• Rodin, Man

    I just visited an amazing exhibit of Augustine Rodin’s sculpture.

    20160604_171128I also just got the Figma Table Museum figure of Rodin’s The Thinker from a friend who visited Japan. Perfect timing.

    SONY DSCAnd I think it’s gonna be a long long time
    Till touch down brings me round again to find
    I’m not the man they think I am at home
    Oh no, no, no, I’m a Rodin man
    Rodin man burning out his fuse out here alone

    SONY DSCAnd I think it’s gonna be a long long time
    Till touch down brings me round again to find
    I’m not the man they think I am at home
    Oh no, no, no, I’m a Rodin man
    Rodin man burning out his fuse out here aloneSONY DSCAnd all this science, I don’t understand
    It’s just my job, five days a week
    A Rodin man. A Rodin, man.
    And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
    Till touch down brings me round again to find
    I’m not the man they think I am at home.
    Oh no no  no. I’m a Rodin man.
    Rodin man burning out his fuse out here
    Alone.SONY DSCAnd I think it’s gonna be a long long time.
    Till touch down brings me round again to find.
    I’m not the man they think I am at home.
    Oh no, no, no, I’m a Ro-din man.
    Rodin man burning out his fuse out here alone.

    SONY DSCAnd I think it’s gonna be a long long time.

    SONY DSCAnd I think it’s gonna be a long long time.



  • The Proton Pack and the sexism of the toy aisles

    The other week I noticed Toys R Us had put out some of Mattel’s toys for the non nontroversial new Ghostbusters remake. They even had a new Proton Pack for kids.

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    I saw this and did a double take.  Despite all the internet bs about Sony’s film being some milestone for women in cinema and the director talking about what he has done for women (in gifting them this shitty remake which happens to star four women?), those geniuses at Mattel decided to put a boy on the box art for this toy. Even though both rabid critics and defenders of the film cite it as the “Female Ghostbusters”, Mattel has put a young boy on the box for the Proton Pack. Inconceivable.

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    Of course, no matter what Hollywood bs marketing about this remake says about film, this here does show some bullshit sexism against both boys and girls in the action figure section of your local stores.  Despite the actual figures being focused on the four female leads, Mattel still put a young boy wielding the toy. Why not have both a boy and a girl on the box?  And they didn’t even bother putting the characters from the film like the old one did with the cartoon characters. 

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    Now maybe that has more to do with likeness rights and paying more, but they could have just as easily had a young girl also model the pack on the box. Recently, Target had said they were going to phase out gender specific aisles and sections. Yet I wonder if that is enough to stop these sterotypes against girls and boys. The gender norms of the toy aisle have dictated many things for decades. Girls are supposed to stick to fashion dolls and cooking toys. They are supposed to focus on looking pretty and preparing food for their men. Boys are supposed to stick to violent war toys and superheroes that punch the shit out of enemies. This prepares boys to be men, who are expected to be violent and warlike. Funny that this is a sterotype that many feminist blogs love to continue to propagate. Sometimes I’d swear they also accept Barbie fashion dolls stereotypes for girls by accepting things like the more Barbie-esque DC Superhero Girls from Mattel. As if women need these fashion dolls and can’t have regular action figures of these characters.  I don’t see the need to reinvent DC characters for the ‘girls aisle’. (Though I do confess to almost buying a Barbie of Marvel’s Elektra and did get one of Classic TV Batman on sale.)

    At the same time, I confess I find the mix of cute and horrific of the Monster High dolls pretty charming. Glad to see these horror characters and legends being used to appeal to girls. There are also Project MC^2 dolls. While they are still fashion dolls, I’m glad for anything that drives girls toward STEM education and jobs.

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    I remember one time looking at the Marvel and DC toys, I saw a mother and a teenage daughter looking at the figures. They were shopping for a young cousin and the daughter was complaining to the mother that they simply could not get her cousin a superhero toy. She said how she was a girl and girls were not supposed to play with action figures and superheroes. Those were toys for boys, she said.   Geez. What a load of sexist bunk. Sad to see a young woman wanting to tell a young girl that she should give up her interests and conform to stale old gender norms.

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    There is thankfully a pretty gender neutral zone in the Lego section. Though the recent Lego Friends line has been stuffed in the ‘girls section’ of many stores. Again, I guess it is a decent compromise to get girls into more engineering and science toys. It also adds a variety of colors and pieces to Lego bricks. I think it is what finally gave us a Lego penguin and some other animals. Yet I wonder if we really needed it. Why can’t we see the variety of existing Lego sets and themes as acceptable for girls? Why are girls not perceived as being interested in construction sets? I honestly don’t think Lego needed to appease these toy aisle gender norms. Lego was fine for every boy and girl as it was.



  • New Ghostbusters Toys. No review. I refuse too.

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    Recently there was some hullabuloo over some videos online.

    I know. Stop the presses. People are enraged over videos on YouTube.  Never have we seen that before. Yet here this is just the tip of the iceburg of a giant media shitstorm. The dead rising from the grave. Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria! Oh. Did I just reuse a line from a famous movie out of context and with little of the orignal’s humor and quality?  Hmm. I am getting ahead of myself.20160503_195744

    If  you have been living without the internet or television, there is a Ghostbusters remake coming outsoon. It is being run by Sony Pictures Entertainment (via their Columbia Pictures division), the fine studio that brought you the recent Spider-man reboot that worked so well that they needed to reboot Spider-man again less than four years later using a Marvel Studios film. Ghostbusters is their newest reboot. They announced the set up is an all female team. This is when the mucus hit the fan. Gender politics, not the quality of a film, became the focus as misogynist asshole trolls and armchair feminist clickbait blogs decided this film was going to decide gender norms for the next millenia.  Meanwhile, Ghostbusters fans had to deal with a needless studio mandated reboot with all these politics as a rotten cherry on top of a shit sundae.

    James Rolfe, known for his Angry Video Game Nerd and other videos at Cinemassacre, made a video stating he flat out refused to see the new Ghostbusters. He gave a non-review of the long history of a fans waiting for a new Ghostbusters film and, in a calm reasonable way, state why he refused to see the new reboot film.  I caught this as I Cinemassacre is one of the few subscriptions I have on YouTube. I thought it summed up most of my own feelings on another horrible reboot and the whole Hollywood system of taking brand names to sell new films without qualities of the original.  Then I saw the non-review had gotten noticed by the mainstream media. And by mainstream media, I mean the litany of idiots with blogs that passes for journalism in today’s wired culture. (What’s next? Some asshole with a website posting rants and photos of toys?) Many writers for websites and newspapers slung names like “man baby” or “limp dicked” because he didn’t like the upcoming film. Dane Cook crawled out of whatever cave he was in to call him a moron for being upset the film had women in it even though he said no such thing in the video. Meanwhile, Patton Oswalt’s snark toward the video got a buncha internet assholes making fun of his recently deceased wife. So there are reactionary jerks on both sides on this artificial internet war.  Trolls trolling trolls all the way down.

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    (Artist conception of internet trolls.)

    And that’s what this is. An artificial controversy made to promote a film. It has jack shit to do with gender politics other than what idiots project onto it. Sony is a studio struggling to not go fiscally bankrupt by continuing to be creatively bankrupt. Leaks from the studio show despicable or just plain stupid decisions. Producers were thinking of blackmailing Murray into the film by threatening to sue. And the ideas of male director Paul Feig show cluelessness and contempt for the original film. So instead of making a good movie, Sony shits out another remake and figures that just casting women in the film allows them to cry sexism as a defense against any criticism of the film. It’s not about feminism.  It’s a giant studio’s corporate consumerism using feminism as a cheap marketing tool. Utterly disgusting. Even moreso that so many people are falling for this distraction tactic.

    I really feel bad for the actresses stuck in this mess. Just like I don’t blame Garfield and Stone for being in Amazing Spider-man, I can’t blame McCarthy for jumping at this chance. Who wouldn’t want to be immortalized in plastic as part of a franchise you love?

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    Well. Too bad the movie was doctored by a studio full of producers that don’t care about quality as much as demographic tests and media buzzwords. Plus they have a male director that felt the need to reinvent the wheel in his own image. Not that Mattel did a great job with these figures anyway.  Prior Ghostbusters toys were online exclusives to their Matty store or just apain to find. As much as I loved Ghosbusters, their website and ordering system was a hassle. Now we have this remake movie coming out so of course there are toys in the aisles of stores. They also have the big bad villain of the film. The ghost from the logo. No. Not even kidding. The main villain is the ghost from the logo because they do a whole “choose the form” scene like the original film and one of them thinks of the graffiti of the logo. It’s the lame build-a-figure for the toys, as if build-a-figure sets weren’t lame enough.

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    So this reboot is pretty much a lame remake of the original.  One spot even has McCarthy shouting out “mass hysteria” just because it was in a quote in the original film.  Again, I feel bad for the actresses stuck in this turd. They deserve better than this. Female audiences deserved a better ‘female Ghostbusters’ than this mess. Audiences no matter the gender deserve better filmmaking than this by the numbers studio committee first garbage. Ghostbusters fans deserved a movie made by people who loved the original, not just directors and producers  wanted to use it as a franchise name on their personal resumes.

    20160503_195610This is crap shoved out without any care for the property much like Amazing Spider-man. Sony is one of the worst studios around. Just go to wikileaks (or blogs that reported them) and check out some of the leaked internal emails and slideshows. Just look up “Sony leaks slides”. They thought After Earth was gonna be their next big franchise and planned all kinds of things for that M Night / Will Smith bomb. Too bad they didn’t plan for a good film first. A theme of Cloudy 2 was “Food & Man Living In Harmony”. They wanted to shoehorn selfies and EDM and some popular app into Spider-man films because their demographic tests with millennial said these random things were popular.  Theyfigure people will just go see it because it’s “Spider-man” no matter the unrelated crap they stuff in. Quality of the film itself is secondary to the marketing tie ins, popular trends shoved into the film, and brand names in it. Sadly, that is how Sony sees female leads. It’s a trend they want to use to make money. Also sadly, tons of feminist bloggers and ‘journalists’ fell for this studio marketing and became Sony’s personal drones attacking anyone who dares to point out that emperor Sony has no clothes.

    20160503_195704Slimer. Ecto-1. The Ghostbusters logo. They think they can just slap these into a cheap remake and it can be just as good a film and that makes it Ghostbusters. That’s how superficial these nitwits are. Feig even said in e-mails to the producers he wanted to make Ghostbusters more high tech. He misses that a charm of the original was the home brew working class comedy. These schmucks don’t understand the franchise they control.  Marketing, especially with ‘nerd culture’ as a marketing gimmick, seeks to take this shell of a film and make it appealing through flashy ads and social media bullying. It’s a con to get people to buy an inferior product.

    Not that this is the first time I’ve seen that with Ghostbusters.

    20160520_130507The old Nintendo game. It was an exciting thing to see for fans of the movie and toon. We didn’t have the internet back then. We didn’t have an angry nerd posting videos online saying what garbage it was. We didn’t have previews or leaks from the company to tell us what a pathetic process the production was. We saw the logo and knew it was a game based in a movie we loved. We had no idea what a broken almost unplayable game it was. Only when some friends used a Game Genie at a party did I ever see this game come close to playable and be actually beatable.

    20160520_130527The pictures on the box looked okay. It looked like at least a decent game. Much like trailers for a movie.  Though the effects in the new trailers look overly flashy and years out of date. Actually, not out of date. Just cheap. Sony didn’t feel like spending on either practical models like the original or better computer generated models of ghosts. Of course, having decent graphics, like this game somewhat had for its time, isn’t everything. It is about capturing what made the original film had. Quite a task for an 8-bit Nintendo game. Yet it also was something Sony wasn’t interested or up to with millions upon millions of dollars in 2016.

    Of course if we listen to the internet critics shilling for Sony, we can’t judge a movie until we’ve paid for 3D Imax tickets to see the film.  So even if the film is terrible, we can’t judge that until we’ve given Sony money and given them hundreds millions in box office. How convenient.   I didn’t realize a core concept of modern feminism was pandering to a giant multi-national corporation and giving them free marketing so their film can earn them piles of money. I guess you can’t just be a fan of an old film and be disgusted by how shallow and careless the studio’s cash in remake is.

    And that’s what this is. A shallow remake. Ignore the first trailer talking about twenty years ago. It’s a remake. Well. Some rumors have it also as a somewhat prequel because Sony has the nerve to set up Zeul and Gozer for the sequel. Yes. That’s how uncreative they are treating this franchise. I bet Sony and MGM regrets not rebooting Robocop as Roboladycop. Then people might have blindly defended that turd in the name of some Punch & Judy show of gender politics in the media.

    People need to stop supporting bad movies. It’s 2016 people. You can easily read up on these big name film and their production. Just because they put up some flashy trailers, that doesn’t mean shit. You can look up the production problems these movies have and realize which of these big studio productions are rotten. Ignore the spin doctors and marketing bs run by the studio. Stop funding the expensive junk these brainless bozos throw onto screens. Just because they own a franchise, it doesn’t mean they can make good movies with them. Stop funding their disasters.

    And it isn’t as if Ghostbusters hasn’t had female Ghostbusters before. The cartoons and comics have done it and fans have loved those. There have been multiple figures of Janine that I have from both older and newer lines. While their movie figures were mostly online only, I did nab some based on the cartoons.  If Sony really wanted female Ghostbusters, why not have Janine and Dana training new ones?  They even talked about doing a franchise in the films. Nope. Feig wanted his own movie, the old one be damned… even if it’s the basis for his remake and they’re relying on the brand name created by mostly male actors. Sony only cares about the brand name, not the content of this remake.

    Just like a certain Nintendo game. And we remember how that turned out.

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    Whoops. Oh shit. Some producer over at Comcast NBC Universal just had their nose twitch.



  • A (Metal Gear) Solid find at PAX East

    I was walking the dealer’s room later Sunday and found quite a find.

    I found a deluxe 12 inch Metal Gear Solid V figure on clearance at the Command D booth.  I had already gotten some figures there, but decided to go back to see if I wanted any others. Sure enough, I saw this Venom Snake figure in the clearance bin for a couple of bucks.

     

    Hold on. That isn’t quite right.

    There we go. Much better.

    Wait..

    Maybe it’s a Metal Gear Solid 4 figure.