Categories
Film & Television Series Toys & Collectibles

A Grander Grand Moff: Gentle Giant’s Cushing Kenner Counterpart

It’s Sci-Fi Friday !

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Peter Cushing’s Star Wars character gets a belated but super-sized facsimile.
(All images courtesy of Diamond Select Toys/Gentle Giant Ltd.)

Fun City…

Spring 1977. Manhattan Island. 
6 friends emerge from their subway trip smack dab into a purse snatching in progress. Instinctively they give chase to the thief and corner him in a dead-end out-door parking lot. Police arrive and the boys quickly head for their destination, the Loews Astor Plaza movie theater. 

Yeah, that happened. It was a memorable real life adventure to have on the way to viewing Star Wars, which turned out to be the defining fictional adventure of the 20th Century.

Detour aside, we managed to get seated in time to read the serial inspired crawl and feel the imperial cruiser roar from the back of the theater and over our heads.

diamond select toys, gentle giant, str wars, Peter Cushing, grand off train, kenner, action figures, entertainment earth

Who to my wondering eyes did appear…
As the tale unfolded, I remember how surprised I was to see my favorite Hammer Films actor, Peter Cushing, turn up on the screen. Cushing had long ago established himself as a determined Dr. Frankenstein and agile Van Helsing in Hammer’s reinventions of monster movie classics. By 1977 he had also played Doctor Who in two films (Dr. Who and the Daleks, Dalek Invasion Earth 2150) and was an icon of the horror and science fiction genres. So, even his smattering of screen time in Stars Wars added an air of class and extra level of menace to the narrative. This was a serious bad guy, willing to obliterate the innocent “blue marble” Alderaan just for sport.

Therefore, it’s hard to believe that in the avalanche of nearly 100 Star Wars action figures released by Kenner in the ensuing decade, Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin character never got his turn as a collectible toy.

diamond select toys, gentle giant, str wars, Peter Cushing, grand off train, kenner, action figures, entertainment earth

Super Size Me…
Enter Gentle Giant Ltd. to remedy that oversight in a big way. The company, known for their high quality product sculpts for Diamond Select Toys, has its own line of Star Wars figures. They’ve previously released a The Empire Strikes Back styled DarthVader, and Cloud City based Leia Organa. Although based on the beloved 3.75 inch originals Gentle Giant’s Jumbo Kenner counterparts stand an impressive 12 inches tall.

This grander Grand Moff will be released in January 2022 but is available to pre-order as a limited edition exclusive from Entertainment Earth, or directly from Gentle Giant for members of their 2021 Premier Guild. It comes in a classic blister card display, with collector friendly resealable casing.

Other Jumbo Star Wars figure preorders include a beskar and cape clad Mandalorian, and an SDCC 2021 exclusive Return of the Jedi 4oth Anniversary Boba Fett.

Gentle Giant Jumbo Figures come in classic style, collector friendly, resealable cases.

SkeletonPete Says…
I later learned that the Hammer and genre film cast connections went even deeper than Mr. Cushing. Though voiced by James Earl Jones, it was former Frankenstein Monster David Prowse physically portraying uber villain Darth Vader, and Peter Mayhew, the automaton minotaur in Ray Harryhausen’s Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger was in the Wookie suit. Well… the only thing that could have made it better was if Michael Ripper was underneath the Greedo mask.

diamond select toys, gentle giant, str wars, Peter Cushing, grand off train, kenner, action figures, entertainment earth
diamond select toys, gentle giant, str wars, Peter Cushing, grand off train, kenner, action figures, entertainment earth
Categories
Art Books & Graphic Novels

Surfside Six: A Half Dozen Questions for Author and Artist Kim Dwinell

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Artist Kim Dwinell splits her time between the drawing board and the surfboard.

Return of Surfin’ Sunday: Interview Special

We recently had the pleasure of sharing our reasons for loving Top Shelf Productions’ latest publication The Science of Surfing: A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean which hits shelves this Tuesday, September 28th, 2021.

Categories
Film & Television Series Toys & Collectibles

Heaps of Creeps: New Diamond Select “Nightmare Before Christmas” Figures Emerge from their Halloween Hiding Places

A Return of “Spooky SundayInstallment…

nightmare before christmas, diamond select toys, nix, Tim Burton
Halloween Town Denizens. DST Select NBX Series 10 and Previews Exclusive
action figures.
(All photos courtesy of Diamond Select Toys)

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (NBX) is the gift that keeps on giving for enthusiasts and collectors of all things All Hallows Eve. It’s spooky spin on holiday television staples like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and How The Grinch Stole Christmas seemed pretty quirky upon its release on October 29, 1993, but ultimately it has gained classic status among the classics it set out to spoof.

Though it never generated an on-going sequel franchise, the film continues to ooze oodles of cool collectibles based on the 230 puppets built to fill every corner of its miniature stop motion animation sets.

I could feign astonishment but it’s not too surprising when those characters were fired in the creative cauldron of Tim Burton’s brain. Though he did not direct the film (that was Henry Selick) his eerie but playful visual imprint is unmistakably present from spindly spooks to corpulent corpses. 

nightmare before christmas, diamond select toys, nix, Tim Burton
DST Select NBX Series 10: Mr. Hyde and Corpse Dad.

DST Select NBX Action Figures Series 10…
Keeping in step with the abundance of possibilities Diamond Select Toys (DST) has just released a new batch of Nightmare Before Christmas Select Action figures featuring inhabitants of both Halloween and Christmas lands.

nightmare before christmas, diamond select toys, nix, Tim Burton
DST NBX Series 10 Corpse Mom is ready to roll
nightmare before christmas, diamond select toys, nix, Tim Burton
Series 10 NBX Diamond Select Mrs. Claus, with choir elf and lounging penguin

This tenth series treats collectors to Mr. Hyde with Corpse Dad, Corpse Mom with Duck Gift, and Mrs. Claus with a Choir Elf and hilarious penguin pie. The figures sport multiple points of articulation and were designed by Eamon O’Donoghue with sculpts by Cortes Studios. They are boxed, along with their fun accessories, in Select action figure packaging featuring side panel artwork to facilitate shelf storage. SRP is $29.99 each. 

nightmare before christmas, diamond select toys, nix, Tim Burton
The Creature Under the Stairs and Cyclops action figures debut as a
Previews Exclusive package from Diamond Select Toys.

Dynamic Duo…
An even deeper dive into the film’s recesses brings forth the Cyclops and Creature From Under the Stairs in Select Previews Exclusive (PX) format. I think this 2 pack will be a real crowd pleaser. It finally makes these two sort after Halloween Town denizens available to die-hard fans of the film. They’re also designed by O’Donoghue with Cortes Studio sculpts. $29.99 will get you these blokes to adorn your display shelves.

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Sally and Jack 3 inch PVC figures from DST’s D-Formz Mystery Box format

D-Formz Blind Box Figures…
DST has also announced an assortment of Nightmare Before Christmas D-Formz. These are 3 inch PVC figures, which will come as blind boxed collectibles. Characters Jack Skellington, Sally and Oogie Boogie are presented in standard and glow-in-the dark versions. Dr. Finkelstein and Santa Claus figures are the rare chase figures, turning up only once per case.

These pieces come packaged 12 to a counter display. They were designed by Barry Bradfield and sculpted by Rocco Tartamella. You can grab ‘em for $7.99 each.

nightmare before christmas, diamond select toys, nix, Tim Burton
Dr. Finkelstein, Santa Claus, and glow-in-the-dark Oogie Boogie are chase figures in the Diamond Select Toys D-Formz blind box series.
Categories
Books & Graphic Novels

It’s A Sine of the Tides: Kim Dwinell’s “The Science of Surfing: A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean”

surfside girls, the science of surfing, kim dwinell, top shelf productions, s.t.e.a.m.
Top Shelf Productions to release new Kim Dwinell Surfside Girls graphic novel.

A Spooky Sunday Surfin’ Sunday Review

The Science of Surfing: A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean
Author/Artist: Kim Dwinell
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Release Date: September 28, 2021

Format: Paperback (6″x9″)
Pages: 112, full color
Reading Age: 9-12 years (grades 4-7)
ISBN-10: 1603094946
ISBN-13: 978-1603094948

SkeletonPete is a Hodad….

Categories
Books & Graphic Novels Toys & Collectibles

Regal Roll-Out: Image Comics’ “King Spawn” #1 Dons the Crown of Sales Superiority

spawn, image comics, king spawn, Todd mcfarlane
Greg Capullo’s Variant Cover Art for the Record Breaking King Spawn #1

Title: King Spawn #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Release date: August 25, 2021

Congratulations to comic artist and uber-entrepreneur Todd McFarlane on achieving a landmark launch with the first issue of King Spawn. With nearly a half-million comic retailer pre-orders to date, this Image Comics title becomes the single highest selling new superhero monthly in 25 years.