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Bite Night: Diamond Select Toys Announces Castlevania Collectibles and More Xmas Nightmares

Netflix, Castlevania

Castlevania returns to Netflix on October 26.

Keys to the Castle…

The 2018 Witching Season opens with an announcement from Diamond Select Toys heralding their partnership with the Castlevania franchise. The toy and action figure stalwart will mine over 20 years of the Konami video game’s history to bring figural renditions of the characters to major retailers and local comic shops.

Expect DST to apply it’s full range of styles from Select level articulated figures and Gallery PVC dioramas through our favorites, the Mini-mates. It’ll be interesting to see how the anime look of the characters is translated to 3d collectibles.

Castlevania moved from gaming platform to animation series in July of 2017 when Netflix aired a four part first season scripted by Warren Ellis (TransmetropolitanRed). Season two will premier on October 26 with double the number of episodes. We’ve learned that a third season has already been given the go ahead by the streaming service.

Diamond Select Toys’ president Chuck Terceira says, “I’m personally a fan of the show…” “The Castlevania franchise has a rich, deep history, and the new animated series takes all of it to a new, vibrant, visually superb level… I can’t wait to help execute some of its amazing character designs in 3-D.”

Expect DST figures of the Voivod of Wallachia, Vlad Tepes (Dracula), his rebellious son Adrian, vampire hunter Trevor Belmont and others, to hit shelves in 2019. 

diamond select toys a nightmare before Christmas, Disney, Tim Burton

DST’s 25th Anniversary A Nightmare Before Christmas 10 inch figures.

Silver Skells…
Can’t wait until next year for the goodies? Fear not DST has plenty of Halloween hoopla to offer with their collection commemorating the Silver Anniversary of  Tim Burton‘s  A Nightmare Before Christmas figures. These 10 inch display quality pieces are fully articulated for posing, garbed in real fabric, and accessorized specifically to character. The series is comprised of Jack Skellington ( w/ podium ), Sally ( w/ oven and caldron) The Mayor (w/ telescope) and – my favorite – The Pumpkin King (w/ sign and torch). Each is housed in a coffin-shaped window box.


A little later in the season we’ll be treated to Nightmare Before Christmas Series 6 action figure sets. The series consists of 3 separate multi-packs: Sally, Mummy Boy and Hanging TreeClown and Undersea GalHarlequin and Devil. Combined with Series 5 you can complete the diorama that includes the gift-making table. Expect those to be available on December 6.

 a nightmare before Christmas, Tim Burton, diamond select toys, Disney

Whistle While You Work…Making Halloween

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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

Activision Skylanders Adds Glowing Gargantuans


Last year I reported from Toy Fair on the then still to be released “Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure” toy-based video gaming experience. Since it’s September 2011 roll-out, the game has become a run away success and a holiday sell-out for the Acitivision company. It certainly was an impressive enough concept to ensure a place on the must buy Xmas list for my young nephew. If you missed what it’s all about you can get an overview here.

New Skyland Inhabitants
Not happy to rest on their kudos, Activision revealed their next steps at a massive Skylander booth during the 2012 American International Toy Fair. “Skylanders Giants” will up the ante in the fantasy gaming world with some big brother figures that have abilities beyond the original team.

Gonna Shake Your Tree…
Huddled behind a massive representation of “Tree Rex”, the first of Skylander Giants to be unveiled, I got a first hand demo of his earth-shaking, boulder moving, rock throwing, game action from the Activision reps. Though the new figures will not be backwards compatible with last year’s game, the good news is that all your current play pieces, with their hard earned skills and upgrades will transfer to the Giants platform.

May the Lightforce Be With You…
The 8 new giants are not the only figures on the horizon as Activison also adds luminescent properties to some new characters and revamps some existing ones. Put these “Lightforce” gaming pieces in proximity of the Portal of Power and watch them light up, no batteries required. Expected to hit the market in September 2012, the expansion looks certain to be another winner.

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Activision “Skylanders”: Collectible Toys with Gaming Powers

Another really awesome experience at Toy Fair 2011 was getting a sneak peak at Activision’s new “Skylanders, Spyro’s Adventure” video game. Their booth was totally dedicated to debuting the game and featured giant replicas of the game pieces, including the familiar Spyro the flying purple dragon. Developed by Toys for Bob, the game is an imaginative and immersive adventure with puzzle, treasure hunt and battle components. What sets it apart from other games are it’s collectible figures each representing a character from the virtual world. These beautifully rendered miniatures can be “put into play” by placing them on the circular “portal of power”. Each has a unique set of abilities which can unlock different worlds or accomplish different tasks. Most importantly every toy figure has embedded tech which “remembers” its achievements inside the game and those level-ups and experiences travel with the toy.

Players can place a maximum of two characters at a time on the portal and play cooperatively or in battle mode. Characters exit and enter the game simply by placing or removing them from the portal base giving the player an opportunity to call in creatures as needed for their special masteries. It this manner game play varies endlessly based on which characters are in play, what tasks attempted and the level of each game pieces’ achievements. For instance, a friend who owns a character you do not, may be invited over to help unlock a new level or complete a task.

There will be over 30 characters to collect and use in gameplay, including Terrafin, Chop Chop, Gill Grunt, Trigger Happy and Stealth Elf. The game is set for release in fall of this year and will ship with Spyro, 3 other characters and the portal base, which resembles a castle turret. The game is scored by movie composer Hans Zimmer but Activision opted for AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” as the soundtrack to the promo video. While aimed at a younger audience is not hard to believe older siblings and even parents will be charmed by the chance to pop a figure on the portal and take a trip to Skyland.

See PiercingMetal’s Toy Fair 2011 Features here.

Click any photo to launch lightbox display.