The Best of New York International Toy Fair 2019

This year brings with it an all-new, all-different form of my annual Toy Fair recap!

In previous years I provided exhaustive coverage of pretty much everything that went down from most of the notable toy companies. It took a ton of effort and lots of hosting space to post all of the pictures, not to mention the hassle involved in actually tracking down pictures that I felt comfortable using.

Using the sites mentioned below it’s now easier than ever for anyone to follow along with Toy Fair goings-on, especially if you’re part of the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group. Toy companies have mostly figured out social media and are posting announcements and new products even faster than the media can report them.

That being the case, in today’s post I’m just going to run down my favorites from the show. Which might end up being just as lengthy as the older posts because there were a ridiculous number of amazing announcements this year. It’s entirely possible that this was the biggest Toy Fair since we started covering it a decade ago.

Read on to see some of the coolest toys from the show and of course, listen to this Friday’s episode of the Needless Things Podcast to hear me, Ryan, Jay, and Josh discuss all of the hottest reveals!

As always I highly recommend you follow Action Figure Attack on Facebook and Instagram for some excellent press photos. Toy Ark once again provided thorough coverage and is the site we used for reference to record this Friday’s Toy Fair episode of the Needless Things Podcast. For the full list of links to Toy Ark product pages, click here!

Note: I was able to find release dates for some of these and have provided them when possible. Continue reading “The Best of New York International Toy Fair 2019”

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Popeye from Mezco

Grown-up Dave doesn’t think about Popeye the Sailor Man all that much, but kid Dave loved him.

It started with the cartoons, obviously. When I was very young Popeye cartoons were just as heavy in rotation as Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry. I don’t know what happened or why the Sailor Man hasn’t remained as relevant as many other animated icons, but for whatever reason he doesn’t have a very high profile nowadays.

The cartoons were one thing, but in 1980 something very peculiar and quite special happened – Robin Williams starred in a musical Popeye movie directed by five-time Academy Award nominee Robert Altman. The same Robert Altman who directed MASH, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye, and Nashville. It was surprising to the world and to this day I think film fans are a bit confused, but of course four-year-old me didn’t know any of that when Mom took me to the theater to see this unique cinematic experience.

While my actual memories of Popeye come from later viewings, I do know that I loved that movie and that it reinforced my fandom for the character. One of my earliest memories is of begging Mom for a can of spinach until she finally broke down and got one. I tried it raw – like Popeye – hated it, and switched to a can of Fritos like they used to have back in the day.

HEALTH ADVISORY – Fritos will not make you strong like Popeye, but they also will not make you throw up like raw spinach out of a can.

My Popeye fandom probably peaked right around the movie coming out and has slowly waned ever since. At no point have I disliked him; he just hasn’t loomed large in my pop culture awareness for quite some time.

I have a collection of comic strips that my mom gave me years ago, but I can’t pretend I’ve read it cover to cover. At most it’s been perused a time or two with only a few pages read in their entirety.

Actually, the last time I gave Popeye any real thought was the last time Mezco put out Popeye toys. Popeye the Sailorpedia lists way more figures than I remember actually being released. I just had Popeye, Bluto, and Wimpy from the first wave. I passed on Olive Oyl because she is the worst.

Clearly someone at Mezco is a much bigger Popeye fan than I am. Between those excellent figures from eighteen years ago(!) and this new One:12 Collective figure, they are carrying the torch for an animated hero who deserves much more recognition than he seems to get. This was one of the earliest announced One:12 figures and it’s been clear from that initial peek that this figure is a serious labor of love.

This is a truly weird concept and design – bringing a character whose most remarkable features are incredibly anatomically improbable into the One:12 semi-realistic format resulted in a look that many found off-putting at first, but that has become more acceptable as the line has gone on. I, for one, hadn’t planned on getting this one due to my strict One:12 collecting rules, but apparently at some point I relented and ordered one because it came in at the Local Comic Shop. By that time I was delighted that Past Me had made the decision because reviews were coming in and Popeye seems to be a hit, making many “Best of 2018” lists.

Is the figure worth the wait and worth possibly going outside of your fandom to obtain? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – One:12 Collective Popeye from Mezco”

Needless Things Podcast 252 – Alita: Battle Angel

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-ddfp3-a7e91f

Dave, Ryan Cadaver, and Nicole Ghouled caught an early sneak preview of Robert Rodriguez’ adaptation of the classic manga, Battle Angel Alita this past Monday. All three were so enthralled by and impressed with the movie that they had to get together to discuss it for this week’s episode of the Needless Things Podcast!

Starting with the manga in 1990 and then the animated adaptation in 1993, the story of this warrior has been inspiring fans for decades. Battle Angel draws from many classic genre styles while retaining a unique voice and style of its own. Those same inspired fans have been curious about a live action adaptation, and when James Cameron announced his intention to create one, things seemed promising.
The production process, however, was a long one. This left many doubting the project would ever truly see the light of day. But then the pieces starting coming together, with the unparalleled Robert Rodriguez as director, Rosa Salazar as the titular cyborg, and perhaps most impressively, Cristoph Waltz as Dr. Ido.
With such a promising team assembled, the ambitious film was a go and is now ready to be unleashed upon the world to inspire a whole new generation!
Listen in as Dave, Ryan, and Nicole break down this compelling cyberpunk fairytale!
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com
Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men?

Movie Review – 14 Thoughts About The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

SPOILER WARNING – THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR WARNER BROS. PICTURES’ NEW FILM THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

My whole family loved The LEGO Movie.

It looked amazing, the story was fantastic, and all of those pop culture icons crossing over with each other was mind-blowing. We’ve watched it several times, we bought the sets, and we played the video game. That movie wildly exceeded our expectations, but it wasn’t just because it was better than it had any right to be, it was because it’s a legitimately great movie.

That was five years ago.

My son is eleven now and, like many formerly favorite toy lines (RIP Imaginext), LEGO isn’t on his radar like it used to be. He was still excited about the movie and the tie-in video game, but our level of immersion into the worlds of LEGO just isn’t what it was in 2014. As a result I haven’t really been as excited about this sequel. Watching your children grow up is wonderful but also brutal, and each passing day brings more reminders that things will never be the way they were.

In short, everything is not awesome.

Another factor in my lack of excitement for The LEGO Movie 2 is that sequels to family films tend to not be very good. The decline in quality is typically pretty severe, even more so than other types of films. On top of that I didn’t particularly love The LEGO  Batman Movie and I thought The LEGO Ninjago Movie was absolutely terrible.

I still had hope for this sequel – after all, the writers of the original movie were back where they belonged – but I can’t say I was genuinely excited beyond the fact that I knew we were going to see it as a family. And family events are always something I look forward to.

Did Phil Lord and Christopher Miller bring it once again? Was it even possible for this sequel to live up to the excellent standard set by the original? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Movie Review – 14 Thoughts About The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part”