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Get Your Wings: Playmobil Reveals Hidden World Dragons Toys

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Playmobil action figures of Dragons heroes Toothless and Hiccup soar into battle.

Dreamworks Got a Brand New Drag…
With the imminent release of DreamworksDragons: The Hidden World on February 22 the well loved How To Train Your Dragon series is headed for an epic finale. Previewers have already given it a nearly perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, quite a feat for the third installment of a nearly decade old franchise.

Love is in the Air…
To add to the imaginative experience for youngsters Playmobil has announced several additions to their line of licensed Dragons figures. The new packages feature characters and accessories unique to the third part’s narrative. That includes the “light fury,” a love interest for lead dragon Toothless. Yep, you’ve seen the trailers and TV spots so it’s no spoiler to note that our favorite dragon is smitten with his newly discovered female counterpart. She’s coy and she’s tuff and a guide to dragonkind’s hidden homeland.

There are new multi-piece Playmobil playsets presenting Toothless and Hiccup, the villainous Grimmel and his dragon Deathgripper, Light Fury and Berk Village children, as well as flight suit versions of Astrid, Ruffnut and Tuffnut, Snoutlout and Fishlegs. Each has plenty of accessories. Please follow to the link to Playmobil site to see all the packages, as well as their other toys.
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D-Tails…
Leading up to the film’s release date, I had the opportunity to point a camera at Playmobil Dragons set 70037, which includes Toothless, Hiccup and a baby white dragon; 19 pieces total.

Toothless has an impressive 20 inch wing span that is painted to represent his fire charged power in The Hidden World. He is tricked out with illuminated spikes and can shoot blue tipped arrows from his mouth. He has a back mount so that Hiccup can ride him into battle.

The back-spike lights are powered by a single AAA battery housed in a removable compartment. Thankfully the blue LED glow is on an approximately 1 minute shut off timer, so parents won’t have to replace batteries after a single round of playtime adventu

Flame arrows are launched from Toothless’s mouth by tipping back his horns. Aimed at my living room couch, I tested their range to be about 5-6 feet, with an accuracy good enough to make knocking down foe figures fun.

The young Viking hero Hiccup comes with glider wings, a helmet and flaming sword to brandish against Grimmel. I love photographing miniatures so I especially appreciate the fine details and texture of his armor right down to the gauntlet cuffs. The sword’s rendering of flame in translucent plastic is a very nice touch.

playmobil, dreamworks, dragons the hidden world, how to train your dragon

Playmobil Hiccup with flame sword in the heat of battle.

SkeletonPete Says…
As usual my studio for toy photography was the dining room table. When capturing images of miniatures limited depth of field is your friend and serves to trick the eye. The oddest items stand in for their real life similes. Anything and everything from bathroom towels to my wife’s Waterford crystal gets pressed into service as props and gobos for scenic and lighting effects. The backdrop for some of the pictures is a painting done by my grandfather Joe in 1968. It depicts his memory of the rocky island off the coast of Italy where he lived until age seven.

playmobil, dreamworks, dragons the hidden world, how to train your dragon

A typical toy photography set-up at my house. Resulting images are in the gallery.

More ‘Mo…
Andy and I will be meeting with Playmobil representatives at The Toy Association‘s New York International Toy Fair this week, and we’ll be reporting on the many other goodies they have in store for you and your kids.

Click Any Image to Launch the Gallery

You Better Not Mess with Major Tom: Image Comics’ Music Thriller Gunning For Hits

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Image Comics’ Gunning for Hits Number One


Gunning For Hits
Music Thriller – Issue One

Writer: Jeff Rougvie

Artist: Moritat

Colorist & Letterer: Casey Silver

Image Comics

Release date: January 9, 2019

Rock N Roll…

With Gunning For Hits creator Jeff Rougvie parlays his behind the scenes knowledge of the music industry and imaginative storyteller into a Madmen meets Breaking Bad convergence of art versus commerce. Every artiste needs a patron, and anyone who has read Frederic Dannen’s  Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Business or Tommy James’ autobiography (Me, The Mob and The Music) knows that at least in part the music business was shepherded by an undercurrent of the underworld.

Gunning For Hits takes that premise to the next level following the exploits of  1980’s A&R man Martin Mills. That’s artists and repertoire – or talent scout – to the uninitiated. Find and sign potential money making acts before your competitors do – at any cost. Issue 1 deals with some novel contract negotiations.

What Goes On…

Each Gunning For Hits installment will contain a unique “background” feature. The first issue’s mid-story sidesteps into “how the record industry works” and is worth the price of admission. The arcana of how a musical group is screwed at every level would play as black comedy if it wasn’t mostly fact. 

Artist Moritat (Harley Quinn, The Spirit) illustrates this section with a simple Doonesbury meets Monopoly gamecards look that stylistically separates it from the narrative.

image comics, gunning for hits, jeff rougvie, maoritat

Panels from the Gunning for Hits teaser.

I’ll Be Your Mirror…

Rougvie uses the last several pages of the book to tell his own back story from the moment he purchased his first comic book to today when his own book finally becomes a tangible reality. His work for the Rykodisc label found him godfathering early compact disc re-issues of David Bowie’s catalog such as the Sound and Vision boxset. Those details are as interesting as the fictional fixations they’ve spawned.

New Age…

For millennial relevancy (and your listening pleasure) there’s a companion Spotify playlist for every issue. There’s also additional social media content. The Martin Mills character already has an “excerpts from the journal of” Twitter account (@martinmillshits).

In the non-fictional world Jeff Rougvie heads the Supermegabot music label.

Sister Ray Says… (Um, I mean SkeletonPete Says)

I’m not on Spotify, so I listened to The Velvet Underground Live At Max’s Kansas City while I wrote this review. Now I need a shower.

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Writer Jeff Rougvie produced 19 David Bowie re-issues for Rykodisc.

Split Personalities: LearnPlay’s HalfToy Dinosaurs

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Better By Half…
I first saw the wonderful HalfToys creatures at The Toy Association‘s New York ToyFair back in 2017 and instantly fell in love with the look as well as the concept. So I was especially pleased when early in October this year LearnPlay (the exclusive United States distributor of HalfToys) reached out to solicit the first wave of the product line.
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Checking It Twice: Toy Association Lists 2019 Toy of the Year Awards Finalists

We know that the turkey is still hasn’t thawed out and there’s plenty of cooking to be done but with Black Friday fast approaching you may be in a bit of a panic to know what exactly to tell Santa Claus is a priority on your child’s wishlist. Fortunately The Toy Association, Inc. has just released its list of top toys in the running for their Annual Toy of the Year Award.
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Jack in a Box: Diamond Select Toys Xmas Nightmare Minimates 25 Year Set

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Diamond Select Toys Celebrates 25 Years of The Nightmare Before Christmas with a special Minimates Box Set.


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