Toys & Collectibles

Friends Are Magic: LEGO’s Central Perk and Harry Potter Hogwarts Clocktower

lego, friends, harry potter
LEGO’s Friends Central Perk and Harry Potter Hogwarts Clocktower Playsets.
Toys & Collectibles

Out on a Limb: Kotobukiya’s Sci-Fi Sidekicks @ Toy Fair 2014

Kotobukiya's Marvelous Depiction of Galaxy Guardians Rocket Raccoon and Groot @ NY Toy Fair 2014
Kotobukiya’s Marvelous Depiction of Galaxy Guardians Rocket Raccoon and Groot @ NY Toy Fair 2014
Ya Gotta Have Friends…
Marvel Studio’s Guardians of the Galaxy trailer premiered on February 18th, which seems to have lifted the embargo on companies at The 111th Annual American International Toy Fair in New York City showing advances of their film related product. So it was a nice surprise to return to the Kotobukiya company’s booth on the final day at NY Toy Fair to see them previewing this wonderful Rocket Raccoon and Groot figurine prototype.
Guardian Groot in his early Marvel Comics Days.
Guardian Groot in his early Marvel Comics Days.

Rocket is clearly equipped “to shoot off the legs of his rival” as was his near namesake from The Beatles’ White Album. Limb limbed Groot goes all the way back to the Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Don Heck monster stories of Marvel’s Tales To Astonish, and as the trailer notes has been “traveling as the raccoon’s personal houseplant/muscle.”

Oowee Little Chewy, Don’t Know What You’re Doing to Me…
Kotobukiya also displayed the unpainted prototype for their Han Solo and Chewbaca statue as part of their ArtFX Star Wars line. This representation of the iconic partners is slated for November 2014 release.

Kotobukiya's Han Solo and Chewbacca ArtFX statue @ New York Toy Fair 2014.
Kotobukiya’s Han Solo and Chewbacca ArtFX statue @ New York Toy Fair 2014.

SkeletonPete Says…
I’ll be posting many more photos of Kotobukiya’s beautiful product line in the coming weeks.

The company’s roots in the international Toy Industry reach back to its first retail store in Japan in 1947. They moved into manufacturing original model kits in 1983 and produced their first licensed kit, King Godzilla, in 1985. Since then the company has expanded to include collector quality figures for Star Wars, Marvel and DC comics, as well as many anime and game themed kits and statues.

Books & Graphic Novels

Twinkle, Twinkle: Star Wars #1 Sells Out in 24 Hours

Alex Ross's Cover Beautifully Renders the Iconic Stars Wars Characters

Geezer Pleaser…
Methinks old school fans like myself facilitated the faster than a light sabre sell out of the first issue of Dark Horse’s new Star Wars comic book. Don’t despair reprints will be on the way in early February and you should plan on getting yourself a copy before that sells out too.

The series begins in the months immediately following A New Hope: Episode IV (or simply STAR WARS to us geezers) and will track the narrative through a five year period. All of the classic cast, Luke, Leia, Han Solo and Chewy, R2D2 and C3P0, is well represented throughout the issue. Writer Brian Wood offers a smart balance of dialog, exposition and action as the rebels seek to stabilize the still shaky force. He fleshes out the characterizations as Luke and Leia assess their victory at Yavin as well as the losses of their loved ones. Han and Chewbaca discuss the crimps fugitive status puts in their black market business and it’s particularly interesting to see Lord Vader get called on the carpet for the ultimate destruction of the Death Star. There are also nods to post 1977 revelations, so the book jives with the nearly 40 year plot expansion.

Interior illustration by artist Carlos D’Anda and colorist Gabe Eltaeb (isn’t that Beatle backwards?) is rendered with plenty of detail and shading. D’Anda’s dark graphic edges make the art pop on the beautifully printed and color saturated pages as well as in digital format. Michael Heisler’s lettering compliments the sleek look of the layouts.

Ross the Boss…
The movie poster quality cover by Alex Ross is worth the price of admission and pencil sketch variants of it and other upcoming covers were just announced by Dark Horse today. Comic Book Resources has an exclusive look at 4 of those variants.

SkeletonPete Says…
Star Wars #1 is a promising start, indeed a new hope. Though I thought the dismal prequels had soured me forever, I’m very much looking forward to further adventures unfurling in this graphic series. It certainly makes me wish George Lucas had chosen to tell these “in-betweener” stories when he revisited the franchise.

The issue 1 reprint is scheduled for February 6, 2013, with issue 2 hitting stores on February 13.

Stars Wars #2 Cover Art by Alex Ross