Thursday, May 25th, 2017 by Pixel Dan
Star Wars was released in theaters for the first time 40 years ago today and the world changed.
This franchise has had an effect on countless people. Whether you have been a fan since seeing the movie for the first time in a theater in 1977, are a newer fan introduced to the universe through The Force Awakens or even Star Wars Rebels, or somewhere in between, Star Wars matters to all of us some way, somehow. And each of us has our own stories about how we were introduced to that galaxy far, far away. Here’s mine.
I was born in 1982, so I missed the initial excitement over the films. This includes the original toy line from Kenner. As that line was winding down, I was at the time deep into my love of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. I was not yet aware of Star Wars existing outside of references I saw in other cartoons (can I get a high-five for Muppet Babies love?!)
Let’s fast-forward to the early 1990’s. At this point, I found myself in love with a television series called Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was a show that I enjoyed with my dad, often asking to stay up a little bit later during the week to watch the re-runs that were airing. It wasn’t long before TNG pretty much became my everything. That is, until this conversation with my parents occurred.
“You know, I bet you’d really like Star Wars” my dad said to me. And with that, my parents went and rented the trilogy from the video store and I watched them over a weekend. My “everything” suddenly changed.
Of course I still loved (and still do!) TNG, but Star Wars captured my imagination in a whole new way. It wasn’t long before I was watching the films on repeat, reciting the lines as they were happening. I began picking up magazines and skimming through Star Wars books at the stores, then spouting off facts to my parents who would humor me by pretending to be interested in this thing I had become so obsessed with. Star Wars was completely engulfing my young life, and it was about to get even deeper.
In 1995 I was walking through a retail store with my parents called Jakks (“…only Jakks will do!”) At this point, aside from some Star Trek and X-Men action figures I had at home, I was pretty much done with buying toys (HA!), but I still always enjoyed browsing the toy aisles. I had no idea that on this day I would find some action figures that would pretty much change everything for me: Kenner’s Star Wars The Power of the Force.
I grabbed up Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, and ran to my parents to show them – offering every excuse I could think of as to why I should be able to buy these even though I was “too old for toys.” I don’t remember exactly what I said, but whatever it was managed to convince them. It was probably something along the lines of “I’m not going to play with them. I’m going to collect them! These are collectibles!” I came home that day with my first-ever Star Wars action figures.
This, of course, led to a crazed obsession with Star Wars toys. I was snapping up every new character I could whenever I saw them in the stores. At the time, I kept every figure I bought in the package, but would buy a double of any one that I also wanted to open. I remember how hard it was to find C-3PO at first. I remember hunting down all of the weird variations such as long bladed lightsabers, short bladed lightsabers, and half circles printed on Boba Fett’s hands, green cards without the hologram stickers, and so on.
I was in deep. And I loved every minute of it! It was so much fun hunting down those figures, adding them to my collection, and reliving the films over and over on VHS. At this point, the full-on toy collector that had always been inside of me had been awakened.
Obviously, toy collecting has really become a big part of who I am and what I do. It’s a hobby that I am very passionate about, and something I was even able to turn into something more. Star Wars played a huge role in that.
I kind of chuckle when I look back and realize that Star Trek was my bridge to Star Wars, considering the supposed “nerd war” between the two. But I kind of love that, because both of these properties are important and special in their own ways. In my world, I couldn’t have one without the other. They were a bonding experience with my parents, and while I may have taken my love of them to extremes that my parents never did, the fact still remains that I am who I am today partly because of my love of these properties.
So thank you, Mom and Dad. Thank you for introducing me to these worlds. Thank you for allowing me to be passionate, even if you didn’t always understand it. Thank you for guiding me to a place where I can be creative and share my passion with the whole world.
All because I loved Star Wars.
Saturday, January 25th, 2014 by Pixel Dan
Today I learned some terrible news. A friend of mine had passed away. He took his own life.
Justin Carmical, also known online as JewWario, was an online personality known for his series on import video games called “You Can Play This.” He was a member of the RetrowareTV.com family, a family I have been a part of dating back to when I first started producing videos. And most importantly, he was one of the nicest guys I have ever meet.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013 by Pixel Dan
Since posting my video review of the upcoming SDCC Exclusive Mini Masters, I’ve received several requests for additional pictures. So, with camera in hand I set out to take several shots that folks requested to see! Click on through to check out the pics!
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 by Pixel Dan
USA Today has a pretty good article up on the success of Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s filled with quite a few newsworthy items. While most folks seem to be most excited about the news that Season 2 will give us a 1-hour special reuniting the original voiceactors in the roles of the four Turtles (which, by the way, is really cool news!), I’m more excited about another announcement.
Friday, February 1st, 2013 by Pixel Dan
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Round-Up post. There’s been a lot of toy news heading into Toy Fair 2013, so I figured now was as good a time as ever to bring this column back. So here are some of the noteworthy pieces of toy news for the past week:
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 by Pixel Dan
Update: Well, it’s official! MTV Geek has now posted new images of Bebop and Rocksteady, along with several other new images of other TMNT toys, and a video walkthrough! You can check them all out here!
Original: MTV Geek posted a few pictures to Twitter this morning, seemingly showing off portions of Playmates’ display being prepared for next weekend’s New York International Toy Fair. Seen in this display is, what appears to be, the Classics Bebop & Rocksteady figures!
Now, this can’t necessarily be considered a true reveal since it hasn’t “officially” been stated by Playmates yet, but I think it’s safe to say we’re looking at the upcoming Classics versions of Shredder’s duo.
Personally, I feel like these guys don’t look quite as cartoon accurate as the four Turtles do. Something seems off with their shapes, almost as if they are slightly stylized. Then again, this isn’t the best angle, so it may just be the photo. We definitely need to see some more photos of their head sculpts, especially from the side angle. But those pics will be hitting the net very soon, I’m sure. After all, Toy Fair is only a little over a week away, and yours truly will be there. I’m anxious to check them out in person.
So, what are your early impressions of Bebop and Rocksteady?
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 by Pixel Dan
Like many collectors out there, Star Wars figures played a big role in me becoming a collector. I have always joked that Star Wars was sort of the “gateway drug” of toy collecting. While not true for everyone, it seems like many folks out there started their toy obsession with one of Hasbro’s (or Kenner’s) 3.75″ heroes from that galaxy far, far away.
Eventually, it just got to be too much for me. For the most part, I still really like the figures Hasbro has been releasing. But I turned from a die-hard Star Wars collector to a casual collector once I started getting more heavily involved in other toy lines. There were just so many Star Wars figures, many of which were variants of variants, that I just could no longer keep up.
I’ve often said that the one thing that could bring me back in to buying Star Wars figures regularly again would be a really well-done 6″ scale line of figures.
Well, I guess it’s time to say goodbye to my money.
Hasbro has officially announced the Star Wars Black Series, a line of 6″ scale, highly detailed and articulated action figures based on the heroes and villains from Star Wars! The line kicks off this year with 8 figures priced at $19.99 each, and will include characters such as Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing gear and Darth Maul.
That one image of the Luke figure already has me drooling! I cannot wait to see more!
So, how about you guys? Excited? Rather stick with the 3.75″ line? Indifferent? Sound off!
Thursday, August 30th, 2012 by Pixel Dan
After years of the toy collecting hobby being pretty much ignored by mainstream television, we suddenly have two shows that focus almost directly on it. But are they doing it the right way, or are they just helping to give the hobby a bad name to those who are not involved?
Honestly, I don’t really know the answer to that question. That’s why I’m bringing this discussion up with YOU!
Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 by Pixel Dan
By now I think it’s no secret that there has been a lot of discussion on the future of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line, which all started because of a post by Scott “ToyGuru” Neitlich stating that subscription sales were down, and therefore MOTUC may potentially be “on the chopping block.” This thread on He-Man.org sums up everything said by ToyGuru relating to this issue nicely in the first post.
Many of you have been contacting me via e-mail, PM, Twitter, Facebook, etc asking for my opinion on this situation, and/or asking me to relay messages to Scott. I feel I must apologize that I have stayed pretty quiet on this whole thing so far. I didn’t want to jump the gun. I wanted to get as much information as possible on this whole thing before I made any sort of comments. After talking with Toyguru on a recoding of the Roast Gooble Dinner podcast for a few hours this past weekend, I finally broke my silence and started posting updates and thoughts.
Monday, July 2nd, 2012 by Pixel Dan
San Diego Comic Con is very quickly approaching! With that, as always, comes a slew of limited addition, pricey, must-have-because-we-can’t-resist exclusive toys! So naturally, that’s the main focus of this week’s Round-Up.
- Not exclusives, but still worth mentioning. Lou Scheimer, founder of Filmation, is making his last convention appearance with a panel at SDCC! I’m really bummed I’m going to miss this, as my flight gets in at the same time this panel starts. Also worth noting, Toy Masters, the documentary about the creation of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe toy line, is screening at SDCC as well. However, I’m going to miss this one as well, as the screening takes place during the He-Man.org Power Party. Unfortunate scheduling, there.
- Speaking of Matty, the MattyPalooza panel is Friday the 13th at noon EST. Mattel will be revealing new figures for next year, including MOTUC Mosquitor! On top of that, they are introducing a brand new subscription line for next year. Any guesses on what it might be? My money is on Back to the Future…but that’s just a guess.
That wraps it up for now! i’m sure there will be more SDCC tidbits as we get closer to the show. If so, I’ll post them here! Stay tuned!