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Dog/Cats & Rugrats: Nickelodeon Holiday Gift Guide 2017

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We know you haven’t had a chance to even think about a Halloween costume yet — ok, maybe not true for some – be honest, you were ready way before the Back to School sales started. No judgments here, but let’s face it, holiday gifting season is right around the corner. Not for me of course, I do my shopping in a blind panic the night before Christmas, like some deranged lunatic football player on the field dodging other equally deranged last-minute shoppers. This is NOT recommended, but I digress… as I often do…

It’s never too early to know what Old Saint Nick could be dropping down your chimney this year and what your family is desperately hoping to see when they tear off the wrapping paper. Forewarned is forearmed. To that end, Pete and I will be reporting on the newest and best-reviewed items we encounter at events like today’s Holiday of Play held by the play mavens at The Toy Insider.

First, let’s begin with a look at a special preview held by Nickelodeon that had us knee deep in new goodies.

teenage mutant ninja turtles, nickelodeon

We predict coal-fired pizza crusts in his Xmas stocking this year.

Networking with Nick…
While the streets were still summer simmering, we got a very cool look at what’s in the works at the Nickelodeon Holiday Gift Guide event. Perched high above Shubert Alley, in the heart of New York City’s legendary Theater District, Nickelodeon gave us quite a show of their own. The range of branded merchandise from dolls and action figures to sneakers and toothbrushes was dazzling, even dizzying. Where to look first…

Raising a battle cry of “Stay 90’s”, we were back to the future with favs Rugrats, Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, and SpongeBob SquarePants, joining relative newcomers like Shimmer & Shine and Paw Patrol, and so much more.


Genuine Genie Genius…
I kept returning to this display over and over – the bright colors – purples, blues, and hot pinks drew me in. Shimmer & Shine might be out of my age range now but when I was a little girl I think I would have loved the animated series, toys and clothing line. Dancing dolls, dollhouses, slippers, and accessories galore – you name it, your little Genie will love it.


Give Me Those Puppy Dog Eyes!
If your kids have been bugging you to adopt a pet, perhaps consider getting them something from the Paw Patrol line instead. From oversized puppy pillows to the snuggable and huggable Beanie Boos, you can’t go wrong with this adorable line of toys.


Party in Your (Square) Pants…
For your bigger kids (or the kid in you), why not check out this fun line of Spongebob Squarepants inspired clothing? Slippers, t-shirts, shorts, flip flops, and pajamas – I have at least one friend’s birthday and holiday gifts covered.

Andy Says… 
With so many choices coming at you, it’s hard to know where to turn, luckily, we’re here to help, and let’s face it, it’s fun for us too. For more goodies, check out the photo gallery below, and don’t forget to stop by to see our favorite picks for the holiday season in the coming weeks.

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Putting Out The Fire With Gasoline: Meet the Superwomen of DC Comics’ “Gotham City Garage”

Gotham City Garage Statues from DC Collectibles – Wonder Woman as you’ve never seen her before!

DC Collectibles has been adding to their Gotham City Garage statue series over the last few years and showcasing them at Toy Fair and Comic Con. SkeletonPete knew I’d fall in love with them. He knows me too well. I was instantly drawn to these gorgeous sculptures, these beautiful superwomen on motorcycles, in particular, Wonder Woman, my childhood hero.

When I saw these DC heroines reimagined as fierce biker chicks, I could instantly envision a live action or animated series set in this universe. Shortly thereafter, creators Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly announced their plan for a comic book series of the same name. I couldn’t wait to dive in and that’s unusual for me, as I’m not typically a comic book collector. Well played, DC. Mission accomplished. You reeled me in… and at 99 cents per digital download, it was an investment I was more than happy to make.

Gotham City Garage Variant Cover featuring Wonder Woman


“I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.” – Diana of Themyscira
(Wonder Woman – 2017 Film)

 

Starting with Hope…

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where our legendary DC heroes are half-remembered dreams, myths to most, and Lex Luthor reigns supreme, Kara Gordon (yes, she should sound familiar) longs for better days. She imagines her childhood hero – who happens to be the same as mine – fighting for the downtrodden, the oppressed, and the helpless, meting out justice.

However, it seems Wonder Woman can only be found the pages of Kara’s contraband comic books. Diana, Princess of the Amazons, does not exist in her world. There is no Justice League. There is no justice… not in this gray, numb existence in Gotham City… or rather The Garden, as Lex has renamed it – a place where you accept his love or suffer the consequences.

In this bleak world, Lex controls the masses with nanotechnology – brain implants (similar in concept to the caps worn by humans in The Tripods, or think of the evil Federation in Blake’s 7  controlling the populace with drugs – but I digress, as I often do…). A RoboCop looking army called The Gardeners, resembling none other than Batman, patrols the streets, keeping the sleep-walking city residents in check.

Kara, a compassionate tech, not unlike her sister before her, learns her father, Jim Gordon, has been keeping a secret from her. Before he is able to reveal too much, he and his daughter come under attack. He urges her to leave, to run to the sky. Lex sets his army loose on Kara, and heeding her father’s words, she runs for it, leaping across rooftops to reach for the sky. Dodging a hail of bullets and leaping through the protective dome encasing The Garden, she narrowly escapes… and in doing so, discovers her powers… and the world beyond The Garden.

Gotham City Garage Cover featuring Harley Quinn

 

Live Free, Die Hard – Meet our Road Warriors…

In the wasteland outside the dome, Kara encounters a group of Furiosa-like rebels. This is a chance to see your favorite DC heroines (and villains) in a completely different light. Never assume anything in Gotham City Garage. Here, the good guys aren’t always good and the bad guys… well… see for yourself.

The women of Gotham City Garage are freedom loving outlaws, anti-heroes, engaged in an ongoing struggle against tyranny and oppression — fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. This is an amazingly odd, but fascinating, team up — Big Barda alongside Silver Banshee, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn – presumably with more familiar faces to come, but I take it at face value and go along for the ride.

Andy Says – A Hell of a Thrill Ride… 

Brian Ching does the art for the first issue and is followed by Lynne Yoshii for issue #2 and the series will have rotating artists from the DC Talent Development Workshop.

Each issue of Gotham City Garage is divided into two installments or chapters. Each installment is a fast-paced, action-packed roller coaster ride. Creators Kelly and Lanzig deliver a huge dose of girl power in these quick shots (Did you say female empowerment? Yes please, may I have another?) and I, for one, cannot be happier. This series is a well-written, engaging, shot of adrenaline that leaves you wanting more. And yes, after only three installments, I definitely want to see this in animated form (at least). Make it so, DC!

Gotham City Garage debuted on August 16th, 2017, and the first three installments of this digital series are available for download via the DC Comics App, readdcentertainment.com, iBooks, ComiXology, Google Play, Kindle Store and Nook Store, with new issues released bi-weekly, then weekly, with full issues coming out in print starting in October 2017.

 

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Hide – Go – Bleak: Mezco Toyz’ Annabelle Scavenger Hunt @ Ripley’s Odditorium

annabelle, ripleys believeit or not, the conjuring, mezco toyz
Dolorous Dollies…
The Mills Brothers once sang “I’d rather have a paper doll to call my own, then a fickle-minded real Iive girl.” They may have had second thoughts had they met Annabelle. Not since The Twilight Zone’s Talky Tina has there been such an unholy host. Introduced to audiences in The Conjuring (2013) the doll has become a pop culture icon warranting a self titled film in 2014. On August 11, 2017 New Line Cinemas and Warner Brothers will reveal the backstory of the menacing muñeca with the release of Annabelle: Creation, directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out & the upcoming DCU Shazam).

Finders Weepers…
To celebrate the film’s imminent arrival Mezco Toyz – sole authorized maker of the official Annabelle prop replica – and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square – the fine folks who pride themselves on displaying all things weird and wonderful from across the globe – partnered for a special scavenger hunt. On August 4, all intrepid Ripley’s visitors had chance to track down 13 Mezco Annabelle replicas hidden throughout the maze-like Odditorium complex.

Of course Ms. Annabelle was in fine company surrounded by the over 500 unique items on view at the Believe It Or Not! exhibition. The collection of curiosities now known worldwide began in the 1920’s as a newspaper feature created by illustrator Robert Ripley.

annabelle, ripleys believeit or not, the conjuring, mezco toyz

Polk Salad Annie (belle) – Gators got your granny. Chomp! Chomp!


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All You Need is Love Bugs: Beatle Songs Drive Netflix Series

beat bugs, netflix, buzz, blip toys, sweet suite, swag box

This is HiJinx Toy’s Fab Figure of Buzz, the “Beat Bugs” youngest member.

Getting a Buzz…
OK, I admit I’m late to the gate on this one but thanks to Toy Insider’s review merchandise from Sweet Suite 2017 (AKA “The SWAG Box”) I’m now hip to the joys of NetflixBeat Bugs series. After encountering a HiJinx Toys’ Fab Figure with a blister pack touting “inspired by music made famous by The Beatles” I just had to know more.
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Wright-On: Hermes Press Highlights Bernie’s Animation Art

sdcc, sdcc17, bernie wrightson, hermes press

Hermes Press will hold a special panel discussion at SDCC17 to launch their new Bernie Wrightson publication.

SDCC17 Panel Discussion This Week…

Fans of the late horror and fantasy artist Bernie Wrightson who are attending San Diego ComicCon 2017 (SDCC17) will not want to miss a special panel discussion being held by Hermes Press. The event will herald the publication of the company’s Bernie Wrightson: Art & Designs for Gang of Seven Animation Studios and be hosted by Gang of Seven Animation director/producer Tom Tataranowicz.
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