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Friday, October 5, 2007


Entertainment Earth Entertainment Earth

©2007 David Willis

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Talking (Homicidal) Car
"Talking Car" is signed and numbered by the artist, limited to 15 pieces, and is printed on 8.5"x11" cardstock glossy paper. A copy is $25, and you can order by sending your mailing address to Check, money order or Paypal, please!

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Ethan/Amber SEXXORZ


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[2007/10/04 10:58 pm]
Shortpacked!: I realized too late that this, too, was yet another flashback.

Orion (and his sled), Lightray, and not-so-Big BardaHere's some Justice League dudes who were overdue some photographing. M Sipher sent me Orion and Big Barda here along with Deadshot and Star Sapphire, but they sort of fell by the wayside. In the photo they are accompanied by their fellow New God, Lightray.

Most of the reason is that Orion here really can't stand. For some reason, I decided I wanted the single-pack version of him because he comes with his little doofy sled. I never found one, but Siph did, so here we go. And, wow, I can't believe I didn't realize beforehand that this thing is not meant for display. Justice League toys can rarely keep from falling over on their faces with their arms thrown backwards in a pelvic thrust, much less down at their sides, and the sled requires the figure's arms to be posed reaching forward. And then, of course, there's the added weight of the sled itself.

It's just not meant to be.

The only way to get him upright is to bend him all the way back at the hips and then keep him from falling over forward by sticking one of his feet out as a brace. Thankfully, the little sled slippers or whatever make his feet big enough and texture-y enough to support him in this pose. But damn, he looks ridiculous. It certainly doesn't help that he should be squatting in his sled, and not standing upright in it like it's a cosmic Segway. (Even so, the design was never too flattering to begin with. I know Kirby fans are gonna be on my case about that, but I'm willing to deal with it.)

And then there's Big Barda. She's a nice sculpt, but she's hindered by using the same body as every other non-Big 7 female in the line. See, Big Barda's supposed to be, y'know, big. That's her deal. Sadly, this is not the case. But it's not a dealbreaker.

[2007/10/03 8:21 pm]
Behold my Photoshopping skills!

Yeah, I think I got a little overzealous on that one. It started out as a photo of Bonecrusher and Robot Replicas Optimus Prime and quickly became a little hilarious. Oh well.

Anyway, as you can tell, I found Robot Replicas Optimus Prime. Robot Replicas are a subline that features poseable, nontransformable action figures of the movie designs. (Don't tell anyone, but the jointing is clearly yoinked from Revoltech. Oh, Hasbro, you dirty dogs!) I wanted to pick one from the line to see how they were, decided that one would be Prime, and finally there one was.

I have to say, I'm not really getting a lot of enjoyment out of him. Sure, he's a more movie-accurate robot mode that can move... a little... but I can probably get a wider range of movement out of either one of the larger transforming toys. On the other hand, I suppose he is less cumbersome.

If he came with the axe, though, instead of his arm-cannon, to swap out with one of his fists? Then he'd be awesome. He's just the right size to battle Bonecrusher, after all...

You'll notice this banner above the comic on all of my pages. Yes, I think it's worth mentioning that I'll be at Small Press Expo a week from this weekend. I will have books. But that's not really the reason I bring this up.

Mostly, I'm embarrassed that I've ended up with one of those cliched "HEY LOOK IT'S JUST MY EYES" shots of myself. That seems to be a graphic design tactic deployed solely by (I have decided in my infinite wisdom) fat people and the terminally shy. Seriously, I am tired of your pictures of your stupid eyes! Stop making icons of your eyes!

But no! I am not like those wretched people. (Have I alienated anyone yet?) It just... ended up that way. I filled the space given me! Honestly! And to boot, I am only a little fat, and I am antisocial, not shy. See? Here is the original photo, uncropped.

Phew. I feel better.

Though I really should have picked a photo to crop in which I am not drunkenly stammering across Oktoberfest. All I can remember is that I cornholed something, and I hope it involved a beanbag and not, say, a person.

[2007/10/03 1:21 am]
(These links may not work on some computers.)

So every night at 1am I head over to the Houston Chronicle's comics page. First I stop over at Funky_Winkerbean (where today I learn that Heaven is staffed by mimes). Oh. Well, then. What next? But then I swing by For Better or for Worse.


Surely you notice a pattern.

I usually swing down to Luann next. I am afraid.

[2007/10/02 10:58 pm]
Shortpacked!: It certainly wasn't melted.

Dropkick!A few days ago, I picked up Dropkick. He's based on one of the drone types in the Transformers movie video game, and despite not picking up any of the other three drone types which were released as toys, I got him. Why? Because he's overwhelmingly awesome.

Because, dude, how many Transformers pickup trucks have removable bed covers that reveal an actual truck bed underneath instead of robot junk? Zero, that's how many! None! He's that special.

He's also got those awesome goat legs, which gives him a real dynamic, organic look, arm-mounted guns (sculpted under his two-digit clawed hands), a windshield that splits in two to create his chest, the largest scaled-to-toy faction logo ever, and a fun, intuitive-yet-complex transformation. And, hey, his truck bed cover can reveal a large articulated claw, which he can hold. The claw can even deploy while in vehicle mode, via a spring-loaded hinge over his fender.

Seriously, he's great.

Buy three.

[2007/10/02 12:33 am]
As of 12:33 AM local time, Detonation Films is the top bidder on Shortpacked!'s Project Wonderful skyscraper ad. Why is this notable? Detonation Films is run by none other than Bob Forward, the co-story editor on Beast Wars.

Beast Wars is, hands down, the best Transformers ever, and he's mostly to blame.

You can also blame him for the existence of Shortpacked! itself. I would never have gotten into toy collecting in college if not for the characters and stories he and Larry DiTillio created, and so I can't imagine I'd be doing a comic strip about toy collecting ten years later without the influence of that show.

So, really, if you like Shortpacked!, you should click through the ad or the link here in the blog. (And maybe click that Paypal donation button!) We owe it to him! Without Bob Forward, we would not be here together today.

(I recommend checking out Agent 12, a short film he created with his son. Because, you know, it's awesome.)

[2007/10/01 9:31 pm]
Storytime's over, so we're back to our usual M-W-F update schedule. Phew! This'll give my fingers and my brain a well-needed rest.

I found wave 3 of Target's exclusive Movie Scouts, so I picked up Elita-One. She's the pink and silver one three girls over.

This is the first transforming toy we've ever gotten named Elita-One, after Prime's girlfriend from the cartoon. Ironically, she's not decoed to resemble Elita One at all, but instead her robot mode's pink/silver patterns match the details of Generation 1 Arcee. Of course, they couldn't name her Arcee because the first wave of Movie Scouts did this mold in blue and called that Arcee. Hrgh.

So I bought this toy to amuse myself. I have four girls photographed, and I've renamed every single one of them because they resemble someone else better. Left to right, we have Chromia (Movie Arcee), Firestar (Timelines Flareup), Arcee (Movie Elita-One), and Moonracer (Timelines Chromia).

Like I said, only to amuse myself.

The rest of you may carry on!

[2007/09/30 10:57 pm]
Shortpacked!@TNI: More for the kids?
Shortpacked!: "What do you expect from an evil corporation?"

There's less than a day left in the Ethan/Amber SEXXORZ art auction! Bid accordingly.

Yeah, I guess it's G.I. Joe Day here or something. But hey, why shouldn't it be? The Joe convention was this past weekend, so there's Joe stuff aplenty to digest.

While digging through my toy bins to find my Valor Vs Venom Ripper, I found my other Beachheads. I was especially surprised to find the second one, also from Valor Vs. Venom -- I don't remember ever buying him! He musta come with someone else I wanted, but I'm too lazy to look it up on (But not too lazy to type out that HTML link. Weird.) So, hey, have a groupshot of all three from Joe vs. Cobra to VvV to 25th Anniversary. Why not?

Sigma 6
A lot of this stuff, if not all of it, seems like it's not going to be released. Which blows, because I was really looking forward to Joe Colton(?) fights a gorilla. I mean, c'mon. I can't pass up that. Hasbro also displayed their especially-never-going-to-be-released Sigma Six Scarlett. I care less about that.

25th Anniversary
The new 3-3/4" stuff is gonna continue into 2008, the end of which will flow into the upcoming live-action movie toyline. We're due several more waves of 25th Anniversary single-pack waves, more 5-packs, three Target-exclusive vehicles, and the return of the comic-book 3-packs. The third wave of comic-book 3-packs will come with new stories from Larry Hama written to fit in between the issues of the original Marvel series. Weird.
*Crimson Guard (Wave 4 single-pack)
*Ripper and Torch (Wave 3 comic-book three-pack, with Buzzer again)
*Doc (Mail-away figure) (!!)
*Give him the stick--DON'T GIVE HIM THE STICK (Wave 4 single-pack)
*Flash (Wave 4 single-pack)
*Iron-fuckin'-Grenadier Destro (Wave 4 single-pack)
*Grand Slam and a redecoed SHARC (Target-exclusive vehicle)
*Cobra dude and HISS tank (Target-exclusive vehicle)

Convention exclusive figures
*3-3/4" box set (Which includes the oddly-dressed Cobra Troopers from today's strip -- scroll down)
*Steeler and Rip-It souvenir sets with tanks to be delivered later (Sounds familiar)
*Starduster and Grand Slam souvenir set (Starduster pictured)

Also, it was reported that once Devil's Due's license to publish the Joe comic runs out, Hasbro'll be looking for a new publisher. That makes me sad -- I've been really enjoying their stuff recently. Oh well.

Thanks to all you folks who were able to bring us photos and news from the con! Those of us who couldn't/didn't go appreciate it.

[2007/09/29 10:17 am]
Joyce & Walky!: No! This is SPARTA!

So according to the new Transformers Collector's Club magazine, BotCon 08 is reportedly the last few weekends of April or the first weekend in May. Spring? Wow.

THEN in the spring? Wow wow.

Man, just when you thought having it during the first week or so of school was horrible, they've moved it to FINALS.

I figger in 2009, they're going to have it over Christmas.


[2007/09/27 10:59 pm]
Shortpacked!: Or IS it?

Buzzer was once a left-wing intellectual who was seduced by the Australian biker gang phenomenon. Now he wants to chainsaw everything he once claimed to love.

Remember, kids. College will turn you into a street hoodlum. Join the Army!

I've never owned a Buzzer before. I have a Zartan and maybe a Ripper from Joe vs Cobra buried somewhere, but Buzzer's new to me. But I'm glad to have this Buzzer. He comes with a gigantic-ass chainsaw. (Get it? "Buzzer"?) He also comes with a gas tank to wear on his back, likely to power his gigantic-ass chainsaw. Man, that sounds like a health hazard. Buzzer, you used to be an intellectual, but you sure aren't very smart. G.I. Joe has guns. They're gonna know where to aim.

There's a defect in the construction of mine. There's lots of excess glue in between the pieces that comprise his chainsaw, so the blade sticks out at an odd angle. It's kind of annoying, but not enough for me to either return him or buy a replacement. He's just Buzzer.

On the other hand, if he were awesome/creepy cyborg Buzzer, and I had a Wreck-Gar or something, that would be something.

Ugly Hill's Joy and Paul Southworth have spawned! Holy cheese!

Wow, that's a head of hair.

[2007/09/26 10:57 pm]
Shortpacked!: Thank God, we've all been spared.

For Christmas 1988, I got Powermaster Optimus Prime. Oh man, was I the happiest boy in the world. I'd never had an Optimus Prime before, and my plots to make myself one out of other toys had consistently failed me. For example, if you take red and blue washable Crayola markers to Ultra Magnus' white cab, you get a very pink and baby blue Easter Prime. Also, by then I had started to only pick out Transformers toys that were red and blue to help fill the Prime-sized hole in my life -- this is how I ended up with both Crosshairs and Cloudburst.

But on that Christmas, finally, I had a real Optimus Prime. If we're not discounting the strength of my own nostalgia, Powermaster Prime is by far the best Optimus Prime ever made. I mean, c'mon, he's the one that I had. When I was a kid. That's some empirical evidence right there, bucko.

Of course, the one pictured in the catalog had a painted face, so, as a child, looking at my paintless toy, I figgered that paint was dropped before release. There's all sorts of differences between the catalog photos and the actual-released items! And then I started going to BotCons. And, uh, hey, everyone else's Optimus Prime also has paint. Well, it must have been a running change to save costs.

But no. My Powermaster Optimus Prime is apparently the only one that doesn't have a painted face. Just mine. There is no evidence to support that there is any other Powermaster Optimus Prime without face paint anywhere. Mine is a one-off error. It's defective.


My childhood raped my childhood!