Rescue Bots are Primed for the holiday season

Credits: Brian Thomer
Credits: Brian Thomer

Rescue Bots are Primed for the holiday season

Playskool has released their latest from the “Transformers Rescue Bots” line and these offerings provide no shortage of Optimus Prime! The “Transformers Rescue Bots Optimus Primal” and “Transformers Rescue Bots Epic Optimus Prime” figures are sure to be big hits this upcoming holiday season.

“Optimus Primal” is easily one of the coolest bots available for preschoolers. Standing over 8 inches tall, Primal transforms from Autobot to Tyrannosaurus Rex with just a twist! Then, converts right back to bot with the press of a button. These transformations are simple enough for kids ages 3-7 to master. The figure features very limited articulation to keep it manageable for the recommended age group. There is still plenty to enjoy with this Transformer as kids can activate twenty different phrases and sounds with the press of a button. And the nice thing is that the button is large and sensitive enough for kids to activate it with ease. And one has to love such great lines as “Better drill faster to prevent disaster,” “Let’s stomp, chomp and rescue” and “Good job, team, this threat is now… extinct.” Primal also has a translucent blue Energize Hide activation panels that light up while the phrases/sounds play.

Additionally, Primal’s rescue tool is a drill at the end of his left hand that spins at the press of a button. That is another great aspect of this toy for young kids as it is all one piece. No accessories to worry about being lost or swallowed.

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Be Santa’s elf with Build-A-Bear Workshop

Fan-fave Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are one toy representations at Build-A-Bear Workshop Credits:
Fan-fave Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are one toy representations at Build-A-Bear Workshop

Be Santa’s elf with Build-A-Bear Workshop

Whether you are looking for an interactive gift experience or wanting to reward the little one(s) for behaving so well during a day of holiday shopping, Build-A-Bear Workshop has all the current favorites for this holiday season. Stop in any Workshop, including the new pop up store in New York City’s Times Square, to build a bear based on the mega sensation of Disney’s “Frozen” or the multimedia juggernauts “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” or a Christmas favorite like “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.”

For those unfamiliar, Build-A-Bear Workshop gives you the chance to literally build your own teddy bear right there in the store or you can also order online. Pick out your bear, stuff it yourself, close it up and consider yourself one of Santa’s elves working in his workshop! Build-A-Bear also has plenty of accessories one can add onto the bear, but keep in mind they are sold separately.

See slideshow

First released earlier this year, “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” bears sold out of their initial run, but are back and ready for you to choose from Michelangelo, Rafael, Leonardo or Donatello. The “Ninja Turtles” are not the only ’80s hit making a comeback in a new millennium, “My Little Pony” is back in a big way and Princess Celestia is proof positive of that! This royal winged unicorn is one large stuffed animal. One that almost does not fit in the pet carrier that comes with every “Build-A-Bear” animal.

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‘Earth 2 Wonder Woman’ is a figure of strength and grace


‘Earth 2 Wonder Woman’ is a figure of strength and grace

Continuing their line of “Earth 2” themed figures, DC Collectibles recently released the “DC ComicsThe New 52 Earth 2 Wonder Woman” action figure. Appearing early in the “Earth 2” comic book series, Earth 2 Wonder Woman is the current DC Universe’s re-imagining of the Golden Age Wonder Woman, The figure is based on the art of original series artist Nicola Scott with a sculpt by Karen Palinko.

Nicola Scott’s design is an excellent amalgamation of Wonder Woman’s early design and the darker times reflected in “Earth 2,” due to the long war against Darkseid and his Apokoliptan minions. The classic skirt and eagle emblazoned across her chest are paired with armored elements, including boots and an arm guard to protect her non-sword arm. Speaking of swords, in addition to her trademark Golden Lasso of Truth, Earth 2 Wonder Woman brandishes a large broadsword. A broadsword so big it would take a larger man two hands to properly wield it, reflecting the Amazon’s great power.

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Santa nerd clause: Holiday shopping guide for geek culture

Credits: USAopoly
Credits: USAopoly

Santa nerd clause: Holiday shopping guide for geek culture

A zombie rendering rush can consume us from out of the Holiday season. One that isn’t the feverish hurry by any procrastinative buyer. Though they can uncover some great finds too.. But if your not bitten by the laissez faire considerer, then there is that horde of searches looking for that just right gift. That underliner tending to match up towards the interest of a well-known friend or family.

Hear that exhaustive sigh moaning along an online search that almost turned up the right gift? It could’ve escaped out of you. The fever is spreading. Before it becomes all-consuming of your time and effort, here’s an eclectic list on the accompanying slideshow that fits the geek cultural in your circles and overlaps into just being a unique gift suiting any pop culture tastes.

All while the zombie part goes the modern gift mode.

And for the traditional sort, the finality of Jan. 6 extends the buying time.

Holiday Shopping: Geek Guide List

Cultural pop: Exhibit culminates comics and pop culture around African-Americans

Credits: Geppi's Entertainment Museum / Facebook
Credits: Geppi’s Entertainment Museum / Facebook

Cultural pop: Exhibit culminates comics and pop culture around African-Americans

There are comics milestones, was once a Milestone Comics and now a celebrative exhibit of cultural Milestones in comics. In Baltimore the famous fixture of Geppi’s Entertainment Museum has begun a special multi-media exhibit highlighting the African-American contributions and characters in superheroes and pop culture.

From their press release Melissa Geppi-Bowersox, President of G.E.M., states:

“We are thrilled to be showcasing such an extraordinarily diverse collection of artistic pieces in so many different mediums within the Museum. There are some truly amazing comics, designs, drawings, paintings and programming that have been set for this exhibit, and Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is proud to be the sole exhibitor for such a terrific group of artists.”

Curators Michael Davis and Tatiana El-Khouri have organized a broad display from several artists that includes the artwork of Denys Cowan, Don McGregor, Shawn Martinbrough, Micheline Hess and even the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention.

Milestones: African Americans in Comics, Pop Culture, and Beyond led off on Dec. 14th and will continue on into early 2014.

“The true beauty of this exhibit is the moment when race and color become obsolete, and you see the creative genius of the amazing worlds established that are mainstream.”

The exhibit’s wide multi-media selection of pop cultural aspects goes from the past up to present day’s internet showcasings in G.E.M.’s “Milestones”.

“African-Americans have made an indelible mark on the pop culture and entertainment landscape in front of the camera, behind the scenes, on the stage and in the recording booth. Although not as widely known, this is equally true in the world of comic books, where a renaissance of Black writers and artists are creating new characters and telling unique stories that are reaching larger audiences than ever before. As a lifelong comic book nerd, it’s my greatest pleasure to showcase the art from my digital graphic novel Tainted Love within the Milestones exhibit at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. This labor of love has enabled me to bring together some of my favorite artists who are leading the charge in creating increased diversity within the industry.” says Orlando Jones, currently co-starring on the hit FOX series “Sleepy Hollow”.

On Friday Dec. 13, a grand opening for the exhibit was held at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. A large turnout was massed throughout the exhibit. Special guests appearing spotlights the artist themselves, and even one multi-media participation openned and continues with Wayne Brady in a clip from the filming on “Let’s Make a Deal” with a special approbation of the exhibit.

“From movies to film, from music to art, from graphic novels/comic books to TV, and from politics to sports, all aspects of America’s pop culture contain different aspects of the African-American viewpoint,” says Exhibit Curator and Milestone Media co-founder Michael Davis. “America has changed, and the attitudes about Black people and their limitless creativity touch, embrace, or lead all aspects of culture.”

Milestones: African-Americans in Comics, Pop Culture, and Beyond will end on April 1 of 2014.

“I’m especially excited that young people of color will see themselves represented in so many different ways,” added Tatiana EL-Khouri, Co-Curator. “This show may well influence future careers in comics, and perhaps even fine art. We have significantly made enormous strides to find a place within society, and I’m so excited to be in these times where we are now being nationally recognized in every field.

In so many ways, African-American culture has always been a part of pop culture, and curating this exhibit will be one of the most significant things that I do in my lifetime.”

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Vampirologists created new forum and seeking like minded members

1356147764_5042_christopherlee as dracula

Vampirologists created new forum and seeking like minded members

Anthony Hogg, a writer, academic and vampire enthusiast began a blog and subsequently a Facebook page and group for those with similar interests of the undead could join and share links, opinions, and ideas. Recently, he and mass media graduate student, Sufi Mohamed, editor in chief of developed a website titled, Vampireologist to host forums and articles about vampires in mythology, pop culture, history as well as culture. He announced yesterday, Oct. 25 that they were opening the site for members. Here is who they are looking for.

This website is currently looking for members to help grow the community.Here is how Anthony describes the website:

It’s intended to unite people interested in vampires. No matter what your personal investment in the subject is, be it scholarly, a casual browser or if you’re a member of the Vampire Community, there’s a selection of groups and forums covering all aspects of vampirism.

It is to offer a free, open and respectful discussion about all aspects of vampires not just vampirologist. But, what is a vampirologist? This is how it is defined on the site:

A vampirologist, simply put, is someone who studies vampires. Is it meant literally? Do they strap vampires to operating tables and dissect them? No. So let’s clear that up right away. They study vampires as a subject through a variety of academic perspectives, be they cinematic or literary criticism, anthropological and folkloric interpretations or psychoanalytic overviews. Just to name a few.

At this time the Facebook group has 317 members and the Facebook page has 93 likes. The concept is slowly growing but it can boast of authors, actors, artists, photographers, poets, academians and bloggers to name a few.

So, if you would like to join please just click here and fill out the profile. Can’t wait to see you there.

Read More by Bertena Varney

Submissions for ‘Vampire News’ 2013 are being requested


Submissions for ‘Vampire news’ 2013 are being requested

Crazy Duck Press announced that they are seeking submissions for their annual vampire anthology called “Vampire News”.

The anthology started in 2011 when Stavros and Bertena collaborated on the first issue that brought together news articles, facts, reviews, and pictures from 2011 and compiled it into a small but very interesting book called “Vampire News: Tasty Bits You Can Sink Your Fangs Into”. It was released in the spring of 2012 and was a great hit that pulled many vampire writers, actors, photographers together into the first publication.

The second publication covered events from 2012 and was published in the spring of 2013. This one was titled, “Vampire News: The Not So End Times”. It of course expanded from the first edition almost doubling in size and was a huge hit at the many conventions that its creators and contributors attended. It added a huge timeline for 2012 as well as expansive articles, news and facts.

So, now they are looking at their third as of yet untitled edition that is going to press in the first months of 2014. If you have vampire related events that occurred in 2013 such as book releases, movie premieres, conventions, book signings, etc please send the information and if possible pictures that they can use.

They are also looking for original art, photographs as well as articles, reviews, critiques, etc. Once all submissions are received then they will contact who they want to include in the publication.

If you would like to look at the last two editions, you can download them for free here. Read these and then see what you may want to submit here.

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Black Manta figure leaps from the pages of ‘Aquaman’

Credits: DC Entertainment (Photo by Brian Thomer)
Credits: DC Entertainment (Photo by Brian Thomer)

Black Manta figure leaps from the pages of ‘Aquaman’

DC Collectibles recently released the latest wave in their “DC Comics Super Villains” line of action figures. Among them is the stunning Black Manta action figure based off of Ivan Reis’s DC Comics New 52 re-design of the character from the pages of “Aquaman.” The sculpt was beautifully done by Jean St. Jean.

It has been said before that Black Manta is one of the coolest designs in comics and St. Jean’s sculpt exemplifies that. Manta’s trademark sleek black bodysuit and over-sized diving helmet with giant red eyes are true to form. The additional line work that is the signature of the New 52 re-designed costumes transferred perfectly, adding texture to this simple design. Speaking of texture, the eyes are even sporting some, that is the level of detail put into this sculpt.

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Game on: IDW Publishing bases new gaming division on comics properties

Credits: Kill Shakespeare Official Site
Credits: Kill Shakespeare Official Site

Game On: IDW Publishing bases new gaming division on comics properties

It was a galore of fangs that brought the bloody and monstrous back to the present day vampire story, a broad stroke of horror and carnage that made comics readers and movie audiences momentarily escape the rock star Adonis or Venus glamour of today’s nosferatu.

30 Days of Night was the work from IDW Publishing, and varies with the fame from the comics publisher’s groundbreaking tribute and original spin to The Bard in 2010.

Kill Shakespeare was a huge continental influence, invoking readings within local bookstores and scholastic venues while a given city’s theater found its headlines intertwining with the comics creators when they took a podium at center stage.

Both titles will be the beach landings for an all-new line of tabletop games featuring titles from IDW.

On Oct. 5, the fifteen-year veteran company made the press release announcement that they will be partnering with Pandasaurus Games to develop these comics-based board games.

“We’re well known for diversity at IDW, in the world of entertainment and comics,” said CEO & Publisher Ted Adams. “With all of the great properties we publish, it seemed natural that a lot of them would make fantastic games. We’ve found the perfect partner in Pandasaurus Games to help us make that happen.”

The games are due to release in the late Spring of 2014. The new project of transitioning IDW properties will fall under a newly organized wing, IDW Games.

“We’re incredibly excited to move into tabletop gaming and give fans a way to spend even more time with their favorite titles. This is a very strong pair of games to launch right out of the gate, and over the next few months we’ll be making more major announcements that should have the gaming community buzzing,” said IDW New Business Development Director Jerry Bennington.

The Austin-based Pandasaurus Games has been known for their forefront titles Yedo, Tammany Hall and Firenze.

“We at Pandasaurus Games are thrilled to be working with the talented team at IDW to develop incredible games built on the amazing worlds of their comics. The wealth of creative talent that IDW has worked with is unmatched. More than that, their comic books create living breathing worlds that drip theme and beg readers to dive into headfirst. We can’t wait to help bring these worlds to life for gamers everywhere. Pandasaurus and IDW are committed to working hand in hand with world class designers and artists to build original experiences from the ground up based on the living worlds created in the pages of IDW comics,” said Pandasaurus President/Founder Nathan McNair.

More by Mark Ruffin

‘Avengers’ hero starlet named 2013s ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’

Credits: EsQuire
Credits: EsQuire

‘Avengers’ hero starlet named 2013s ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’

A Black Widow that stung the world-wide action-thumping hearts of movie audiences, “The Avengers” actress Scarlett Johansson is currently playing a New Jersian in love in the currently showing “Don Jon”.

Her marked versatility has been a promenading aspect within her proficiency arsenal, first notable in “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” and continuing its pivotal highlight within such films as “The Black Dahlia” and “Vicky Christina Barcelona”

That proficiency arsenal? One intuitive aspect is aptly put forth in Esquire magazine, “This bar is loud with cocktail hour, but the matter of her voice, the fact of it, hangs in the air even so – always a little sandy, somehow broken down, as if she’d been singing all day”.

Esquire has just named 28 year-old actress 2013s “Sexiest Woman Alive”.

This will be the second winning dub recognized by the 80-years going publication. Johansson was also featured on the cover in 2006 with the bestowal.

“The Prestige” actress will be reprising her super-team roster role for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe within their upcoming Phase 2 movies “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014) and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015).


Read More by Mark Ruffin