Tuesday, July 23, 2019

LEGO IDEAS goes green with new Treehouse set!

LEGO announced their latest LEGO IDEAS set today with this awesome looking treehouse!

Kidrobot x Sanrio = Cute Scoops Ice Cream Plush!

Hold on to your hats, people, because the cuteness has arrived! Sanrio has teamed with Kidrobot to bring us Cute Scoops Ice Cream Plush. These are just ridiculously adorable. 

Sanrio Cute Scoops Ice Cream Plush
by Kidrobot

Drops Right Now at Kidrobot.com

Kidrobot x Sanrio where food meets fun! Coming with four adorable ice cream scoop flavors, the Kidrobot x Sanrio Cute Scoops ice cream carton plush lets you scoop up your favorite characters and build your own Sanrio fun! Packed with four colorful velcro ice cream scoops featuring your favorite characters Hello Kitty, Badtz-Maru, Keroppi & Pompompurin and two cones, this plushie Ice Cream sweet treat is the perfect plush for every Sanrio fan! Fun plush to play all day but not to eat. Grab these deliciously cute stackable scoops today at Kidrobot.com!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

100th Statue in the Batman Black and White Collection to be Unveiled at SDCC

If you're a collector, like statues, or love Batman, you're in for a treat. As the headline goes, Warner Bros. Products and the always great DC Collectibles will be unveiling the 100th Statue in the Batman Black and White Collection at San Diego Comic Con. This is to celebrate Batman's 80th Anniversary.

If that wasn't enough to get you excited the over 6 ft. life-size statue is designed by the one and only Todd McFarlane. I'm not going to be at SDCC, but I'm excited for this.

The rest of the press release states:

BURBANK, Calif. - (July 16, 2019) - In celebration of the 80th anniversary, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Collectibles announced today that the 100th Batman Black and White statue in the popular ongoing DC Collectibles line will be unveiled at the forthcoming San Diego Comic-Con Museum on July 17. A special over 6-foot life-size version of the Todd McFarlane-designed statue will be revealed during a special ceremony recognizing DC’s iconic Super Hero, Batman, the inaugural inductee into the Comic-Con Museum Hall of Fame. 

The milestone #100 statue is based off McFarlane’s own cover of Batman issue #423. As with the previous 99 in the series, McFarlane’s design, reinforces the core value of DC Collectibles to represent the printed page in 3D form and pays homage to Batman’s rich legacy. 

Guests of the Museum will also have the rare opportunity to see the current 100-statue series throughout the week as part of The Batman Experience Powered by AT&T at the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park. Not only will #100 be revealed with its special life-size version, but #99 by Doug Mahnke will be making its first public appearance.

Following the Comic-Con Museum launch event titled, “The Gathering” which will feature a “black carpet reception,” the life-size #100 Black & White statue will be auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the Comic-Con Museum.

“To simply be a part of the 80th anniversary of a character that has always held such a special place in my heart is an honor,” McFarlane said. “But in designing this statue I truly feel like I’m adding to Batman’s legacy and in the process benefiting a hall of fame that will become an institution both for comic fans and the San Diego community.” 

DC Collectibles will give fans even more super-sized experiences and opportunities during Comic-Con week with:
  •  DC Collectibles will hold its annual panel, moderated by Samm Levine, in Room 9 on July 18 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. PT. Led by Executive Creative Director Jim Fletcher, the panel will also consist of special guests Todd McFarlane and Jake Castorena. From limited edition statues and action figures to prop replicas, busts, and vinyls fans can join the DC Collectibles crew to hear the latest exclusive news about what’s coming and how each designer turns their amazing ideas into fan-favorite items.
  • DC Collectibles will once again highlight new and never before seen sculpts and figures on the Comic Con floor this year in the all new DC and WB mega booth #4545. A few of the notable items to be displayed will include:
    • Batman Black and White #99 and #100
    • Batman Animated: The Adventures Continue Action Figures
    • DC Artists Alley: Aquaman by Chris Uminga and The Joker by Brandt Peters
    • DC Essentials: Batman, Poison Ivy, Superman (Black Suit) and Bizarro
    • DC Cover Cover Girls
      • Joelle Jones completes her run with the beautiful Catwoman Wedding Statue
      • Frank Cho takes over the line with his own take on the classic Batgirl 
    • And Many More!
 Warner Bros. Consumer Products in partnership with DC, is launching a partnership with Visa and UMB Bank to bring fans a collection of Ultimate Hero Rewards credit cards. Fans can apply at the Warner Bros./DC booth and choose from several DC Power card designs that feature DC characters including Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, The Flash, Harley Quinn, The Justice League and more. Fans can also visit DCPowerVisa.com to learn more.

Cardholders can earn Ultimate Hero Rewards points that can be redeemed for exclusive items, merchandise and experiences. Additional perks include 10% off a DC Universe annual streaming service subscription, 10% off of purchases made through ShopDCEntertainment.com and 20% off Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood and merchandise. Images of each card are available here.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Across the Void - Very Mild Spoilers Review

Billed as "A visceral space thriller - perfect for fans of The Arrival and The Martian -following the sole survivor of a catastrophic accident in space that leaves her drifting in the void with only the voice of her estranged husband, a NASA scientist, to guide her back to Earth," Across the Void is written by S.K. Vaughn, which is a pseudonym for a Hollywood writer and director, with credits at Universal, Paramount, Sony, Fox, and Lionsgate. The man's clearly gotten around.

Now that I've told you what the press release says, I'll give you my version. The story is about Maryam "May" Knox, the brilliant commander of an exceptionally important space mission. She wakes up from a medically induced coma alone and with no recollection as to how she got there or what happened prior to the coma. Her only companion is the ship's AI, affectionately named Eve. Her ship is failing, resources are scarce, and she's still recovering from her coma. The bright side is she's able to communicate with NASA and her husband, Stephen (she has no memory of them being estranged). But there's much more to this story than meets the eye.

That alone would have gotten me interested in the book, but what really hooked me was how the book read. The chapters are small, similar to how James Patterson writes his books. The story jumps between the past, the present, May's point of view, and Stephen's point of view. They're all necessary to tell the story Vaughn is telling. With the exception of a few times towards the end, I was never confused between the past and the present. The book reads like a script. There are moments and chapters where visuals are so clearly defined. I can easily see where Vaughn's storytelling experience comes in.

The story itself is fairly solid. At no point was I bored with it. I was invested, and I cared what happened. However, there were some predictable moments, which were easy to suss out. One big plot twist I saw coming, and my reaction was, "Is this about to happen?" and on the next page, it did. Another add-on to that big twist, I thought, "Are the story really going to do this? I hope not," but it did a few chapters later. And then there was another moment towards the end, where someone behaved in a way I had hoped they wouldn't, but they did. A bigger plot twist would've been if the person didn't do the thing they did. Oh well. Vaughn is good at describing the more scientific and technical aspects of the story in a way that's easy to digest and understand, and he's good at putting you with the characters, and since much of the story is in space, you feel like you're there too.

There are some parts of the story that feel underdeveloped. And again, I think some of this might be attributed to Vaughn's other career. Certain relationships are clearly more contentious or complex, and the reader is able to discern it, but whereas if this were on screen, we'd be able to get more of the subtext and more subtleties of the relationships, but as this is in writing, some of it is lost, so certain developments don't feel as impactful as they could. This is especially noticeable in the end with one particular character.

Speaking of characters, I liked our protagonists. May is a smart, strong, determined, pig-headed, vulnerable character. You want her to win and survive. Stephen is very different than her, and sometimes she overpowers him with her big personality, but they clearly have a lot of love for each other. Even when we learn what led to their estrangement, you still want them to work things out, whether they reunite or are able to be friends, you just want them to stay a part of each other's lives. 

The antagonists are a little weaker. I don't think the reader gets enough time with them to truly connect with them in any meaningful way. This is especially obvious in the end. The story gets a little rushed, so the necessary character development needed to justify this person's actions never really hit for me. 

This goes back to my point about this reading like a movie script. A lot of today's action movies favor the action over the character development. That can work when you have stunning visuals, but when it's in written form, it's harder to cover up. And I prefer strong character development over crazy action any day. In book form, you can have both and should.

If you like space or thrillers or both, you'll like this. Faults and all, this story had me hooked, so grab some popcorn, a drink, and get cozy. Once you start reading, you won't want to stop. 

Across the Void goes on sale today. It's available in hardcover, eBook, and audio formats. 

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