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Going Tubular: Hexbug Nano V2 from Innovation First

The Sky's the Limit with Gravity Defying HexBug Nano V2 Kits

The Sky’s the Limit with Gravity Defying HexBug Nano V2 Kits


Black Friday is here, officially marking holiday shopping season 2013. I’ll be posting info about some of my favorite goodies during the next couple of weeks. I hope I can turn you on to some fun gifts, or something for your own wish-list.

Vertical Horizon…
Innovation First continues to refresh their popular Hexbugs Nano series with new skills and environments. Hexbug Nano V2 follows last year’s Hexbug Nano Warriors, which offered multi-bug battle action. This newest species of skittering scarabs has evolved to include three rubbery spikes on their spines which allow them to shimmy vertically up and down habitat tubes. As with prior generations, the modular nature of individual track and tubes pieces ensures that sets can be configured with imagination nearly your only limitation.

Bombs Away Dream Babies: Hexbug Nano V2 hits the Black Hole

Bombs Away Dream Babies: Hexbug Nano V2 hits the Black Hole


Over, Under, Sideways, Down…
Specialty constructs have been added to the line to maximize the fun of the Nano V2’s abilities. The Twist Tube adds a 360 degree spiral to the hexbugs’ bag of tricks, the V2 Black Hole Funnel offers a destination for Nano freefall with a variable exit routine at the bottom, and the flat panel Observatory creates an ultimate height destination for the V2 models to explore before they descend again. Tube width allows adventuring buglettes to pass each other en route or share a trip with frenetic fraternity.
Nice Rack: Holiday Hexbug Gives Rudolph a Run for his Money

Nice Rack: Holiday Hexbug Gives Rudolph a Run for his Money


Santa’s Littlest Helpers…
Hexbug Nanos can also be found in special Christmas editions, sporting reindeer antlers, snow flake design motifs and neatly packaged in tree trimmer ornaments.

Something Fishy…
For a gift on a more restive note, Innovation First offers the amazing AquaBot, a robotic fish activated when – you guessed it – placed in water. Aquabot comes in an assortment of colors and emulates all the soothing movements of your favorite aquarium dweller but requires no feeding, no tank filter, no clean-up, just the occasional battery.

This is only a smattering of the gear in the Innovation First line which includes full and XL size Hexbug creatures, the bobble head Moshi Monsters and Tagamoto Auto track sets. Check the related posts below for more details.

These images are of Toy Fair 2013 pre-launch displays, but all of items are currently available at your retail toy store as well as online.

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Mash-Up In Skyland: Activision Adds Swap-Ability

Washbuckler, One of the New Skylander SWAP Force Collectibles

Washbuckler, One of the New Skylander SWAP Force Collectibles


Skylanders’ New Adventure…
Mid-October 2013 will see the world-wide release of Activision’s next step in the overwhelmingly popular Skylanders game series. Started back in 2011 with Spyro’s Adventure, the game offered play via collectible toys, which when placed on the power portal entered the video game. Skylanders matured last season with larger “Giant” game pieces, light features, and more articulate play capabilities.

Bombs Away Dream Babies…
Now Activision expands the possibilties exponentially with Skylanders SWAP Force, adding 16 new characters with detachable upper and lower sections that can be mixed and matched according to game task needs.

It’s a whole new adventure and mythos for the SWAP Force. Activision explains, “In Skylanders SWAP Force, Portal Masters embark on an all new adventure in the mysterious Cloudbreak Islands, home to a mystical volcano that erupts every hundred years to replenish the magic in Skylands.  During an epic battle, a brave group of Skylanders were caught in the volcano’s eruption, which blasted them apart and sent them to earth.  But, the magic of the volcano gave these heroes a remarkable new power — the ability to swap halves – turning them into a special team known as the SWAP Force.  Meanwhile, Kaos is back with a new evil plan.  And now, Portal Masters everywhere must reassemble the SWAP Force — in their original form or in new combinations — and send them back to Cloudbreak to save Skylands!”

These previously unexplored areas of Skyland will be accessed via all new powers of the Swap Force heroes. Along with jumping for all characters – including legacy pieces – SWAP Force will add flying, digging, climbing and even teleporting to the various figures’ attributes, all the better to thwart the villainous Kaos.
SwapForce_RollerBrawl
I’m A Little Bit Country, I’m A Little Bit Roller Brawl…
SWAP Force characters will share each other’s powers and take on new screen names based on the pieces attached. For instance the top of Magnacharge added to the base of Washbuckler would become MagnaBuckler on screen. Additionally, 16 new Core Characters, 8 Lightcore pieces and 16 re-imaginings of favorite legacy characters, like the new Ninja Stealth Elf, will join the team. I’m particularly found of scorpion tressed roller derby queen Roller Brawl, with her skull helmet, gloves and base.

Parental Units Should Know…
SWAP Force continues the forward compatibility for all previously purchased game pieces and even adds additional powers to them in the SWAP Force realm. All legacy characters will get power boosts (“Wow-Pow”) and Level Caps of 20. The Skylanders series has offered exciting though reasonably mellow game play for the younger set, but don’t be surprised if you get hooked on the fun too.

Expect the multi-platform hit to be available on October 13 in North America, October 16 in Australia and October 18 in Europe. As usual, platform specific starter-kits will include the new portal of power, game disc, and several game characters.

Activision’s 2013 NY Toy Fair Display

Born On The Bayou: DC Collectibles’ Swamp Thing Action Figure

DC Collectibles' Deluxe New 52 Swamp Thing Action Figure

DC Collectibles’ Deluxe “New 52” Swamp Thing Action Figure


Wearin’ O’ the Green…
If there’s a bit of spanish moss hanging out of your chimney this coming Christmas it might mean you’re the lucky recipient of one of DC Collectibles New 52 Swamp Thing Deluxe Action Figures.

I snapped these glimpses of the great green one at Toy Fair last February and was quite impressed with its proportions and detail. Standing at nearly 10” tall, it sports a 15” wingspan and 23 points of articulation.

The sculpt is based on Steve Snyder and Yanick Paquette’s re-spin of the character originally envisioned by writer Len Wein and artist Berni Wrightson. The stag horn style head gear lends an elemental grandeur to the environmental avenger. He’ll come equipped with sword and shield accessories to turn enemies into greasy grimy gopher guts.

SkeletonPete Says…
Slated for December 2013 release, pre-order street price seems to be approximately $75.00. Be kind to Mother Nature and maybe she (or your wife) will put this puppy in your paws and make your collector friends green with envy.

Electric Indian: NECA and LEGO Get Home on the Range(r)

NECA's Remarkable 1/4 Scale Tonto Figure

NECA’s Remarkable 1/4 Scale Tonto Figure

Hi Ho, Hi Yo…
I would never have guessed it when I first saw Baby Face or What’s Eating Gilbert Grape but Johnny Depp may well earn the classic Lon Chaney Sr. sobriquet “man of a thousand faces.” I mean literally. From The Mad Hatter and Captain Jack Sparrow to Willy Wonka and Barnabas Collins, the guy has been behind a dizzying array of make-ups in the last dozen years. Now Mr. Depp will take on another classic adventure character, Tonto, in Disney’s upcoming The Lone Ranger.

As you can see from the image above NECA has done an incredible job of capturing the actor’s continence in 7” and 1/4 scale action figure, along with others characters from the film. The 7” figures were released on May 28, 2013 and the 1/4 scale Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) and Tonto on will arrive on June 14, 2013.

LEGO Gets the Essence of the Western Genre Just Right

LEGO Gets the Essence of the Western Genre Just Right

A Lil Depp ‘ll Do Ya…
For the younger crowd, LEGO has several wild west tableaus based on the film’s set pieces. This franchise is a perfect match for the company’s modular miniatures and the figure selection represents the full cast of characters. The boxed sets include the Camanche Camp, Cavalry Builder Set, Stagecoach Escape, Colby City Showdown, Silver Mine Shootout, and the Constitution Train Chase. They feature the all fun details and actionable features you expect from the LEGO toy line.

SkeletonPete Says…
While my personal tastes for cinematic tales of the old west skew towards those of the Italian 1960’s breed or the insanity of hybrids like Sukiyaki Western Django, I’m glad to see the genre return to the mainstream. The trailers suggest a tongue-in-cheek action flick poised perfectly for release between Man of Steel and Pacific Rim, with plenty of sagebrush for Depp to chew. Happy Trails.

Resistance Is Futile: Diamond Select’s Star Trek Line-Up 2013

Mr. Spock Administers Some Pre-Natal Care to the Horta

Mr. Spock Administers Some Pre-Natal Care to the Horta

Slipping Into Darkness…
Set your frontal lobes for the final frontier. With the warp engines revving up for the release of Star Trek: Into Darkness it seems the perfect time to show you what Diamond Select Toys has in store for us old school Trek folk in the coming months.

Action Figure Line-Up…
June will see release of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock in 7” action figure representations, both offered in stand alone and Select diorama versions. The dioramas capture peak moments in key episodes with Leonard Nimoy preparing to mind meld with the “Devil In The Dark” Horta and William Shatner engaging in battle with Khan Noonian Singh as in the “Space Seed” episode. Expect those in June. Next Generation Captain Jean Luc Picard will arrive in the fall with a great diorama base that features a battle battered Borg.

Capt. Jean Luc Picard 7" Action Figure Arrives This Fall

Capt. Jean Luc Picard 7″ Action Figure Arrives This Fall


Mini-Mates…
On the Mini-Mates front DST adds the Star Trek Legacy Series 1 Set, pairing Captains and their adversaries. I love mini-mates. It always makes me smile to see how DST makes these simple little forms exude the essence of their real life counterparts.
Star Trek II Movie – Captain Kirk and Kahn Noonien Singh
Star Trek: First Contact – Captain Picard and Borg Queen
Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Season 7 – Captain Sisko and Jem Hadar
Star Trek: Enterprise – Captain Archer and Xindi

Diligent collector’s will keep and eye out for Toys R Us (TRU), Entertainment Earth and Action Figure Express (AFX) exclusives on many of these goodies. TRU will have an exclusive Legacy selection, AFX will sell a “Mirror, Mirror” version of the Mini-Mate Starship Enterprise, while Entertainment Earth offers the vessel in “Trouble With Tribbles” mode.

Courageous Star Trek Captains and Their Foes Get Mini-Mated

Courageous Star Trek Captains and Their Foes Get Mini-Mated

If Seven Turned Out To Be Nine, I Don’t Mind…
The Diamond Select Femme Fatales collection which already includes striking sculpts of some of fandom’s most celebrated ladies will get a Star Trek oriented addition with a deliciously sleek sculpt of Geri Ryan as Seven of Nine from the Star Trek: Voyager series. This figure measures 9” tall and is cast in PVC.

Cyborg Beauty 7 of 9 joins the Ranks of DST's Fatal Fems (Photo Courtesy of Diamond Select Toys)

Cyborg Beauty 7 of 9 joins the Ranks of DST’s Fatal Fems (Photo Courtesy of Diamond Select Toys)

Everything Is Ship Shape…
If spacecraft are your focus DST already offers a full line of electronic USS Enterprise models representing the entire Star Trek timeline. There’s also the beautiful Klingon “Bird of Prey”, which comes in a translucent green “cloaked” variant exclusive to AFX.

SkeletonPete Says…
DST is currently preparing Star Trek characters for the popular Bust Bank series. Be sure to hit the link above and check out Diamond’s site for their extensive line of full sized replicas ( communicators, phasers, tricorders, Klingon disruptor) for your role playing delight. Some trouble with a “sound and motion” tribble may be in your future.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a Michael J. Pollard Mini-Mate to play a game of “bonk-bonk” with. I’m not feeling like a “grup” yet.

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