Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thank GIF it's Friday!

So it's Saturday where we are but heeey, it's always Friday SOMEwhere, right? Right?

Sadly the full version of this, which is better, I could only find in a itsy bitsy size. I shall include it anyhow:

This is from a Swedish show called Kopps, which I think we all agree is a glorious thing.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Toy Fair 2013: Playmobil Pandemic!

Now our pal, Travis Denman, must have seen my Playmobil Advent Calendar coverage from last year because while he was on his recent New York Toy Fair trip he generously snapped me pictures not only of two brand new advent calendars for 2013 (which I'll show at the end), but also all sorts of other crazy Playmobil stuff. Thanks, Trav and Vinylmation Kingdom!

Now, I'm not for a moment suggesting that this hold much interest for the adult collector, but if you have kids then you'd be crazy not to delve into the eclectic, vivid plastic worlds that Playmobil creates. What child wouldn't enjoy the hell out of this insanely fun dinosaur park? Some kind of sissy child, probably. Check this out!

Of course this set up consists of multiple sets but those are some fantastically designed, colourful dinosaurs for your kids to bash each other over the head with. Not to mention that rocking volcano. I need to start picking up some of this stuff as gifts. I can think of at least one new Dad who I know that needs a pink anklyosaurus painfully buried in his bare foot first thing in the morning. I can make that happen, bro!

Join me after the jump for some cool crap plus those new calendars....

Merlin: Secrets Revealed

At Christmas, Merlin, the fantasy TV series following a young Merlin, Arthur, Guinevere and Morgana fulfilling their destiny, finished its 5 year run. At the time I got distracted (wallowing in angst over the end) and didn't review it, but my little cousins finished it on the weekend and I felt compelled to write a review of the series as a whole.

Please understand, I love Merlin. I really really love Merlin. I think there are things they got wrong, but there are wonderful, family centric elements to the show that will always shine. I watched this show with friends, family, kids, adults, and in one case, through a really hard time in my life. I've converted more than a few people and had many good times because of it. If you love magic, fantasy and a family style show, then Merlin's for you.

We all know the ultimate story of Arthur and Merlin, so I'm not going to delve into it here. What Merlin did well is progress arcs while still having entertaining weekly episodes that were self contained. It focused predominantly on the character relationships and that was its greatest strength. For my series review I'll look at important relationships and their development before a breakdown of the series finale.

Book Review: Encounters of Sherlock Holmes

I guess I call myself a Sherlock Holmes fan, although I've not read a lot of the original stories and tend to like the concept more than the execution. I don't watch Elementary, and I'd like to watch the BBC Sherlock at some point, but it's not really on the top of my list. I've enjoyed the Robert Downey Jr films well enough, and even with Holmes being a bit of a fad at the moment, I've found the overall output to be mixed.

Regardless, I got a copy of this volume of Holmes stories, Encounters of Sherlock Holmes, via Titan Books. Most of the stories within are Holmes mysteries with a splash of fantasy (and one science fiction story as well), and I figured it'd be worth the time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thursday Threesome: Marvel Lovebirds

Welcome to our new weekly series, the Thursday Threesome. All of us at Fruitless Pursuits will be taking it in turn to discuss three points on a topic of our choosing, and with the diversity in interests among our gang, it's sure to be an interesting read each week.

I'll be kicking us off with a special Valentine's Day edition, where I'll be looking at some of my favourite Marvel pairings. There's a lot of crazy timelines going on in the comics that make following relationships difficult at the best of times, but it's even harder when you don't, er, keep up with what's been going on. I do my very best to make sense of it all under the cut!

Last Minute Valentine's Day Cards!

It just turned Valentine's Day here on the US East Coast, and it's already halfway over in Australia and other weird future places, but YOU STILL HAVE TIME!

Do you have a printer? (Probably not)

Does it have ink? (Definitely not!)

Here are some awesome printable / facebookable last minute Valentine's Day cards to give to your friends / enemies / lovers / all of the above.

Lemmy Valentine by Steff Bomb
Fully printable valentine (with Motorhead quote inside) at:
A few more last minute valentines after the jump.

Toy Fair 2013: Star Wars Lego!

More Toy Fair 2013 coverage, this time combining two of my favourite things in the last thirty plus years: Lego and Star Wars (just narrowly coming in behind beer and boobs). But first I really can't thank our pal, Travis Denman, and Vinylmation Kingdom enough. They certainly don't owe us anything, and are out there on the frontlines doing all the hard work while I'm stuck on the other side of the globe in a former penal colony. So thanks heaps to those guys for the pictures (which I am going to pick and choose from) and let's begin with my biased commentary. Beginning with the best Lego minifigure of all time...

Holy. Crap.

That there is the first ever minifig of everybody's favourite piano playing space elephant, Max Rebo! The only thing missing is he modesty-protecting underpants! Lego, you ingenious Danish bastards, you have once again out done yourselves!

And to find out what else those crafty characters are up to, join me... after the jump!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stryder's Favourite Comics - 2/6/2013

Welcome to February!  The bad news is that a few of the comics we were expecting got pushed back this week, including Grant Morrison's double-sized finale in Action Comics #17.  The good news is that he's decided he needed double the space and will now write both issue #17 and Action Comics #18 - both double-sized!  I dunno about you but I'm willing to wait for twice the Grant Morrison!

Anyway, the big news this week is the new creative team and new direction on Green Arrow!  Let's check it out:

Green Arrow #17 - "I was Oliver Queen.  I was the Green Arrow.  But now I'm no one."

The brand new creative team of writer Jeff Lemire and artist Andrea Sorrentino debut on this month's Green Arrow and it makes a huge and immediate difference to the tone and quality of the book!  If you were ever thinking of jumping onto the Emerald Archer's title, now is definitely the time, as it looks like a whole new beginning for Oliver Queen.  Everything he's ever had is snatched brutally away from him, leaving him with nothing but his broken spirit and a mystery...a mystery revolving around Oliver's dead father and a mysterious figure known only as Komodo.

Both the art and the writing in this title take a huge leap in a completely different, and in my opinion, far superior direction for the character!  For the first time since the New 52 began, I am pretty curious about what's going to happen to Oliver!  If Green Arrow suddenly starts getting cool again, and with Hal Jordan "dead", who am I going to mock?

Detective Comics, Earth 2 and more after the JUMP!

Nerd History: The Prophecy of the Popes

With the announcement yesterday of the pending retirement of the current Pope of the Catholic Church, Benedict XVI, it reminds me of one of my all time favorite prophecies, the Prophecy of the Popes. A prophecy first published in 1595 and dating back to the 1100s, it's incredibly relevant now because, well...the next pope? He's the last one.

The Book Was Better Podcast: Teaser for Episode 36!

The Book Was Better is the podcast where we make fun of the book of the film!

It's this brand new TEASER episode, you respond to the new guest host format! I let you know about some upcoming guest stars! I pose a lowbrow question! And, most importantly, I reveal the crazy movie novelisation that a certain guest host and I will be tearing into next week! We'll be delving into a yet untapped franchise that has been voraciously requested by at least one listener! What could it be? Download and find out!

You can grab it right now from the official site, or why not subscribe to us on iTunes like some sort of future space person!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Broke Video Gamer: Forge Review

There are times when I don’t even want to pop into the open world environment of MMOs. Those days, I’d just like to turn the game on and head straight for combat. For that, there is Forge and it is available on Steam for $20. At this price, it is on the high end of my budget for individual games. I am loathe to spend more than that.

Last year, when Forge was still in alpha release, it was already getting rave reviews. When it officially launched at the end of 2012, the critics couldn’t stop talking about it. Some called it revolutionary and unlike anything seen before. Well, I didn’t buy it. I waited, bringing a review months after all the hype. Where is Forge now?

Click through to find out.

Toy Fair 2013: Star Trek Enters The KRE-O Universe!

Not only is KRE-O tackling GI Joe this year, they are also throwing down the gauntlet with the most obvious answer to Lego Star Wars... KRE-O Star Trek!

Launching along with Into The Darkness will be a solid series of Star Trek building sets and some blind-packaged minifigures. For the most part, these are pretty small sets with the exception of the Enterprise shown above. Lots of cool and unique minifigures in there as well.

Click through the jump for images (courtesy of the wonderful Travis Denman and Vinylmation Kingdomand thoughts (courtesy of me!).

Game of Thrones: Chaos Preview

New Game of Thrones teaser, complete with Littlefinger voice over & interesting headshots!

Join me for excitement under the cut.

Gangnam Style acoustic style!

Just when you thought you were sick to death of Psy and his horsey-dancing anthem 'Gangam Style' along comes a version that completely revitalises the song, and (dare I say) improves it.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Toy Fair 2013: KRE-O GI Joe Coming This Month!

I'm sure you've seen the KRE-O Transformers (pretty cool, especially the sweet minifigs) and KRE-O Battleship (a little meh, mostly because it's Battleship), but did you know that Hasbro is extending it's in-house brick building line to include GI Joe? And it's the classic GI Joe that we all (a/k/a me) know and love.

It's an exciting time for block lines. It used to be just Lego with a license or two each year. Now Lego, MegaBloks and KRE-O all battle for the top licenses, and we're seeing more and more of our favorites pop up in block form. So... how do these hold up to the competition?

They actually look really cool! The figure style is a little wonky, but KRE-O is taking a pretty ballsy approach with their choices of characters and the amount of non-vehicle based playsets. I'm always a fan of an environment based set to house my figures, and 3/8 of the upcoming sets are environment based. Being a fictitious military based license, there are some sweet vehicles as well. And finally, the minifigures. So many good characters in what looks like 3 different series of blind packaged Kreons. (Did you know they are called Kreons?) 

These are expected to release this month and prices are very affordable at just $2.99 to $39.99.

Click through the jump for images of all of it, and once again big thanks to Travis Denman and Vinylmation Kingdom for the images.

Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Since the debut of the trailer for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters a few months ago, we all kinda knew what we were going to be in for. It looked terrible. Coming from the MTV stable which produced such gems as Jackass: The Movie, Beavis & Butthead Do America, and Dirty Sanchez: The Movie there was little threat that this was going to be one of the movies of the year. When the reviews started trickling in from the rest of the world they were extremely divided, but the bulk of the positive reviews came from the batshit crazy hell hole that is Tumblr (so none of those opinions count). It was all looking pretty bleak, but I was optimistically hopeful when I headed along to the cinema. Join me under the cut to find out what I thought.