Wars Action News with their new Podbean Campaign!

Show Sponsor: DorksideToys

Other Show Links

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

In Memory of Erik Bauersfeld

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2016 is turning into a terrible year in terms of the passing of some celebrity icons but for me, as sad as the losses of Bowie and Rickman were, it’s been news of some of the lesser known names that have been more affecting. Less than ten days into the year I was terribly upset to learn of the death of Angus Scrimm, as any fan of the Phantasm film series will verify, one of the finest horror actors ever to grace the big screen. Last week the untimely parting of Garry Shandling caught me completely off guard, as a Brit he was my gateway to American comedy and a man who never failed to make me laugh. Today I woke to the deeply sad news that a favorite son of the galaxy far, far away, Erik Bauersfeld, the voice behind Admiral Ackbar had died at the grand age of 93.Bauersfeld was already in the employ of Lucasfilm on a radio project when sound guru Ben Burtt asked him to read for parts in the sequels to the 1977 blockbuster. A little known fact is that he could have been the voice of Yoda but it wasn’t to be and I for one and am glad that fate took the path it did. Rumor has it that Bauersfeld was shown a picture of Ackbar and instantly came up with the character voice that we all know and love today. Would internet memes be the same without “It’s a trap!” (let’s be honest you read that in the voice didn’t you?)

Bauersfeld recorded all Ackbar’s dialogue in an hour and then went on to record all Bib Fortuna’s dialogue in half the time, such was his vocal talent. I don’t know the reasoning behind the omission but I always considered it a crime that Erik received no on screen credit for providing two of the most iconic voices in the saga. “This will begin to make things right” was the opening line as the Force Awakened last year and even though most people agree this was JJ’s dig at the maker, it could be applied to credit finally received for Bauersfeld whose name made it on to the big screen as he revived his most well-known character for what we now know was the last time. I for one was the happiest man alive when I heard Erik was going to voice the Admiral once again and whilst most men cried at that Solo scene, the word ‘oscillator’ brought tears of happiness to my eyes.

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Steve’s shrine to Admiral Ackbar, Erik Bauersfeld’s iconic voice role

I was lucky enough to meet Erik last year when attending London Film & Comic Con. He looked every bit of his 93 years and, as always happens when meeting elderly actors at conventions, I experienced mixed feelings about asking him for his autograph. Whilst really excited to be meeting a hero, it was such a struggle for him to engage with me on a meaningful level, a part of me would have much rather have him not waste his time with this fanboy and go and sit in the comfy chair he deserved. I’m so glad he did give me his time though, he spent 5 minutes with me and my wife, and they’re five minutes I won’t ever forget. As he signed my 10×8” promo photograph uttering the famous line as he wrote it, he took great pride in ensuring that I knew he was Admiral Ackbar and not the other Mon Calamari pictured, it took a couple of hours to wipe the smile off my face.Since seeing Return of the Jedi in 1983 the character of Admiral Ackbar has been my favourite of the Star Wars saga, I like to think I was the Admiral’s biggest fan before it was cool and have a shrine dedicated in his honour. As an alien who made it to the top of a human dominated organisation, he’s a proud and fearless commander who visibly takes no joy in the demise of the enemy, it’s my daily aim to be as competent and humble as he. The sad news of Erik’s passing might well mean that Ackbar never gets his promotion to Grand Admiral.

On behalf of all Star Wars fans everywhere, thank you for your work Erik.

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Erik Bauersfeld at London Film & Comic Con, 2015

April 5, 2016 Posted by | Conventions, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on In Memory of Erik Bauersfeld

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

Win THE FORCE AWAKENS on Digital from Star Wars Action News and Vudu!

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The Star Wars Action News Podcast and Vudu have teamed up to give away 5 Digital copies of The Force Awakens!

These copies will be given out one per day, starting 3/31 and ending 4/4.

It just takes two quick steps to Enter:

  1. Follow Star Wars Action News on PodBean.  (If you don’t have a PodBean account you will need to sign up for a free one)
  2. E-mail show@swactionnews.com your PodBean user name.

Already follow us on PodBean? You only have to do step 2!

From the pool of entries, one winner will be chosen each day.  The sooner you enter, the more chances you have to win! Entrants on 3/31 have 5 chances, one per day. Those who enter 4/1 have 4 chances, etc.

Winners will be sent their codes through a reply to their e-mail.

Enter today and good luck!

March 31, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Win THE FORCE AWAKENS on Digital from Star Wars Action News and Vudu!

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!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Digital HD April 1, Blu-Ray April 5. Exclusive editions Announced!

 star-wars-episode-8-127089

Arriving early on Digital HD April 1, 2016

Bring it home on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on April 5, 2016

 

Including new in-depth bonus offering fans the chance to experience more

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming to Video On Demand on April 1, 2016 and Blu-Ray and DVD on April 5, 2016.  It is also coming to Disney Movies Anywhere, which allows you to redeem a code and access the digital movie on iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft Web Services.

 

More, there will be several retailer exclusives for The Force Awakens.  Pre-orders are up now — click the store name to go to the pre-order page.

  • TARGET – The Target Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray Combo Pack comes with exclusive packaging and an added 20 minutes of bonus content, including never-before-seen interviews with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega and a deeper look at the movie’s costumes and weaponry
  • WALMART – The Walmart Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray Combo Pack comes with exclusive BB-8 packaging and an exclusive Star Wars Galactic Connexions trading disc
  • BEST BUY – The Best Buy Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray Combo Pack features exclusive SteelBook Packaging

forceawakens-bluray-combo-bestbuy-1024x427

The full press release is below:

 

 

 

BURBANK, Calif. (March 3, 2016)Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattered box office records upon its debut to become the cinematic event of a generation with over $926 million domestic and $2.05 billion worldwide. As announced this morning by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger at The Walt Disney Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the epic movie will be available to own early on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on April 1, and coming home on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on April 5.

 

Discover the complete story behind the making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with in-depth documentary and bonus material that will take fans on an exciting journey behind the scenes. Secrets will be revealed through extensive footage, never-before-seen deleted scenes, and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers. Bonus features include*:

 

  • Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – For the first time, discover the complete story behind the making of The Force Awakens, revealed through in-depth footage and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers in this feature documentary.
  • The Story Awakens: The Table Read – Cast members familiar and new reflect on the memorable day they all first came together to read the movie’s script.
  • Building BB-8 – See how the filmmakers brought the newest droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favorite in the Star Wars
  • Crafting Creatures – Watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of new creatures to life.
  • Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – Go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren.
  • John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – The legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Wars and The Force Awakens.
  • ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force – An insider’s look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie’s visual effects.
  • Force For Change – Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others.
  • Plus Deleted Scenes

* Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens saw the eagerly anticipated reteaming of original Star Wars stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, along with Anthony Daniels, the only actor to have been in all seven Star Wars films, and Peter Mayhew. The returning cast was joined by newcomer Daisy Ridley, who beat out fierce competition to take the principal role of Rey; BAFTA Rising Star Award winner John Boyega (Attack the Block, Imperial Dreams) as reluctant stormtrooper Finn; Emmy® nominee Adam Driver (Lincoln, Girls) as the villainous Kylo Ren, and Golden Globe® winner Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, The Bourne Legacy) as Resistance pilot Poe Dameron.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was directed by J.J. Abrams and written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt. Lucasfilm president and eight-time Academy Award® nominee Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams, along with his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, are the film’s producers.

 

Having established a musical legacy with his iconic scores for the previous six films in the Star Wars Saga, acclaimed composer John Williams returned to score Star Wars: The Force Awakens, ultimately garnering his 50th Oscar® nomination for it.

 

DISC SPECIFICATIONS:

FEATURE RUN TIME:                           Approximately 136 min.

RATING:                                                                 PG-13 in U.S.; PG in CE; G in CF

ASPECT RATIO:                                     Blu-ray Feature Film =         2.40:1

DVD Feature Film = 2.40:1                                                                

AUDIO:                                 Blu-ray = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks

DVD = English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio Language Tracks

LANGUAGES:                                        English, French & Spanish

SUBTITLES:                            English SDH, French & Spanish
SOCIAL MEDIA:                   

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/StarWarsMovies

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StarWars

Website: http://www.starwars.com/the-force-awakens/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/StarWarsMovies

 

ABOUT STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS:

Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams join forces to take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.

 

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.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

…/3

 

ABOUT DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE (DMA):

Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) is an engaging and family-friendly cloud-based digital movie service that makes it simple to buy your favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies once and watch them anywhere. With DMA you can explore Disney’s library of over 450 eligible digital movies, discover hours of new and exclusive short-form content, and watch your digital movies from the comfort of the living room or across multiple mobile devices. Using the free DMA apps and website, you can connect your DMA account with participating providers including iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU, Microsoft Movies and TV and Google Play and unlock access to your eligible movie collections across platforms and devices – iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV/Airplay, Amazon’s Fire tablets, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Microsoft Movies and TV service on Windows and Microsoft Xbox devices, Android mobile and tablet devices and Android TV, Chromecast and the Roku® platform. In addition, you can redeem Digital Copy codes found in Disney, Pixar and Marvel Blu-rays and DVDs, as well as earn Disney Movie Rewards points with every digital purchase.

 

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS:

For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!.

 

 

 

# # #

 

STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates.© & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

 

IN-HOME MEDIA CONTACTS:

NATIONAL:           Maria Barraza                                                                       REGIONAL:            Gabrielle Bilicki

Maria.Barraza@Disney.com                                                                               Gabrielle.Bilicki@Disney.com

                                                818-560-4068                                                                                                      818-560-4069

March 3, 2016 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Digital HD April 1, Blu-Ray April 5. Exclusive editions Announced!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens to be 3-Disc Blu-ray Set

is coming to Blu-ray, and there may be more secrets inside!A1MoIHuZtpL._SY679_

According to the specs listed on Blu-ray.com The Force Awakens will have 2 Blu-ray discs and 1 DVD.  The movie itself is on one Blu-ray as well as the DVD. Contents on the other Blu-ray disc are as yet unknown.

Additionally, the set is listed as coming with an iTunes Digital Copy as well as a Google Play Digital Copy.  No other bonus features have been announced.

There is no release date given, but the iTunes digital release date is rumored at March 15, with rentals available April 5. If the pattern holds with Disney’s other home video releases, the Blu-ray should be released in mid-April.

Pre-Order the disc now at Amazon.com to get it on release day!

 

February 22, 2016 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Wars: The Force Awakens to be 3-Disc Blu-ray Set

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

Win a Sixth-Scale Boba Fett Figure from Sideshow Collectibles and Star Wars Action News!

star-wars-boba-fett-sixth-scale-feature-21282

 

As announced on the first episode of Star Wars Action News’ Toy Fair 2016 coverage — Star Wars Action News and Sideshow Collectibles are teaming up to give away this sixth-scale Boba Fett figure!

The contest starts Sunday, February 14th and goes through February 29th.  You can enter up to three times:

  1. Facebook – Like Star Wars Action News’ Facebook Page, and like and comment on the contest post. In your comment, tag your Facebook friend you’d trust to help you capture your bounty!

    Want to win this Sideshow Collectibles Boba Fett Sixth Scale figure? LIKE Star Wars Action News on Facebook, Like this…

    Posted by Star Wars Action News on Sunday, 14 February 2016

  2. Twitter – Follow Star Wars Action News’ Twitter feed, and retweet our contest entry tweet.

  3. Podbean – Follow Star Wars Action News on Podbean

You can enter once on each site, and up to three times total.  Then from all eligible entries, a winner will be randomly chosen and announced on the March 7th episode of Star Wars Action News.

The prize will be shipped to you directly from Sideshow Collectibles.

This contest is open to fans worldwide!  US winners ship free. International winners (including EU regions) will be responsible for shipping, as well as  VAT, duties or import fees on the shipment of their prize. Due to customs requirements, the prize will need to be assigned a value of at least US$1. (If we do not then your customs office may elect to charge you the retail worth of your item.) Further, some countries outside of the U.S. do not have reliable mail services. In the event that a prize has been stolen or mishandled during shipment to an international destination, Sideshow may not be able to replace the specific item(s).

Enter today and good luck!

February 14, 2016 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Win a Sixth-Scale Boba Fett Figure from Sideshow Collectibles and Star Wars Action News!

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

Star Wars Episode VIII Release Date Pushed Back

star-wars-episode-8-127089Lucasfilm has announced that Star Wars Episode VIII has been delayed.

Originally scheduled to open May 26, 2017, the new release date is December 15, 2017.

The full press release is below.

Is this an attempt to recreate the nearly $2 billion earned by Episode VII: The Force Awakens? Does Disney not want Star Wars to compete with their other profitable space series — Guardians of the Galaxy? (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens May 5, 2017.)  Or did director Rian Johnson need more time to finish the film?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Star Wars: Episode VIII to Open December 15, 2017

The release date for the next film in the saga is confirmed.

Today, Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII, originally scheduled for release in summer 2017, will now debut on December 15, 2017.

The move follows the extraordinary success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first Star Wars movie to premiere outside the traditional summer blockbuster window and smashed numerous records, including biggest domestic and global debuts of all time as well as the biggest domestic second and third weekends, en route to becoming the highest grossing domestic release of all time with over $861.3 million and the third biggest global release ever with $1,886.7 billion.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently in preproduction and will begin principal photography in London next month. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman will produce and J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski will executive produce. Stay tuned for exciting updates in the coming weeks.

January 20, 2016 Posted by | Movies, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Wars Episode VIII Release Date Pushed Back

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

Pre-Order Alert: Hot Toys Exclusive Iron an Mk XXVI (Gamma) and Jakku Stormtroopers

Remember: Sign-ups for the Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys Secret Santa Gift Exchanges end today! Sign up now!

Capture

 

Sideshow Collectibles has just put up for order two brand new Hot Toys figures!  Both are the highly sought after Movie Promo Edition exclusives!

First, the Iron Man 3 House Party Protocol continues with the newest armor — the Iron Man Mk XXVI — Gamma Armor.  This heavy construction suit allows Tony to resist extreme temperatures and devastating electrical surges. And it gets its name for its ability to withstand Gamma Radiation (guess Banner could have used one of these).

The figure stands over 13-inches tall, has over 30 points of articulation, and LEG-lit eyes and rectangular arc reactor on the chest.  Plus there are spring-loaded Pneumatic Hammers that light up, and articulated air flaps and waist armor.

Order the Iron Man MK XXVI Now

 

Next, in the Star Wars line, comes the First Order Jakku Stormtrooper.  This white armored troop will be on big screens in 2 weeks, but you can pre-order him now!  The usual First Order Stormtrooper armor is augmented with a heavy artillery vest, a detachable survival backpack, a blaster rifle with an extended stock, and a special Jakku-themed desert figure stand!

The Jakku First Order Stormtrooper is almost 12-inches tall. It has over 30 points of articulation and 8 interchangable hands.

Order the Jakku First Order Stormtrooper Now

Plstar-wars-boba-fett-sixth-scale-silo-21282us yesterday Sideshow also put up for order their own sixth scale Boba Fett figure.  Shipping early in 2016, this 12-inch figure has over 30 points of articulation and an absolute ton of weapons and accessories, including

  • Fabric flight suit and vest with Durapast armor plates
  • Cape
  • Belt with pouches
  • Honor sash
  • Blaster pistol holster
  • Rocket pack
  • Blaster pistol
  • EE-3 Mark I carbine blaster
  • Knee pads
  • Survival knife
  • Sonic beam weapon
  • Anti-Security blade
  • Rocket pack adjustment tool
  • Right and left gauntlets
  • Braided Wookie scalps
  • Interchangeable hands including:
    – Right/Left fists
    – Right/Left C-grip hands
    – Right/Left trigger hands

Order the Sideshow 12-Inch Boba Fett now

 

And finally, for those who want an even bigger Boba, Sideshow and ThinkGeek are giving away a life-sized Boba Fett statue.  Be sure to get your entry in now!

 

December 4, 2015 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Hot Toys Exclusive Iron an Mk XXVI (Gamma) and Jakku Stormtroopers

Win a Life-Size Boba Fett Figure from Sideshow and ThinkGeek

Capture

Star Wars Fans Get a Chance to Win the
 Biggest Bounty in the Galaxy!

Sideshow and ThinkGeek raise the stakes
with their Boba Fett Life-Size Figure Giveaway!

 

Thousand Oaks, CA– Launching November 20th, Sideshow and ThinkGeek are offering Star Wars fans the chance to own a life-size figure of the most dangerous bounty hunter in the galaxy – Boba Fett!

Towering over 6’ tall on a light up, grate themed base, this Boba Fett figure is decked out in a screen accurate, hand-tailored replica of his Mandalorian armor, cape and weapons. With a retail value of almost $8,000.00, this figure would be the ultimate addition to any Star Wars fan household!

But wait, the bounties continue with ThinkGeek awesomeness in the form of Imperial and Rebel runner-up prize packs from their extensive online catalog and valued at over $500 each.

The Rebel prize pack includes an R2-D2 suitcase, Millennium Falcon rug, Rebel friends cookie cutters, SMS headphones, Yoda plush backpack, and much more! The Imperial prize pack incudes a Vader suitcase, Darth Vader toaster, Death Star rug, Boba Fett wall décor, SMS headphones with a Darth Vader theme, and more!

This ultimate Star Wars Giveaway will close January 2, 2016 and the winners will be announced on January 13, 2016 at Sideshow.com!

No need to plot a rescue from the Sarlacc pit to get your hands on this infamous hunter. Your chance to win is just an email away through the link below.

Enter to win this great prize now!

 

 

 

 

December 2, 2015 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Win a Life-Size Boba Fett Figure from Sideshow and ThinkGeek

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

Pre-Order Alert: Ralph McQuarrie Boba Fett Statue

star-wars-ralph-mcquarrie-boba-fett-statue-200372-01

 

Sideshow Collectibles’ 18.5-inch Concept Boba Fett statue is up for pre-order!

Ralph McQuarrie’s conceptual drawings and paintings were instrumental in bringing George Lucas’ epic space saga to the big screen, envisioning the vast worlds of fantastic heroes, villains, vehicles and aliens that would come to be known as Star Wars!

Inspired by Ralph McQuarrie’s pre-production artwork for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Sideshow Collectibles is proud to present Boba Fett!

One of the first new characters to be designed for The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett originally began as a super trooper, with a striking aesthetic inspired primarily by Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers. As McQuarrie worked closely alongside Star Wars Art Director Joe Johnston, the character evolved into the ruthless Mandalorian bounty hunter we know today. Capturing the spirit of these early explorations, Fett appears in his original all-white armor with two unique helmet designs, leaping into action over a base inspired by the Slave I. Reviewing a broad spectrum of McQuarrie’s imaginative designs for Boba Fett, Sideshow’s artists have translated his iconic artwork in a brilliant homage to a Star Wars that is both familiar, yet never was.

Now you can own an 18-inch statue of this classic concept armor. Check it out now at Sideshow Collectibles!

Previous McQuarrie collectibles, like eFX’s McQuarrie Vader helmet and the Gentle Giant McQuarrie mini-busts have sold out fast and now command a premium. Don’t delay, order your statue now!

 

November 19, 2015 Posted by | Movies, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Ralph McQuarrie Boba Fett Statue

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

Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys to Host Wizard World Bash in Chicago

 

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Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys are hosting a party Aug. 22 at Wizard World Chicago — and you’re invited!

A long time ago… August 30, 2005, to be specific… Venganza Media, Inc. launched Star Wars Action News, the world’s first podcast dedicated to Star Wars collecting.   In 2010 Venganza then began Marvelicious Toys, focusing on the toys, statues, and games based on the characters from the Marvel comics and movies.

Over the past 10 years both shows have evolved from podcasting pioneers to a major force in the industry and the collecting community, even producing the official podcast for Master Replicas, a Star Wars and Marvel licensee.

On Saturday, Aug. 22, fans are invited to join Star Wars Action News, Marvelicious Toys, and Now Playing Podcast hosts Arnie, Marjorie, Brock, Justin, Jerry, Daryl, Andrew, and more at the Star Wars Action News 10th anniversary bash during Wizard World Chicago. The party, also celebrating Marvelicious Toys’ 5th anniversary, will be hosted by the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.  The event begins at 7:30 p.m., and will feature door prizes, appetizers, cake, and a cash bar.

Tickets are priced at $15 for children 12 and under, and $25-$75 for adults. Adult tickets include bonus exclusive collectibles ranging from T-shirts to the exclusive Star Wars Action News badge and lanyard, plus a collectible coin previously only available to those who work on the show.

In addition, all adult tickets enter you in the drawing for a huge selection of door prizes.  Items have been provided by DorksideToys.com, Big Bad Toy Store, Kotobukiya, Hallmark, Venganza Media, and many more.  Attendees can win items ranging from a Deadpool statue to entire waves of Star Wars figures, and more!

Get your tickets now and follow coverage of these milestones at VenganzaMedia.com and its affiliated podcasts!

 

About Venganza Media Inc.

Based in Springfield, Ill., Venganza Media Inc. is a multimedia production facility and home to the Venganza Media Podcasting Network.

Film fans and collectors worldwide know Venganza as the producer of Books & Nachos, Star Wars Action News, Marvelicious Toys, and the iTunes Top 10 movie review podcast Now Playing.

Since its formation in 2005, Venganza has delivered thousands of hours of entertainment to listeners, while its staff and fleet of contributors have established the company as a premier source for film reviews, celebrity interviews, and collecting news for audiences of all ages.

July 30, 2015 Posted by | Comic Books, Conventions, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys to Host Wizard World Bash in Chicago

SDCC 2015 Exclusives Up For Order NOW at HasbroToyShop.com

Update 11am:  The Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper is sold out; sold out in well under 10 minutes.

The Marvel Legends Dr. Strange set is also sold out.firstOrderStormtrooper

Update 11:30 a.m.:  The $9.99 Ant-Man Mini Action Figure is sold out.  The Ant-Man 5 pack is still available.

Hasbro has put several of its San Diego Comic-Con toys up for order now at HasbroToyShop.com

Up for order right now are exclusives including:

  • Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper
  • Marvel Legends’ Dr. Strange Book of Vishanti 5 figure set with 6-inch scaled figures of:
    • Dr. Strange (translucent blue astral projection version)
    • Brother Voodoo
    • Magik
    • Hela
    • Dormammu
  • Hasbro’s Ant-Man figure pack with 5 figures:
    • Giant-Man
    • Hank Pym in lab coat
    • Goliath
    • Micro size Scott Lang Ant-Man
    • Micro size Hank Pym Ant-Man
  • Hasbro’s mini Ant-Man figure in “Matchbox” packaging

At San Diego Comic-Con there were few exclusives as sought after as those at Hasbro’s Toy Shop.  On preview night people were assaulted and robbed while trying to get the Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper or the Magic: The Gathering set.

But no matter if you were at the con in the midst of the fray, or safe at home watching from afar, this online sale is a chance for you to get some of the exclusive Hasbro toys without paying eBay scalper fees (or being punched in the face).

So hurry to HasbroToyShop.com and good luck in scoring the exclusives you want!DrStrange-Featured11222258_1077850085578181_8955005133491949319_o sdccantman1

July 28, 2015 Posted by | Comic Books, Conventions, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on SDCC 2015 Exclusives Up For Order NOW at HasbroToyShop.com

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

Hasbro’s Star Wars Fans’ Choice Poll — Round 2 Starts Now

HasbroQ&A

 

Star Wars Action News’ participation in Hasbro’s 2015 Fans’ Choice action figure poll nears completion!

As announced Monday, Hasbro has started a new poll where Star Wars fans and collectors pick which figure is made for the company’s new 6-inch Black Series line of Star Wars figures.

Star Wars Action News was invited to poll their fans on which characters they wanted.  Round 1 was a completely open nomination form, and over 70 different figures were nominated.  Of all the figures requested, the single figure with the most nominations was Ackmena, the singing cantina owner from the notorious Star Wars Holiday Special.  In a close second place was Brea Tonnika — a background character in the cantina from first Star Wars film.

The top 30 nominees have been taken into Round 2 of voting!  Here each Star Wars fan chooses the one figure they want most in 6-inch plastic form.  This second round of voting ends Monday, June 29th, and then the five characters with the most votes will be submitted to Hasbro.

 

The first 20 characters were picked from the first round of nominations:

Ackmena
Brea Tonnika
Obi-Wan Kenobi (A New Hope)
Admiral Ackbar
ARC Trooper Commander Colt
Gamorrean Guard
Asajj Ventress (Dark Diciple)
Lumpy
Lando Calrissian (Jabba’s Skiff Guard)
Momaw Nadon
Grand Moff Tarkin (A New Hope)
Darth Maul (Robot Legs)
Han Solo (Bespin Outfit)
General Grievous (4-arms)
Ponda Baba
Mara Jade
Sabine
Ephant Mon
Republic Commando
Blue Snaggletooth

The other 51 characters nominated received only 1 vote each, so the Star Wars Action News team, including podcast hosts Arnie and Marjorie Carvalho, reporters Brock, Johnathan Brenner, Justin Kozisek and Steve “The Ginger Prince” Nixon, video editor Andrew Harrison, and photo editors Jay Fazio and Curtis Stevenson.  From the 51 chosen characters the panel selected 10 figures:

 

Darth Talon
Darth Nihilus
Dexter Jettster
Jaxxon
Watto
Admiral Piett
Lobot
Yak Face
Grand Admiral Thrawn
Amanaman

 

Which of these 30 characters is your top pick as a new Black Series 6-inch figure?  Vote now in the Star Wars Action News forums!

June 25, 2015 Posted by | Books, Comic Books, Conventions, Movies, News, Star Wars, Video Games | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hasbro’s Star Wars Fans’ Choice Poll — Round 2 Starts Now

Hasbro’s Star Wars Fans’ Choice Poll is Back — And Bigger Than Ever!

HasbroQ&A

 

Once more, fans get to pick an upcoming character in the Star Wars line of figures.

Hasbro announced today that they are starting a new poll where Star Wars fans and collectors pick which figure is made.  This time, however, the poll is not for the long-running 3.75-inch line of figures, but for Hasbro’s newer 6-inch Black Series figure line.

To make it even more exciting, all Star Wars characters are eligible (except those from the unreleased The Force Awakens movie).   With that statement Hasbro has given fans perhaps their only chance to get a 6-inch action figure based on the Star Wars comics and novels that were removed from canon and put into the “Legends” category.  Of course, all characters from the films, major or minor, would also be given consideration.

Hasbro has confirmed to Star Wars Action News any character is eligible, including the long-desired Tonnika Sisters from A New Hope, Vlix from the 80s Droids series, and even Lumpy and Ackmena (Bea Arthur) from The Star Wars Holiday Special!

Also of note:  if the chosen character is from the Star Wars animated series Rebels or The Clone Wars the figure would be done in a realistic style consistent with the Black Series line’s look.

This year’s Fan’s Choice poll is being run by various Star Wars collecting sites, including Venganza Media’s own Star Wars Action News.  Before June 30th each participating site will submit to Hasbro their Top 5 list, with the #1 character getting 6 points, the #2 character 5 points, #3 character 4 points, and so on.

From the compiled lists from all the sites the character with the highest number of points will be immortalized in plastic–and Hasbro will reveal which character was chosen during their San Diego Comic-Con panel on July 10th.

Star Wars Action News is handling this with two rounds of voting.  First, they have opened a Figure Nomination thread in their forums.  In that post fans can free-form enter any characters they want.  That phase will be open until June 25th.  Then on the 25th a second poll will be opened where each fan can vote on the one figure they want most.  That poll will close on June 29th and the top five figures submitted to Hasbro on the 30th.

Begin your voting now!  Head to the Star Wars Action News forums and nominate your favorite character for the Black Series 6-inch line!

 

June 22, 2015 Posted by | Books, Comic Books, Conventions, Movies, News, Star Wars, Video Games | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Star Wars Black Series IG-88, Boushh, and Cody – $16.09 ea!

Amazon has some amazing deals on the new Star Wars 6-Inch Black Series figures!  Black Series IG-88Commander Cody, IG-88 and Boushh Leia in stock at Amazon — $16.09 each!  Get them before they’re gone!

Thanks to our friends at Jedi Temple Archives for the heads up!

June 9, 2015 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Wars Black Series IG-88, Boushh, and Cody – $16.09 ea!

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

Star Wars Episode VII: The Toys Awaken

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Star Wars Action News forum member Niklab wrote in with an interesting find–the Target DCPI information for loads of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys!

He has broken down the toys into categories based on descriptions, and you can find the item stock number, Target price, and more below!

Some observations:

1)  The good news is Star Wars figures will continue to be in 3.75-inch scale!  After Hasbro experimented with 2.5-inch figures for Guardians of the Galaxy and the current Avengers: Age of Ultron toy lines, Star Wars fans feared Hasbro may follow suit with the Episode VII line.  But there are no signs of 2.5-inch toys and, in fact, there are even vehicle assortments in the 3.75-inch scale!

2)  The 6-inch toy line will continue, which seemed a given with Hasbro’s push for that new scale of collector-oriented figure.  Still, it is nice to have confirmation.

3)  Though we will have 3.75-inch figures, odds are collectors spoiled by the super-articulated figures released between 2005 and 2013 will be disappointed.  The Black Series 3.75-inch line has a MSRP of $9.99 and many Target stores sell them at $12.99 or above.  To see these new 3.75-inch figures priced at $7.99 indicates they will likely have greatly reduced articulation (though perhaps more than 4 points, as these are more expensive than the current “Mission Series” figures).

From role-play toys to Micro Machines and Die Cast vehicles, there will be something for everyone to collect–and likely too much for any one person to afford!

Read on for all the details!

 

 

3.75″ FIGURE SYSTEM

 

3.75″ BASIC FIGURES
087-06-3658 SW E7 3.75 Single Fig                             7.99$

 

3.75″ SYSTEM VEHICLES

087-06-3662 E7 Class 1 Vehicle                                   9.99$
087-06-3663 E7 Class 1 Dlx Vehicle                             24.99$
087-06-3664 Class II Vehicle                                       29.99$

 

 
6″ FIGURE SYSTEM
087-06-3670 Black Series 6″                                        19.99$
087-06-3696 SW Black series 6in Fig 2.                         39.99$

 

 
12″ HERO SERIES FIGURE SYSTEM
087-06-3681 SW EP 7 Hero Series fig.                      9.99$
087-06-3694 SW E7 Hero Series Fig 6.                    49.99$

 

 
HERO MASHERS
087-06-3675 SW Hero Mashers.                              9.99$
087-06-3676 SW Hero Mashers Dlx.                        14.99$

 

 
ROLE PLAY
087-06-3644 SW Extendable Lightsaber                      9.99$
087-06-3645 SW E7 Mask asst                                   9.99$
087-06-3646 SW Villain Extendable Lightsaber           12.99$
087-06-3647 SW Nerf Foam Lightsaber                      14.99$
087-06-3648 SW Electronic Lightsaber                       19.99$
087-06-3649 SW Villain Electronic (mask)                  34.99$
087-06-3650 SW Villain Dlx Lightsaber                       29.99$
087-06-3651 SW Alien Electronic Mask                       29.99$
087-06-3652 SW Darth Vader Voice changing Helmet  34.99$
087-06-3653 SW Signature Lightsaber                       49.99$
087-06-3654 SW E7 Ammo Refill                                9.99$
087-06-3655 SW Villain Trooper Whit                         12.99$
087-06-3656 SW Sidekick Alien Blaster                      24.99$
087-06-3657 SW Villain Trooper Whit                         39.99$
087-06-3672  Toy constrc SW 2                                149.99$
087-06-3674 SW EP II Yoda Lightsaber.                     199.99$
087-06-3695 SW choose yr destiny lightsaber.             49.99$
087-06-3697 SW E7 Darth Vader Lightsaber.                44.99$

 

 

 

MICRO MACHINES
087-06-3684 SW vehicle blind bag.                          2.49$
087-06-3685 SW vehicle 3 pack.                                4.99$
087-06-3686 SW MM Dlx vehicle asst.                         9.99$
087-06-3688 SW E7 MM Battle Set.                            19.99$

 

 

ASSORTED / UNIDENTIFIED
3659 – 3661 had no information, only prices.
3677-3680 no info
087-06-3668 Black Series Die Cast                               4.99$
087-06-3689 SW Collectable                                      19.99$
087-06-3692 SW E7 RC Lead Hero Droid.                    79.99$
087-06-3693 Furby E7 Sidekick Alien.                          79.99$

 

March 24, 2015 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Wars Episode VII: The Toys Awaken

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

Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow Darth Vader Premium Format Figure

300093-darth-vader-lord-of-the-sith-005

 

Join me.  It is the only way

Sideshow Collectibles has put up for pre-order their latest 1/4 scale Premium Format Figure in the Star Wars line — Darth Vader.

Inspired by one of the most climactic duels in cinematic history, Darth Vader descends the steps of a Death Star themed base. With his light-up crimson lightsaber at the ready, the commanding villain is prepared to engage in mortal combat and claim victory for the Galactic Empire. Every detail of the Sith Lords costume, from his iconic helmet to his sweeping black cape, have been faithfully recreated as seen on screen in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

The figure stands 26.5-inches high with the giant base, and is the first time in nearly 10 years that Sideshow has offered the most iconic of all Star Wars characters.  So place your order now at Sideshow Collectibles!

March 5, 2015 Posted by | Movies, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Sideshow Darth Vader Premium Format Figure

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

Hasbro Not Responsible for Star Wars and Super Hero Action Figure Price Jump

10917078_10153007694158909_1251575289490984922_n 12.99 Batman 1299 figures

Action figure collectors across the country recently took to Facebook and Twitter to vent their frustration over the rising cost of action figures.

At Target, one of the three largest toy sellers in the US, action figure prices recently took a $3 jump.  Hasbro’s Star Wars 3.75-inch Black Series figures as well as Hasbro’s 3.75-inch Marvel Infinite Series figures went from $9.99 to $12.99 at most Target locations, with some other stores going even as high as $15.29.

Collectors were worried that this price would soon be mirrored by other top toy sellers including Walmart and Toys ‘R’ Us.

We reached out to Hunter PR, the public relations firm which represents Hasbro, to ask about this price increase.  When I asked if the Suggested Retail Price of the action figures was going up, the response was very clear:  “The price change was instituded by the retailer and not at the manufacturer level.” 

This was widely speculated to be the case as other action figures, including Mattel’s DC Multiverse line, had gone up in price as well.  That being said, it is nice to have confirmation that the price of action figures, which has gone up 100% in the past 10 years, is not taking yet another manufacturer-instituted jump.

Now we can only wait and see if Target will reduce the price back to its previous level to stay competitive in the action figure market, or if the other toy retailers will raise prices to match Target’s newly increased profit margin.

Hear more about Star Wars action figure collecting on the Star Wars Action News podcast!

Marvel action figure collecting is covered biweekly on the Marvelicious Toys podcast!

January 20, 2015 Posted by | Comic Books, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Voting Now Open for 2014 Poppies Toy and Collectible Awards

poppies2014

 

Voting is now open for the 2014 Poppies Awards.

Now in its seventh year, The Poppies is an awards program presented by MWCToys.com.  Run by MWCToys owner Michael Crawford, the Poppies present awards to toy and collectible companies in such categories as Best Overall Company, Eddie Wires Award for Outstanding Paint, and Best Vehicle or Playset.   Further categories for figures are broken down by gender to Best Male Figure and Best Female Figure and then further broken down by scale:  Under 5-inches, 5-inches to 11-inches, 12-inches to 17-inches, and 18-inches and larger.

The awards are voted on by a panel of judges picked by Crawford.  These judges represent collectible companies, media outlets, toy retailers, artists, and notable collectors.   Included in the 2014 judging are former DC Comics creative leader Georg Brewer, Toynami design consultant Scott Tipton, Diamond Select Toys Marketing Supervisor Zach Oat, Yodasnews.com webmaster Mark Picirilli, Entertainment Earth merchandiser Adam Pawlus, MTV Geek writer Jason Stephens, and Marvelicious Toys and Star Wars Action News podcast host Arnie Carvalho.   The full list of judges can be viewed at MWCToys.com.

In addition to the expert panel of judges, MWCToys.com also offers Peoples Picks awards which have open voting.  The ballot is hosted at MWCToys.com

This years list of nominees in the Peoples Picks awards are:

Best Overall Company

  • 3A
  • ACI
  • Asmus
  • Bandai / Bandai Japan
  • Bif Bang Pow
  • DC Collectibles
  • Diamond Select
  • Enterbay
  • Four Horsemen
  • Funko
  • Gentle Giant
  • Hasbro
  • Hot Toys
  • Jakks
  • Jazwares
  • Kotobukiya
  • LEGO
  • Mattel
  • McFarlane Toys
  • Mezco
  • NECA
  • Playmates
  • Sideshow
  • ThreeZero
  • Weta

Best Overall Line – High End

  • Batman Black & White (DC Collectibles)
  • Batman (All licenses) (Hot Toys)
  • DC Bombshells (DC Collectibles)
  • DC Comics (Sideshow)
  • DC (all lines) (Hot Toys)
  • Dr. Who (Big Chief)
  • Gang’s Kingdom (DAM Toys)
  • G.I. Joe (Sideshow)
  • The Hobbit/LOTR (Weta)
  • The Hobbit/LOTR (Gentle Giant)
  • Lord of the Rings (Asmus)
  • Marvel (all lines) (Hot Toys)
  • Marvel (all lines) (Sideshow)
  • Masterpiece HD (All lines) (Enterbay)
  • Robocop (Hot Toys)
  • Star Wars (Sideshow)
  • Star Wars Jumbo Vintage (Gentle Giant)
  • Walking Dead (Gentle Giant)

Best Overall Line – Low End

  • Batman Designer Series (DC Collectibles)
  • Batman Animated (TNBA etc.) (DC Collectibles)
  • Breaking Bad (Mezco)
  • DC Multiverse (Mattel)
  • Game of Thrones (Dark Horse)
  • Game of Thrones (Funko)
  • Gothitropolis: Ravens (Four Horsemen)
  • Magic The Gathering (Funko)
  • Marvel Legends (Hasbro)
  • Marvel Select (Diamond Select Toys)
  • Masters of the Universe Classics (Mattel)
  • Outer Space Men (Four Horsemen)
  • Pacific Rim (NECA)
  • Planet of the Apes (NECA)
  • Plants vs Zombies (Diamond Select Toys)
  • Pop! Vinyl Figures (Funko)
  • ReAction (Funko)
  • Simpsons Celebrity Series (NECA)
  • Star Wars Black (Hasbro)
  • Star Wars Diecast (Disney)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (playmates)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Kid Robot)
  • Transformers (Hasbro)
  • Twilight Zone (BifBangPow)
  • Universal Monsters (Diamond Select Toys)
  • Walking Dead (Mcfarlane)
  • WWE (Mattel)

Eddie Wires Award for Outstanding Paint

  • Azog on Warg (Weta)
  • Batista, WWE (Mattel)
  • Black Widow (Gentle Giant)
  • Chomper/Engineer 2 pack, Plants vs Zombies (DST)
  • Clonetrooper, 501st (Sideshow)
  • Elder Predator (Hot Toys)
  • Gorilla Soldier (NECA)
  • Harley, Batman B/W (DC Collectibles)
  • Iron Man MK42 DieCast (Hot Toys)
  • Kerberos Panzer Jäger (Hot Toys)
  • Knifehead BD, Pacific Rim (NECA)
  • Marv Sin City (DST)
  • Maurice POTA (NECA)
  • Robocop (Hot Toys)
  • Shao Khan (PCS)
  • T-800 BD (Hot Toys)
  • Tyreese (McFarlane)
  • Viper Predator (NECA)

Best Male Figure 18″ and up

  • Batman 1989 (NECA)
  • Bruce Lee (Blitzway)
  • Cherno Alpha, Pacific Rim (NECA)
  • Dutch, Predator (NECA)
  • Godzilla (Jakks)
  • Han in Stormtrooper Outfit (Jakks)
  • Joker (NECA)
  • Master Chief (NECA)
  • Mr. Bean (Enterbay)
  • Robocop (Enterbay)
  • T-1000 (Enterbay)
  • War Machine MKII (Play Imaginitive)

Best Male Figure (12″ – 17″)

  • Batman (comic version) (Sideshow)
  • Chucky (Mezco)
  • Darth Vader (Sideshow)
  • Diamond 3, Gangs Kingdom (DAM Toys)
  • Guritz, LOTR (Asmus)
  • Harry Potter (Star Ace)
  • Iron Man MK42 Die Cast (Hot Toys)
  • Link (Medicom)
  • Probe Droid (Sideshow)
  • Robocop with Chair (Hot Toys)
  • Sherlock Holmes (Big Chief)
  • Star-Lord, GotG (Hot Toys)
  • Superman, MoS (Hot Toys)
  • Tyrion, Game of Thrones (ThreeZero)

Best Male Figure (5″ – 11″)

  • Amazing Spider-man 2 Spidey (Hasbro)
  • Batman 1989 (NECA)
  • Batman, TNBA (DC Collectibles)
  • Caesar DOTPOTA (NECA)
  • Captain America Stealth Suit ML (Hasbro)
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (DST)
  • Drogo, GoT (Funko)
  • ED-209 (NECA)
  • Falcon, Marvel Select (DST)
  • Garruk Wildspeaker, Magic The Gathering  (Funko)
  • Glen, Walking Dead (McFarlane)
  • Gorilla Soldier, POTA (NECA)
  • Iron Patriot (S.H. Figuarts)
  • Jedi Luke, SW Black (Hasbro)
  • Jetfire, Transformers (Hasbro)
  • Michelangelo, TMNT (Revoltech)
  • Modulok, MOTUC (Mattel)
  • Mummy (Mezco)
  • Riddler, Batman Designer (DC Collectibles)
  • Star-Lord, GotG ML (Hasbro)
  • Tyreese, Walking Dead (McFarlane)
  • Viper Predator (NECA)

Best Male Figure (under 5″)

  • Adam Power, Power Lords (Four Horsemen)
  • Alien, ReAction (Funko)
  • Arctic B.A.T., G.I. Joe (Hasbro)
  • Bowser, World of Nintendo
  • Darth Vader #26, SW Black (Hasbro)
  • Fighter’s Guild Akavari and Pony Guar (Symbiote)
  • Gremlin, Twilight Zone (BifBangPow)
  • Jack Asteroid, OSM (Four Horsemen)
  • Jabba’s Skiff Guard, SW Black (Hasbro)
  • Kane in Spacesuit, Alien ReAction (Funko)
  • L’il Gotham Batman (DC Collectibles)
  • Penguin, Multiverse (Mattel)
  • Snake Eyes, Artic, G.I. Joe (Hasbro)
  • Super Mario (S.H. Figuarts)

Best Female Figure (over 11″)

  • Avea Trotter, Monster High (Mattel)
  • Baroness, G.I. Joe (Sideshow)
  • Black Widow, CA:WS (Hot Toys)
  • Cammy, Street Fighter (Medicom)
  • Catwoman, DC Comics (Sideshow)
  • Crimson (Flirty Girl)
  • Domino Lady (Phicen)
  • Faraway Forest Elf, Barbie (Mattel)
  • Harley, DC Comics (Sideshow)
  • Hit Girl, Kick Ass 2, (Medicom)
  • Maleficent (Hot Toys)
  • Maleficent (Disney Signature Collection)

Best Female Figure (5″ – 11″)

  • Alien Queen (NECA)
  • April O’Neil TMNT (Playmates)
  • Arcee, Transformers (Hasbro)
  • Arya Stark, GoT (Funko)
  • Arya Stark, GoT (Dark Horse)
  • Black Cat, Spider-Man ML (Hasbro)
  • Black Widow, CA:WS ML (Hasbro)
  • Catwoman, animated (DC Collectibles)
  • Daenerys, Got (Dark Horse)
  • Daenerys, GoT (Funko)
  • Gamora, GotG ML (Hasbro)
  • Lilliana Vess, Magic (Funko)
  • Lucy Lawless, Simpsons (NECA)
  • Maggie, Walking Dead (McFarlane)
  • Mermista, MOTUC (Mattel)
  • Penny, Gremlins (NECA)
  • Scorpia, MOTUC (Mattel)
  • Venus, Sailor Moon (S.H. Figuarts)
  • Windblade, Transformers (Hasbro)
  • Zira, POTA (NECA)

Best Female Figure (under 5″)

Notes: The strong female represetation continues in the smaller scale. It’s particularly nice to see it’s not just Star Wars and Joe, although they have some strong nominees as well.

  • Amy Pond, Dr. Who (Character Options)
  • Baroness, G.I. Joe (Hasbro)
  • Catwoman, DC Multiverse (Mattel)
  • Harley, DC Multiverse (Mattel)
  • Lady Jaye, G.I. Joe (Hasbro)
  • Ripley, Alien ReAction (Funko)
  • Samus Arun, Amiibo, (Nintendo)
  • Talky Tina, TZ (BifBangPow)
  • Terra Firma, OSM (Four Horsemen)
  • Toryn Farr, Star Wars Black (Hasbro)
  • Wasp, Marvel Infinite (Hasbro)

Best Build a Figure/Collect and Connect (any size or type):

  • Green Goblin, Spider-Man ML (Hasbro)
  • Groot, GotG ML (Hasbro)
  • Jubilee, ML (Hasbro)
  • Kalibak, DCU/Super Powers (Mattel)
  • Mandroid, ML (Hasbro)
  • Minicon Assault Team Centuritron, Transformers (Hasbro)

Best Vehicle or Playset

  • Armory, Batman (Hot Toys)
  • AT-DP, Star Wars, (Hasbro)
  • Batbot, RC (Imaginext)
  • Batmobile, Toy Toyko Red version (Funko)
  • Battle Ram, MOTUC (Mattel)
  • Battle Rover (Imaginext)
  • Cobra Wolf, G.I. Joe (Hasbro)
  • Dragon Castle (True Legends)
  • Ecto-1, Ghostbusters, (Funko)
  • High Flying Blimp, TMNT (Playmates)
  • Inquisitor TIE Fighter, Star Wars (Hasbro)
  • Iron Man 3 Hall of Armor, House Party (Hot Toys)
  • Iron Man 3 Workshop Accessories (Hot Toys)
  • Millenium Falcon, Star Wars Hero (Hasbro)
  • Phantom, Star Wars Rebels (Hasbro)
  • Serenity 1:250 scale cutaway (Qmx)
  • Slave 1, Star Wars Die Cast (Disney)
  • Speeder Bike, Star Wars Black (Hasbro)
  • T-Tower, Teen Titans (Jazzwares)
  • X-Wing Fighter, Star Wars (Hasbro)
  • Z-line Billiard Breakout, TMNT (Playmates)

Best Statue

  • Azog on Warg (Weta)
  • Batman Arkham City (Kotobukiya)
  • Black Widow (Gentle Giant)
  • Black Widow PF (Sideshow)
  • Chewbacca PF (Sideshow)
  • Conan (ARH)
  • Harley, DC Bombshells (DC Collectibles)
  • Harley, Batman B/W (DC Collectibles)
  • Harley PF (Sideshow)
  • He-Man (Pop Culture Shock)
  • Herman Munster (Tweeterhead)
  • Judge Death (Pop Culture Shock)
  • King Thror, Hobbit (Weta)
  • Mojo (Bowen)
  • Padme Amidala (Gentle Giant)
  • Rick Grimes, Walking Dead comic (McFarlane)
  • Shao Khan (Pop Culture Shock)
  • Superman DC Comics PF (Sideshow)
  • Warframe Excalibur (Symbiote)
  • Wonder Woman ArtFX (Kotobukiya)
  • Yoda Ilum, Star Wars (Gentle Giant)

Best Bust

  • Alien Big Chap Legendary Scale (Sideshow)
  • Azog (Gentle Giant)
  • Goblin King (Gentle Giant)
  • Iron Man MK42 Battle Damaged (Hot Toys)
  • Jek Porkins, Star Wars (Gentle Giant)
  • Panzerkommandant Jürgen (Quarantine)
  • Rocket Raccoon (Gentle Giant)
  • Ryu, Street Fighter Life Size (Pop Culture Shock)
  • Scorpion, Life Size (Pop Culture Shock)
  • Sophia Stalker, Walking Dead (Gentle Giant)

Best Designer/Vinyl

  • Baby Dancing Groot (Funko)
  • BeeBop, TMNT (Kid Robot)
  • Chariv, Rise of the Beasts, Glyos (Onell)
  • Dr. Who War Beast SDCC (Titan)
  • Dr. Who War Doctor SDCC (Titan)
  • Elder Scrolls Online Nord (Symbiote)
  • GoGo Yubari, Kill Bill (Funko)
  • Gus Fring, Dead Face, Breaking Bad (Funko)
  • Judge Dredd Cosplay Penguin (Blind Mouse)
  • Kiora Atua, Magic (Funko)
  • Sharknado, Bloody (Funko)
  • Shockwave, Transformers (Loyal Subjects)
  • Splinter, TMNT (Loyal Subjects)
  • Sun Dad Red (RealXHead)
  • Super Crayboth, Glyos (Onell)
  • Tezzeret, Magic (Funko)
  • White Lantern Flash (Funko)
  • Yubiosu (RealXHead)

Best Prop Replica

  • Batman Returns Cowl (Hollywood Collectibles)
  • Breaking Bad Teddy Bear (Mezco)
  • Gremlins 2 Flasher (NECA)
  • Infinity Gauntlet (Hasbro)
  • Larry Talbot’s Cane, Wolfman (Factory Entertainment)
  • Longclaw, GoT (Valyrian Steel)
  • Monkey Brains Bowl, Indiana Jones
  • Predator 1 Bio Mask (Sideshow)
  • Ravenclaw Diadem, Harry Potter (Noble)
  • Sonic Screwdriver, Dr. Who (Rubbertoe)
  • Tomenosuke Blaster Pro Edition (Hollywood Collectibles)
  • Walking Dead Jail Key (McFarlane)

Best Block Figures/Building Set Series

  • DC/Marvel Superheroes (Lego)
  • Halo (MegaBloks)
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Ionix)
  • Legends of Chima (Lego)
  • Lego Movie (LEGO)
  • Plants Vs Zombies Minimates (DST)
  • Simpsons (Lego)
  • Spongebob (MegaBloks)
  • Star Wars (Lego)
  • Titanfall (K’Nex)
  • Transformers (Kre-o)
  • Walking Dead (McFarlane)
  • WWE (C3)

Best Misc

  • Caesar’s Bust/DVD Case (NECA)
  • Disneyvision (Disney)
  • Grimlock Stomp and Chomp (Hasbro)
  • ReAction Figures (Funko)
  • Star Wars Command (Hasbro)
  • Titanfall Collector’s Edition
  • TMNT Giant Size (Jakks)

Vote now for the Peoples Picks awards at MWCToys.com

Watch the latest episode of the Star Wars collecting show Star Wars Action News

Watch the latest episode of the Marvel Comics collectible show Marvelicious Toys

 

 

 

January 19, 2015 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Voting Now Open for 2014 Poppies Toy and Collectible Awards

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

Now Playing goes live for ‘Kingsman’ review

Snip20150110_76For the first time in its 8-year history, Now Playing Podcast will review a film live and give listeners the chance to interact with its hosts, Venganza Media officially announced on Saturday.

The live breakdown of director Matthew Vaughn’s spy thriller Kingsman: The Secret Service is set for 9:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 17. It will be followed by a Q&A with hosts Arnie Carvalho, Jakob Brewster, and Stuart Atkinson, which listeners will be able to access via a live stream on the Now Playing Podcast website.  The hosts have also promised some surprising announcements on the show about a new project for Now Playing Podcast.

Now Playing recording sessions have been known to last several hours (the raw cut of 2012’s Alien 3 review clocked in at 3 hours and 30 minutes), so an edited version of the review will also be made available for listeners who can’t stay up too late.  There is no plan to release the Q&A or the unedited recording as a podcast; those are for the listeners who are able to attend the live broadcast.

Kingsman was adapted from 2012’s “The Secret Service” comic book series. Originally set for a U.S. release in November, its debut was pushed to Feb. 13, forcing Now Playing to shuffle its schedule, but opening a window to review the film with listeners in live attendance.

Carvalho, who has hosted live shows for Venganza’s Star Wars Action News and Marvelicious Toys podcasts, said the process requires four computers running simultaneously in the recording studio.

“I feel like Scotty on the Enterprise during these shows,” he said. “My office is strung up like a Christmas tree with the amount of cables running through here.”

With the addition of a live show, Now Playing continues to tinker with the format of its weekly podcast. Recent examples include November’s bonus review of the documentary Plastic Galaxy (a mash-up with Star Wars Action News) and the brilliantly edited but trippy “reverse review” of Christopher Nolan’s Memento.

January 10, 2015 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pre-Order Alert: Hot Toys 1/6 Scale Darth Vader

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Hot Toys’ newest 1/6 scale Star Wars figure is up for pre-order now:  Darth Vader.

Darth Vader is one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars saga and has frequently been regarded as one of the greatest villains in cinema history. Following the release of “The Circle is Now Complete’ teaser earlier last month, Star Wars fans have already been eagerly waiting for the official reveal of the Sith Lord!

And now Hot Toys is welcoming fans to the dark side and officially introduce the highly-detailed and amazingly-crafted Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope: 1/6th scale Darth Vader Collectible Figure complete with the Sith Lord’s iconic breathing sound effects and LED lighted functions!

The movie-accurate collectible figure is specially crafted based on the image of Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope! It features a sophisticatedly-crafted Darth Vader armor and helmet, specially tailored suit, built-in sound effect function with Darth Vader’s breathing sound, LED-lighted lightsaber and belt, a finely-made Interrogator Droid, and a specially designed figure stand.

Embrace the dark side and add the infamous Dark Lord of the Sith to your Star Wars collection!

The figure comes with 9 interchangeable hands, a LED lit lightsaber, a special figure stand, and an Interrogator droid!

Continue your 1/6 Scale Hot Toys figure collection by ordering Darth Vader now from Sideshow Collectibles!

 

Is this an improvement over Sideshow’s own 1/6 scale Darth Vader?  Let us know in the comments below!

December 30, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Hot Toys 1/6 Scale Darth Vader

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

Pre-Order Alert: Hot Toys Quarter-Scale Boba Fett Figure

Hot Toys - Star Wars - Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Boba Fett Collectible Figure_PR18

The ultimate bounty from Hot Toys is now available for Pre-Order – their Quarter Scale Return of the Jedi Boba Fett Figure.

In July Hot Toys announced they had obtained the rights to sell figures based on the Star Wars films.  The only releases so far had been in their 1/6 scale (12-inch) Movie Masterpiece Series line.  Boba Fett is the first release in their quarter-scale (18-inch) line of figures, bringing a level of quality, articulation, and accessories never before seen in Star Wars figures of this scale.

In terms of size, this figure matches a Sideshow Collectibles Premium Format Figure, or figures in Diamond Select Toys’ (now cancelled) quarter-scale figure line.  But while the Sideshow “figure” is really a statue, and the Diamond Select Toys’ figure was a toy that did not attempt realistic likenesses and high articulation, Hot Toys is bringing the detail of their Movie Masterpiece figures to this giant size.

Standing nearly 18-inches tall (45cm to be exact), this Boba Fett figure has a helmet with an articulated rangefinder and  extremely detailed Mandolorian armor designed to match the bounty hunter’s appearance in Return of the Jedi.  Underneath that armor you’ll find over 30 points of articulation allowing a huge variety of poses.  And more, you get seven interchangable hands for different gestures, and a huge number of accessories including two blaster rifles (regular and damaged), a survival knife, an anti-security blade, and more!  Plus if you get the Special Edition (exclusively through Sideshow Collectibles) you also get  a blaster sidearm with holster which Boba Fett has in Star Wars: Episode V Empire Strikes Back.
Don’t miss the chance to add the fearsome bounty hunter to your prized collection!

 Find out all the details and pre-order now at Sideshow Collectibles!

December 16, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: Hot Toys Quarter-Scale Boba Fett Figure

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

10 Things to Notice in The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer

After months of anticipation the Star Wars:  The Force Awakens teaser trailer has been released.

As a Star Wars fan, and collector, I have been “cautiously optimistic” about the future of Star Wars under its new Disney ownership and the new movie-a-year road map.  Yet there is something about seeing the Millennium Falcon in flight and hearing the original John Williams score that takes me back to being 8-years-old and having the same excitement I did for Return of the Jedi in 1983 or The Phantom Menace in 1999.

Still, the teaser trailer gave up very few of The Force Awakens’ secrets, but there were 10 items that stood out to me as I watched the trailer again and again.

10.  The Dark Side is everywhere…or is that just editing?

ForceAwakensTrailerImage1

The trailer was only 88 seconds long, but it starts with 11 seconds of total blackness.  After the first scene is 5 more seconds blacked out.  Then 3 more seconds.  And 14 more seconds throughout, for a total of 33 seconds of black screen.  Add to that 22 seconds of just the Star Wars logo and we ended up with only 33 seconds of actual footage.  And in those 33 seconds, no Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, or Han Solo, likely to leave fans talking as much about what we didn’t see as what we did.  A tease indeed!

 

9.  The Millennium Falcon‘s had a few more special modifications made.

ForceAwakensTrailerImage2

We saw Lando’s poor piloting rip the sensor dish off the Falcon in Return of the Jedi.  It looks like Han took that opportunity (or some other time in the 30 years) to upgrade with a square sensor dish.  This one’s a bit shorter, too, so maybe it won’t go flying off when things get “too close.”

Of course this new Falcon is all CGI, and able to make moves only hinted at in the original trilogy–moves which I imagine to be stomach-wrenching in IMAX 3-D.  But even with no physical model the effects look first-rate; I’d expect nothing less from Abrams and Disney at this point.

 

8.  Still Rebel-lious

ForceAwakensTrailerImage3

When last we left the Star Wars universe the Empire had been defeated.  Per the (now erased from continuity) novels, Mon Mothma and Princess Leia established a new galactic government called “The New Republic”.  It even had its own fancy logo–an iteration of the Rebel symbol seen in the movies.

Yet here, in this brief shot of an unknown X-Wing pilot we see the Rebel logo both on his helmet and his vest.  Is this the logo of a new ruling order?  An honorary tribute to pilots of decades past?  Or is the Rebel Alliance still rebelling all these years later?

(And is it just me, or does that guy look like he could be Wedge’s son?)

7.  There is no VII

ForceAwakensTrailerImage4

Like so many movie series that get past a certain number of sequels, it seems Star Wars is eschewing its roman numeral numbering system.  While The Force Awakens has been referred to as “Episode VII” (or Ep. 7) by Lucasfilm, rumor has it the number will actually be absent from the film.  The logo in the trailer seems to lend credibility to that rumor.

6.  Stormtroopers? Where?

ForceAwakensTrailerImage5

The first new character seen in the trailer is actor John Boyega (Attack the Block) in a Stormtrooper outfit.  Some have jumped to the conclusion that this film will let us finally know the men inside the helmet (more than, at least, the clones from the prequel films).  But lest we jump to too many conclusions, let’s recall we have seen heroes don Stormtrooper outfits before…

LukeInStormtrooperOutfit

5.  Will new helmets help with their aim?

ForceAwakensTrailerImage6

Speaking of stormtroopers, we are only given a strobe-like glance at the white-armored troops in this trailer–and they have a new helmet design.  The iconography of the old Stormtrooper helmet is certainly in tact, with the white dome and the black frowney-face, but it’s been upgraded.  Is this to improve their accuracy as troops, or just to sell all new action figures and helmets?  (Their blasters got upgraded too with nice LEDs…looking forward to those toys!)

4.  What is the target?

ForceAwakensTrailerImage7

Finally with these troops, it’s curious that we appear to be following some Stormtroopers inside a landing craft as they are about to engage in combat.  The Imperial troops have long been faceless enemies but here it seems as if we’re watching them as they go out to something akin to the beach of Normandy in World War II.  (I admit readily I’m reading a lot into 2 seconds of footage).

Lucas made the Clones good guys for Episode II and half of Episode III…could they be heroes in The Force Awakens?  Or will be have some troops with whom we’re sympathetic as they go to battle?  The scene does not convey danger, it’s not filmed in a way that “they’re coming for you”, it’s “they’re prepping for combat.”

Then again, as with point 6, perhaps these are all heroes in disguise…

3.  The Desolation of Sith

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

Does that opening voice sound familiar to you?  Is it Benedict Cumberbatch using the same breathy, deep voice he had as the dragon Smaug in the recent Lord of the Rings:  The Hobbit film?  Is he the man in black we see in the trailer?

Update: 2pm: The answer to both those questions is “no”.  While there is no confirmation as to who the voice is, all signs point to it being fellow Hobbit alum Andy Serkis giving a great impression of the great dragon.  Others maintain that voice is that of Max von Sydow.

2.  More Probe-ing questions…

Arakyd_Viper

Also in the audio, pay attention when Boyega stands up and turns his back to the camera.  The sharp-eared viewer will hear the familiar sounds of an Imperial Probe Droid (seen in The Empire Strikes Back).  This adds to my theory that Boyega is a hero on the run…and that a multi-limbed robot set to self-destruct may be on his tail.

1.  Watch your fingers!

ForceAwakensTrailerImage8

When The Phantom Menace trailer premiered fans witnessed a totally new weapon–a double bladed lightsaber.  Now Abrams continues that gambit by showing us a tri-bladed lightsaber–though the side blades appear far more like the finger guards found in a longsword than anything that can actually inflict damage.  The key difference is that fingerguards are dull and there to prevent the enemy from slicing you–lightsaber blades are pure plazma that cut through anything.  My first reaction is that they seem more likely to cut off the wielder’s fingers than to protect them, but that would be in the Robot Chicken parody, not the actual film.

Of course the bigger question is who is holding that saber.  Cumberbatch?  Luke Skywalker?  Darth Vader back from the dead?  The Emperor alive after his fall?

As I said, the trailer provokes more questions than it gives answers, and that’s just what the marketing department wants  The intent of a teaser trailer is to build anticipation and buzz, and if Social Media has been any indication they’ve already succeeded.

Did I miss anything?  Let me know in the comments below!

Hear Arnie talk Star Wars on the podcast Star Wars Action News

Support independent podcasting and hear the Now Playing reviews of all the Lord of the Rings films, available only through Dec 31, 2015

Join the Star Wars Action News Sithmas Gift Exchange to give and get some Star Wars themed gifts this year!

November 28, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Star Wars Action News “Sithmas Exchange” Registry is Open

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REGISTRATION OPENS FOR STAR WARS ACTION NEWS SITHMAS GIFT EXCHANGE

Annual event gives fans chance to have a Force-full holiday!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Springfield, Ill – November 26, 2014 – Today Star Wars Action News, the premier podcast for Star Wars collectors, launched its  annual “Sithmas” holiday gift exchange for listeners looking to send a lightsaber to a fellow fan or find a new Speeder Bike sitting on their doorstep.

Anyone who has ever participated in a “Secret Santa” gift exchange will be familiar with the Star Wars Action News formula; just register online to receive a gift from a fellow participant and you’ll be assigned to buy a gift for someone else taking part in the program.

“Star Wars Action News was founded on the idea of collectors helping collectors,” said creator and host Arnie Carvalho. “From original art to rare figures, the gifts represent the diversity of our audience, and to see people participating worldwide is such a treat.”

The “Sithmas Exchange” gives participants a chance to put together a “wish list” of favorite toy lines, characters, and other items they hope to receive, so the gift-giver isn’t left wandering the aisles of Toys ‘R Us or Target without a clue.

Minimum total gift cost is $20, although past events have seen listeners go above and beyond to gift the perfect Star Wars item to a fellow collector.

Those who wish to participate in the “Sithmas Exchange” can find rules, important shipping details, and a registration form on the Star Wars Action News website. Registration is open until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2014.

About Star Wars Action News

The Star Wars Action News podcast is dedicated to covering Star Wars collectibles of all shapes and sizes. From action figures to art to high-end statues, Star Wars Action News brings listeners biweekly news and reviews, as well as in-depth convention coverage and interviews with toy makers and celebrity collectors.

About Venganza Media Inc.

Based in Springfield, Ill., Venganza Media Inc. is a privately-owned multimedia production facility and home to the Venganza Media Podcasting Network. Film fans and collectors worldwide know Venganza as the producer of Star Wars Action NewsMarvelicious Toys, and the company’s flagship program, Now Playing Podcast. Since its formation in 2005, Venganza has delivered thousands of hours of entertainment to listeners, while its staff and fleet of contributors have established the company as a premier source for film reviews, celebrity interviews, and collecting news for audiences of all ages.

Facebook: Star Wars Action News

Twitter: @SWActionNews

November 26, 2014 Posted by | Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Star Wars Action News “Sithmas Exchange” Registry is Open

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 look for Now Playing

VENGANZA MEDIA DEBUTS NEW LOOK FOR NOW PLAYING PODCAST
Website redesign gives users access to new content, show release schedule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Springfield, Ill – November 5, 2014- Today Venganza Media Inc., the producers of popular collecting podcast Star Wars Action News, unveiled a new website for its flagship program, Now Playing Podcast. The show’s worldwide audience now has easier access to its extensive film review archive and schedule, as well as a redesigned streaming media player and expanded content from show contributors.

“Now that we’re closing in on 500 movie reviews, it seemed a natural step forward to improve the user experience,” said Now Playing Podcast creator and host Arnie Carvalho. “Our listeners keep us on-the-air, they’ve asked for the ability to easily view and search our upcoming review calendar as well as our archives. We want them to know that we listen to them as well.”

The new show calendar can be accessed from the Now Playing Podcast home page, and will include details of weekly film reviews as well as series’ covered during Now Playing’s bi-annual pledge drive.

The website’s revamped archive page includes a drop-down menu — another requested feature — that will allow users to easily search and select their favorite Now Playing Podcast reviews.

In addition to the updated search and schedule features, users will find expanded biographies of the Now Playing Podcast staff, as well as links to news content from the company blog, the Venganza Media Gazette.

About Venganza Media Inc.
Based in Springfield, Ill., Venganza Media Inc. is a privately-owned multimedia production facility and home to the Venganza Media Podcasting Network. Film fans and collectors worldwide know Venganza as the producer of Star Wars Action News, Marvelicious Toys, and the company’s flagship program, Now Playing Podcast. Since its formation in 2005, Venganza has delivered thousands of hours of entertainment to listeners, while its staff and fleet of contributors have established the company as a premier source for film reviews, celebrity interviews, and collecting news for audiences of all ages.

About Now Playing Podcast
From its humble beginnings as a short-form, off-the-cuff movie review show, Now Playing Podcast has grown into one of the most successful and celebrated independent programs online and consistently ranks among iTunes’ Top 10 TV/Film podcasts. Its ability to stand out in a crowded field is largely attributed to Now Playing’s highly-acclaimed retrospective format, keeping listeners engaged week-after-week as its panel of critics chronicle decades of hits-and-misses while maneuvering Hollywood’s hectic release schedule.

Facebook: Now Playing Podcast
Twitter: @NowPlayingPod

November 7, 2014 Posted by | News, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts | , , , , | Comments Off on New look for Now Playing

Pre-Order Alert: 12-Inch X-Wing Luke Skywalker Figure from Sideshow Collectibles

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Sideshow Collectibles continues their line of 1/6 Scale Star Wars figures with a new Luke Skywalker in X-Wing pilot gear!

This figure features:

  • Newly Designed and Fully Articulated Light Body
  • Highly Detailed Luke Skywalker Portrait
  • Helmet with Visor and Comlink
  • Detailed Flight Pressurized G-Suit
  • Flak Vest
  • Life Support Unit with Chest Pack Straps
  • Gear Harness with Belt Flares
  • Data Cylinders
  • Flight Boots
  • Right and Left Relaxed Flight Gloved Hands
  • Right and Left Flight Gloved Fists
  • Right Force Gesture Flight Gloved Hand
  • Right and Left Flight Boots
  • Signal Flares
  • Support Stand with Yavin Base Flight Deck Graphic

So hurry and order your exclusive edition of this figure now at Sideshow Collectibles!

And while at Sideshow’s site check out their Spooktacular Halloween event with savings on tons of collectibles, many with discounted prices and free shipping, and many with extra rewards as well!   From the high end Darth Maul Legendary Scale figure to the Snowtrooper Premium Format figure down to a bunch of sixth scale figures including 4-LOM and several clones, these deals are only good until Oct 31!  Plus bargains on other Hot Toys, Marvel items, G.I. Joe figures and more!

October 30, 2014 Posted by | News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Pre-Order Alert: 12-Inch X-Wing Luke Skywalker Figure from Sideshow Collectibles

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

Hot Toys goes Solo, Han Solo, with the Star Wars license

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Over the past six years Hot Toys has emerged as the superstar company for 12-inch highly articulated, collector-oriented action figures.

Their product lines in the past have ranged from Robocop to Predator to Terminator to even one-offs like Michael Jackson and Back to the Future.  But where they’ve really shown is with their Marvel Movie Masterpiece Series figures.  From Blade to Iron Man to Spider-Man to Ghost Rider, Hot Toys has amazed and astounded with their actor-accurate facial likenesses, the attention to detail, and the seemingly endless number of accessories, including interchangeable hands, feet, and heads, that come with their figures.  Even the boxes each figure come in is a work of art.

I have covered Hot Toys figures for three years on the Marvelicious Toys podcast, and own every single Marvel Movie Masterpiece figure they have done–the only 12-inch line I am ‘all in’ on.  Their quality and workmanship is unmatched.  I’ve often wondered why Sideshow’s 12-Inch Star Wars line could not match the quality of Hot Toys’ Marvel line.

Sideshow and Hot Toys did partner once in the past, for Sideshow’s 12-Inch Bespin Luke Skywalker figure.   But now Hot Toys has gotten the licence for their own lines of 1/6 scale and 1/4 scale Star Wars figures and collectibles.

Right out of the gate come not one but two sixth scale Movie Masterpiece Star Wars figures–Han Solo and Chewbacca.  Available individually or as a set, these two smugglers are ready to join your collection.

The Han Solo figure features

  • Interchangeable hair sculpt with headset
  • Newly developed body with over 30 points of articulation
  • Ten (10) pieces of interchangeable palms including:
    – One (1) pair of relaxed palms
    – One (1) pair of gloved relaxed palms
    – One (1) pair of partially clenched gloved palms
    – One (1) right palm for holding blaster
    – One (1) left palm for supporting blaster
    – One (1) right gloved palm for holding blaster
    – One (1) left gloved palm for supporting blaster
  • Each piece of head sculpt is specially hand-painted
  • Brown leather blaster holster belt
  • One (1) blaster pistol
  • One (1) droid caller
  • Specially designed figure stand with Han Solo nameplate and movie logo

Plus if you order the Sideshow Exclusive edition you also get a Stormtrooper belt and blaster rifle!

Chewbacca comes with:

  • Authentic and detailed likeness of Chewbacca in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  • Brown fabric hair throughout whole body
  • Movie-accurate facial expression
  • Newly developed body with over 30 points of articulation
  • Approximately 36 cm tall
  • Two (2) pairs of interchangeable palms including:
    – One (1) pair of relaxed palms
    – One (1) pair of palms for holding bowcaster
  • One (1) bowcaster
  • One (1) brown bandolier bag
  • One (1) headset
  • Specially designed figure stand with Chewbacca nameplate and movie logo

902268-han-solo-and-chewbacca-001And if you order the pair together you get everything listed above (including the Stormtrooper belt and rifle) plus an additional accessory exclusive to the set–a heavy blaster for Chewbacca to wield.

Long time Sideshow sixth-scale figure collectors, there is no word yet on how the scale of Hot Toys’ figures will fit in with Sideshow’s long-running line.  As Sideshow uses their own figure bodies for most of their figures there is a chance these figures may look slightly taller or smaller than their Sideshow counterparts.  This is not an evolution of Sideshow’s figure line, but an entirely new sixth scale figure line from Hot Toys.

It is canny of Hot Toys to be out of the gate with Chewbacca–a figure Sideshow has long teased but never brought to market.

However, and this is ironic, the only authorized US seller of Hot Toys is Sideshow Collectibles.  As mentioned, I have purchased many Hot Toys figures, but as with any detailed piece  I have received a fair number of damaged and broken figures and accessories.  Hot Toys will not provide a warranty on any product purchased at an unauthorized reseller.  The one Hot Toys figure I purchased from a reseller other than Sideshow, Hot Toys would provide no repairs and the seller could not offer a repalcement.  If you are interested in the Hot Toys Star Wars line, my strong recommendation is you only purchase from Sideshow Collectibles, or risk having a damaged or broken piece with no recourse.

As for these figures, you can hear my first impressions on this Monday’s episode of the Star Wars Action News podcast!

In the meantime, head over to Sideshow’s site and check out these new figures.  If you order, please consider supporting our site and our podcasts by using our affiliate link!

 

September 24, 2014 Posted by | Comic Books, Movies, News, Star Wars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hot Toys goes Solo, Han Solo, with the Star Wars license

The 40 Year-Old-Critic: Spider-Man 3 (2007)

11005771In 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
Earlier this week, when I discussed Star Wars Episode III:  Revenge of the Sith, I described how I tend to channel my excitement into creative venues. I’ve been doing it my whole life, whether that meant writing fan fiction, building model kits, customizing action figures — the point is, I like to build upon my imagination. In 2005 that drive led to the creation of the Star Wars Action News podcast.

Two years later, a near-equal level of excitement gave birth to an even larger idea that became Now Playing Podcast. The excitement was for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3; the first film Now Playing ever reviewed.

I had been a longtime Spider-Man fan, from the 1970s Spidey Super Stories on The Electric Company to Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and even Stan Lee’s daily The Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strips, but even I didn’t anticipate my own hype for this sequel. I barely caught the first Spider-Man film in theaters (its release in 2002, directly against Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and my wedding, was much of the reason). I was more excited for 2004’s Spider-Man 2, but I wouldn’t say I was “hyped.”

But the bug bit me in 2007 — Venom had gotten into my system.

I started reading comics in 1990. I never got into them as a child; I simply wasn’t exposed to comics through friends or media. My Star Trek fandom drew me into the comics culture, because I wanted to read the “official” stories taking place after the events of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. The first time I stepped into a comics shop the clerk tried to sell me Spider-Man No. 1, from the highly-acclaimed Todd McFarlane series.

This tease ignited the fanboy in me.

This tease ignited the fanboy in me.

I passed. I always thought the comics were just color reprints of the daily newspaper strip, until my longtime friend and Now Playing co-host Stuart started telling me stories about how Spider-Man changed his costume to one that was black-and-white. Incredulous, I didn’t believe him, especially when he told me the suit turned out to be an evil alien. In response, and to prove his point, he pointed me to a comic book store. I went back to read many of McFarlane’s Amazing Spider-Man back issues. Of specific interest were the stories that involved Venom, a muscle-bound baddie named Eddie Brock with whom the alien suit had bonded. Venom had all of Spider-Man’s powers, but none of his responsibility.

For years I read every Spider-Man comic, but I anticipated none as much as those that starred Venom. When Brock went from villain to anti-hero in his own series, Venom: Lethal Protector, I was even happier; I could now read about him every month!

I honestly wonder if I liked Venom even more than Spider-Man himself.

As a fan I read rumors about a big-screen adaptation of Spider-Man, but it languished in development hell for more than a decade. I remember reading a Wizard Magazine in 1992 that teased a James Cameron directed Spider-Man film starring Charlie Sheen as Peter Parker and using Terminator 2 special effects for the villain — Venom! I couldn’t have been more excited but, alas, that film never materialized. When Spider-Man did hit theaters in 2002 Sheen, Cameron, and Venom weren’t even under consideration.

Finally, after enjoying two Spider-Man films in theaters (as you can hear in the Now Playing Podcast Spider-Man Retrospective Series), word came that Raimi was finally getting to my favorite Spidey nemesis.

Venom was first teased at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con. I wasn’t in the Sony panel, but friends excitedly described the scene of alien ooze landing on Eddie Brock (Topher Grace). That the scene took place in a church really upped my expectations — Raimi had been pretty loyal to the Spider-Man mythos thus far, and despite casting the wiry Grace as the muscle-bound Brock, it seemed he was continuing that trend with Venom.

I'd seen the black outfit take Peter Parker to dark places in the comic...but never as dark as Maguire's uncomfortable dance scene.

I’d seen the black outfit take Peter Parker to dark places in the comic…but never as dark as Maguire’s uncomfortable dance scene.

Venom, Raimi, and Spider-Man created a perfect storm of hype.

I am a collector by nature, and often I express my fandom through displays of movie memorabilia. It all started with my Star Wars toys in 1977, but from Superman to Gremlins to Ghostbusters to Star Trek, I’d always buy the trading cards, toys, and books for films I loved. Of course, Star Wars remained my primary focus — I bought every figure, vehicle, book, and game released.

By the year 2000 my townhouse was a crowded toy box, full of Star Wars toys, but also X-Men movie figures, Spider-Man toys, McFarlane Toys’ Movie Maniacs series’ Leatherface, Freddy, and many more. But in 2001 I quit my job and became a full-time student, and with that drastic reduction in income came a drastic reduction in collecting. I actually sold most of my toys and narrowed my focus down to my first love — Star Wars. Even as my career started to take off, my income increasing, I was never tempted to return to collecting anything but Star Wars until Spider-Man 3.

By 2007, Star Wars Action News was heard by tens of thousands of listeners every month, and hundreds congregated on our forums to discuss the toys. Surprisingly, many of those fans were also swept up in the excitement to see Raimi’s next Spider-Man film. When I mentioned on the podcast that I was drawn to — but couldn’t allow myself to buy — a particularly cool Venom figure sold by Sideshow Collectibles, these listeners came to the forums en masse to encourage my spending! Some even tried to take up a collection to buy the $80 figure for me; an act of generosity I could not possibly accept.

The flames of my Spider-Man 3 excitement were fanned by Star Wars Action News listeners, and that combination caused me to move on an idea I’d had for some time: a movie review podcast. The first movie we’d review would be Spider-Man 3, obviously.

It wouldn’t be a stretch, my wife (and co-host) Marjorie and I had already reviewed one movie together, Snakes on a Plane, the year before.

Coincidentally, another Marvel character first planted the seeds in my head that I should launch this show. Coming out of 2007’s Ghost Rider Marjorie had me almost doubled over with laughter as she lambasted the Nicolas Cage film. Not only were her observations on point, they were quite amusing. I knew many of our listeners loved Marjorie’s color commentary, and I thought that if I’d had a microphone on us walking out of Ghost Rider we’d break download records.

Despite the film's numerous flaws, the CGI work on Sandman was impressive, and moving.

Despite the film’s numerous flaws, the CGI work on Sandman was impressive, and moving.

But I was daunted. Movie review podcasts were a dime a dozen. Anyone with a microphone seemed to be reviewing movies. With Star Wars Action News we’d made a big splash in the Star Wars community — a big fish in a tiny pond. Yet, even with that success I knew that we’d be out of our comfortable pond and thrust into an ocean of movie podcasts. I wasn’t sure how to make us stand out, and so I never acted on it.

More, SWAN had gone from a one-day-per-week hobby to a very time-consuming new career. Two hours of recording became 10 hours of editing, and then toy photography and travel — suddenly I was spending more time on podcasting than I was on teaching my college courses. Plus, teaching was my second job; I also had a full-time day job. With all of these commitments the thought of doing another podcast regularly was overwhelming.

Still, the seed had been planted, and my excitement for Spider-Man 3 turned it into action. Marjorie came up with the name, taken directly from the screen of her iPod that always said at the top, Now Playing.

It’s laughable now as I spend 30 or more hours per week on the show, but I originally thought Now Playing Podcast wouldn’t take much time. I figured we’d stick to my first idea and take the portable recorder (the one I’d purchased for the Samuel L. Jackson interview) to the theater and when the movie was over I’d have a microphone to capture our initial reaction. Marjorie and I went to the movies nearly every week, so we could have a spoiler-free review with just a few minutes of recording. I’d release it unedited, just add music, and be done.

As for the way to differentiate ourselves from the thousands of other podcasts? That would take me a couple more years to really figure out. In the meantime we had Marjorie and a built in audience for Star Wars Action News.

Deciding to launch Now Playing on the same day as Spider-Man 3’s release had two profound effects. First, my excitement for the next Spidey film had an outlet that didn’t involve buying collectibles. I was preparing our own launch of a podcast, so my time and money was spent getting domain names and setting up web pages (Though I was visiting Burger King more than usual to get their Spider-Man 3 kid’s meal toys — the Venom still eluded me).

Second, the anticipation for May 4, 2007 increased 50-fold — that was the day I’d get to watch Spider-Man and we’d launch our newest podcast!

My excitement level was so high we actually took that afternoon off work. There were no midnight shows, but we were there for the first matinee of the day. It was time to see Venom fight Spider-Man, and classic Spider-Man bad guy Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church) would be in there somewhere as well.

In my mind I felt I knew how the movie would be paced. The trailers had shown Spider-Man fighting Sandman while wearing his black suit. I thought for certain it would follow the structure of the original film, with the first half largely about the origin story, only this time it would be the origin of the black suit (again with Sandman in there somewhere). Then, I assumed the second half of the picture would be about our hero battling his arch-nemesis, only this time instead of Green Goblin it would be Venom.

The more I heard about Sandman being the main baddie in this film, though, I started to form a back-up theory. The trailers never showed Venom outside of the church, so I thought this entire film could be a setup for Venom, who would return as the main bad guy in Spider-Man 4. 

No matter what, in Raimi I trusted. From Evil Dead to Army of Darkness, Darkman, and more, he had proven time and again to be a director with style and vision (that late 90s period including For the Love of the Game notwithstanding).

We got to theater early, after an obligatory trip to Burger King to try and get that damn Venom toy. No luck.

I can still remember being so excited I was practically vibrating in my seat. The film started, the score played over an opening credits montage reminding us of the first two films. Little did I know this would be the high point of the movie for me — thinking of the earlier, better films.

The introduction of the alien symbiote that became Spider-Man’s black suit was the opening scene, and completely convenient. It just happened to land near Peter Parker and take him over. No reason why, it just happened.

Faith was restored with the introduction of Sandman, Church having bulked up for the role and really looking like the comic book character come to life. The CGI effects during his transformation marked a new standard for humanity conveyed by computer animation.

But that was quickly lost by the contrived retcon tying Sandman to the death of Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, and a subplot involving Peter Parker’s love life.

I won’t rehash the entire review again. You can hear our full, detailed, scene by scene review in the Now Playing Podcast archives. The disappointment you’ll hear in my voice mirrors my thoughts sitting in that theater. During that theatrical experience I realized not only was I watching a movie that was not very good, but that Now Playing’s first review would not be very positive. I had hoped for the show to be a celebration of Raimi’s film — the orgasmic climax after five years of build-up. Instead, we would have to be honest and discuss how everything —  from the plot to the acting to the score — was not only far below my expectations, but also not very good at all.

No matter the quality of the movie, Now Playing Podcast had arrived. Star Wars Action News listeners and forum members were anxiously awaiting the review. So we went to the car and, raw from the experience, recorded our thoughts. We sat in the car, Spider-Man toys from BK in the back seat, and gave our initial reactions. I tried to temper my disappointment, but when I listen to that show I can hear the sound of a heart breaking.

In the years since I’ve come to focus on some of the better parts of the movie. The effects are mostly top notch, Topher Grace adds needed energy to the cast, and some of the jokes are winners. With the dour nature of The Amazing Spider-Man reboots, I even sometimes finding myself actually wishing for some of the spirit Raimi put in all of his films… even Spider-Man 3.

The tangled web that is Peter Parker's love life would never straighten out; after Spider-Man 3 Sony decided to reboot without Raimi at the helm.

The tangled web that is Peter Parker’s love life would never straighten out; after Spider-Man 3 Sony decided to reboot without Raimi at the helm.

Yet from that bad movie experience something good did come — Now Playing. It would take years for me to realize that. Despite my best intentions, the show went from being recorded on the run to being done in the studio; it went from unedited to lightly edited to full edits. The time commitment was growing, and the listenership wasn’t. We were now one very tiny fish in an ocean so overpopulated that most shows suffered from listener famine. Without listener involvement the show became neglected, and the fewer shows we did the fewer listeners we had when we would put out new reviews. For a while we even gave up hosting altogether.

It wasn’t until 2009 when another movie, another hype machine, got me going: the Platinum Dunes remake of Friday the 13th. Then I had the idea of the Retrospective Series and a three-person rotating cast of hosts. The hype for that movie also ended in disappointment, but we had finally found the format that made our show stand out.

Today Now Playing is a regular show in iTunes’ Top 10. I’ve met hundreds of listeners in person and talked to thousands through social media. Each person with whom I interact is an experience I cherish, and it’s stunning to think none of this would have happened if it weren’t for Spider-Man 3.

And as for my resistance to collecting Marvel, Spider-Man 3 helped me stave that off… for a couple more years at least. As anyone who’s heard my Marvel collecting podcast, Marvelicious Toys, knows, I have now fully embraced it and enjoy it as a smaller side-collection to my primary Star Wars collecting.

Tomorrow — 2008!

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 6, 2014 Posted by | 40-Year-Old Critic, Amazing Spider-Man TV Series, Comic Books, Movies, Reviews, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The 40 Year-Old-Critic: Spider-Man 3 (2007)

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