crazy colored glasses

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Toy Fair 2010: Diamond Booth

In truth the Diamond booth was really split into 2, Diamond and DC Direct. This post will cover the Diamond side of the room, as the DC Direct side was too good to cram in with this post.

While having a few exclusive Star Wars pieces that weren't allowed to be photographed, the other things I was most interested in were the Marvel Select figures and the Minimates.

You may have heard that Marvel has a small sequel dropping this summer. A little movie called Iron Man 2. It also has the big screen debut of War Machine (Don Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard). Both figures were slightly limited in articulation, but both had great sculpts both with the mask down or up. Nice touches like boot jets that flip up were added as well. Both have interlocking dioramas.

The next group of figures were a trio of mutants. The omnipresent Deadpool (I prefer the ToyBiz Marvel Legends mega-articulated version of a few years back) as well as a great series of Cyclops. Either in his original X garb, or his iconic X-Factor uni. Each of the Cyclops come with an interchangeable Scott Summers head. Also on display was an amazing Magneto (pictured here sans helmet). The sculpt was really a sight to behold. I think the best ever for a Magneto figure.

The ever expanding roster of Ghostbusters figures has the crew in labcoats, as well as a casual Dana. I asked the rep about the potential of an Ecto-1 playset. He said there was a definite possibility if some of their other licensed vehicles performed well. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

On the subject of licensed vehicles, check out the Back to the Future DeLorean with Marty McFly. I thought this figure was great, and the folks at Diamond were super excited about the possibilities of where they could go with the vehicles based on the licenses they own.

This was a full collection of Minimates licensed properties. Classic and Modern Star Trek, lots of Ghostbusters, The Spirit figures as well as mates based on Terminator Salvation.

Another thing the fine folks at Diamond were excited about were the Elite Heroes Minimates line. Think of them as Mega Cops and Firemen. Pictured here is an amazing looking Fire Copter. While not a license, they are expecting these heroes to perform well. I hope they are right.

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Reasons I LOVE My Wife

Because she can type the following statement on one of her blogs...

Is she a Gungan? She cannot possibly be Hispanic. She seems to have a mish-mash of "not Middle America" dialects. Which makes me think that, like Jar Jar Binks, she is a poorly conceived, more-horrifying-than-funny minor character who would cause anyone in her right mind to shut the book and throw it in the trash.

...make absolute sense. God, I love this woman.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Toy Fair 2010: KidStuff Booth

Upon getting my credentials, I looked at the show floor map and decided that I was going to make a bee line to the Action Figure aisle. Realizing that I haven't been in the Jacobs Javits Convention Center since the late 80's (when Tim Burton"s Batmobile was on tour with the National Auto Show) I had no idea where anything was. I figured I would follow the map and end up in Action Figures... or so I thought.

I'm twirling around aimlessly when I come upon the KidStuff booth. Pretty far from Action Figures, in fact I was on the wrong floor, but I instantly saw a face I recognized, Madeline.

I explained to the PR Rep that my family are big Madeline fans. My wife is actually named after the character (but pronounced differently). The PR Rep then explained that Madeline is an evergreen franchise for them that continues to perform very well. In fact with new books being written about the character they expect this year to be even bigger than the last. The lineup contains larger stuffed Madeline dolls with individual outfits being sold and packaged separately.

The line also consists of smaller 8 inch poseable doll with changeable outfits as well. I wonder if a Ms. Clavel (or some of Madeline's classmates for that matter) doll can be far behind. Toy nuns... sign me up.

Another big property was the expansion of the Charlie and Lola line. Originally exclusive to FAO Schwartz these are now being carried in a variety of stores nationwide. There will be a varied array of products based on the brilliant Lauren Child sibling duo. Pictured here is the Talking Charlie and Lola two pack. The great Charlie and Lola series (seen on Playhouse Disney) as well as the book series are truly great for young readers, in fact my wife and read them in British accents when we used them as bed time stories for Scrappy.

Finally, there was a new product launch. The Greenzys. A group of environmentally friendly plush animals. These guys were super cute, but with a packed showroom I wasn't able to snap off a good shot, so a picture of the Greenzys banner will have to do.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Crazy Colored Glasses Hits Toy Fair 2010

I spent the whole day at Toy Fair 2010. Im looking at my notes and organizing images. I'll have a full event recap by company (that I visited with) starting tonight, and throughout the week. Stay tuned.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Boogeyman

I've not watched wrestling regularly in the last few years. When I first saw the Boogeyman and his schtick, I thought he was a little hokey. Then I saw his action figure and was blown away. The pain applications were excellent. The soft goods chest piece, as well as the US Title belt are also nice additions. I can't speak to the Boogeyman's long term impact on WWE, in fact, he might already be gone, but this figure was excellent.

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Toys of the Year... Teaser

My top 10 toys of 2009 are coming soon. I have to reserve time with my favorite photographer to shoot it. I thought I would tease the list with the amazing Superman Mighty Mugg my wife painted for me for my birthday. It really is a sight to behold. The best Mighty Mugg ever.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Brock Lesnar

The last wrestler to hit the WWE to make me sit up, take notice, and tune in every week was Brock Lesnar. He really was as good as advertised. Unfortunately his impact as well as career in the WWE were both short-lived. Brock flirted with the NFL, than Pride, before finally settling in and dominating at UFC.

Brock's first ever WWE figure was impossible for me to find. I had to pay more than I wanted to for it on ebay. It was worth it. Great intense face scan as well as the accurate large back tattoo really made this figure stand out. Maybe I'll have to pick up a Brock UFC figure and compare the two (I wonder if Jakks still uses the old facial scans).

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John Cena

In June of 2008 I was out of work. I was at home with my wonderful wife everyday. While at home, my wife would give me all sorts of projects so that I wouldn't get so down. Shooting some of my wrestling toys (in a ring) was one of these projects. Crazy as it may seem, these little projects always helped me feel better, and never let me get to down.

Pictured here is my only figure of John Cena. True I haven't bought a lot of wrestling figure of late, but this is the first ever Cena figure the WWE ever released. He came in purple and yellow wrestling trunks with elbow and kneepads. To mimic his current jeans shorts look, I stripped a Jamie Noble figure of his shorts to place them on Cena. I still think this is the best facial sculpt and likeness of Cena.

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Holiday Art 2009

I didn't put together a lot of holiday art this year. I think I actually may have done more pieces for myself than for anyone else. Here is one piece I put together for my sister, on request. After drawing pictures of my younger nieces and nephews, she asked "Why haven't you drawn a picture of Joe". I took that as her request for a gift. I had to completely fabricate this piece of him as action shots of him playing basketball were pretty hard to come by. While I'm more of a comic artist that a portraitist, I happen to think I captured his likeness pretty well. The piece suffered a little when I went to inks, but it worked overall. Stay tuned over the next few days as I post some of the other pieces I've worked on recently.

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What A Season

What a season 2009 proved to be. My wife went into the hospital to deliver our son on September 10, the same night the Steelers kicked off the season against the Titans. We came home on Sunday the 13th, just in time for the Cowboys kick off against the Bucs. The Cowboys went on to win the opener, then the NFC East, and their first playoff game in 13 seasons. While the image to the left was taken while the Vikings smacked around the Cowboys in the playoffs, it was still a great season. I think next season will be even better.

Congrats to the Saints and the Colts for a well played Super Bowl. New Orleans played like a true champ all season. It'll be interesting to see them defend their crown next season. Which I look forward to watching with my son, daughter (even if she is playing her DS) and wife while he have famous buffalo wings. I can't wait.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Super QB

With the Super Bowl fast approaching, I’d be remiss if I didn’t write a piece on the person who I think is the greatest football player I will ever see. He also happens to be playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday. His name is Peyton Manning.
What he’s done since entering the NFL is simply astonishing. Peyton has shattered records, and by the time his career is done he will own every important statistical record of all-time. All while playing in a well-balanced offense (save for this season) that isn’t generally predicated on the pass.

Fox NFL comentator Daryl Johnston recently said “Peyton is the closest thing to a player coach that the NFL has. He has such command of the offense, and an almost total recall of defensive fronts. It’s incredible to watch him on a Friday after practice. After the first team offense is done, he works individually with the skill players and goes through what their read and react scenarios will be on offense. No other quaterback in the NFL does that. At least none that I’ve ever seen.”

I’ve been blessed as a football fan to have seen some of the all-time great quarterbacks. Joe Montana, John Elway, Brett Favre used to be ranked No. 1 to 3 in my book. I also always had a soft spot in my heart for Warren Moon and Dan Marino. Great statisticals QB’s who never won the big game (and therefore in my eyes eliminates them from greatest of all-time discussions—you gotta win the big one). In my opinion, Peyton surpasses them all already. I’ve never seen one player so thoroughly command the game from his position.

I use to believe that Jerry Rice was the greatest football player ever (no one will ever catch his records—yards, TD’s, receptions—even in this passing age), but If his team wins on Sunday, and I’m predicting they will (35-31), Peyton will be the greatest football player of all time.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Top 20 of 2008: Superman & Superwoman

Here we are in 2010 and I just fully realized I haven't revealed my top toy of 2008 (2009 list to come shortly... I have to set up a photo shoot with the most talented photographer I know).

My favorite figure of 2008 was DC Direct's line of All-Star Superman figures. These figures brilliantly capture the artwork of Frank Quietly. Quietly and Grant Morrison crafted a beautifully told Superman story. Easily one of the best comic stories of the past decade. The story was a year long tale of Superman dealing with his mortality as he finds out he has less than a year left to live. In one particular issue, Clark reveals his true nature to Lois while also providing her with temporary power that allow her to become Superwoman. While Quietly's work is not for everyone, his unique style has become one of the most popular in comcis today.

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