16th March 2008

Wizard World: Show Report!

Wizard World L.A. happened this past weekend, and I attended on Saturday with my Mego buddies, Rob and Jay, who took the fun pictures in this blog.

When we arrived at the Convention Center, we came across artist Eric Michael Maruscak, who was on the floor creating a massive charcoal illustration:

Artist

Michael worked on his illustration over a three day period, and this is how it looked as of Saturday afternoon:

Artist

His work is amazing! If you want to see more of Michael’s work, check out his Web site: www.PepperInk.com.

Upon entering the show room, we were greeted by several righteous Betties, hired to promote various movies, TV shows and merchandise:

Honeys

I had to jump in on the action, and Jay snapped some shots for posterity:

Honeys and Imp

This is a great shot… don’t I just look pleased with myself? Oh, how pathetic.

Honeys and Imp

Incidentally, I want to point out the awesomely cool T-shirt that Mike Armes gave me for a present. This is a drawing by Bruce Timm (co-creator of “Batman: The Animated Series” among other things) from 2001, one I’d never seen printed anywhere, let alone on a sweet ringer tee:

Leggo My Mego

Leggo My Mego! Thanks, Mike. I love it.

There wasn’t much in the way of vintage toys. But, as with all comic book conventions, there were plenty of cos-players to be seen. Some of the costumes were really excellent, such as this pint-sized Jawa:

Jawa

Others were not as good, but showed tremendous passion, like Optimus Prime here:

Optimus

Still others were, well… I don’t really know what to say about Green Arrow here, except that I had to get a picture with this cat!

Green Arrow

All in all, it was a great day. I somehow convinced Jay and Rob to pose in the giant-sized issue of Wizard magazine. Jay was all for it, but getting Rob to do it was like pulling teeth. When in Rome, Rob! When in Rome!

Jay and Rob

Thanks to Jay for the killer pics.

Benjamin

Blog Credits and legal stuff: Images published by Benjamin Holcomb and Jay Hernandez. All rights reserved. Images may not be reprinted or published without prior written consent from the publishers.

posted in Collectible Toy Shows, Film & Television, Modern Toys | 3 Comments

11th March 2008

Geoff Johns Coming to Wizard world L.A. (Friday Only!)

Writer Of The Sinestro Corps War & Infinite Crisis To Join “DC Nation” panel From 4-5 pm;signing From 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, March 14-16

Wizard World Los Angeles just announced that Geoff Johns, writer of Sinestro Corps War and Infinite Crisis has been added to the already amazing line up at Wizard World L.A. Johns, who is appearing on Friday only, will join the DC Nation panel at 4 pm, and will hold a signing from 5:30 – 6:30 pm.

Geoff is a Mego lover (Teen Titans, naturally!) and one of the truly COOL comic book creators working today. You won’t regret skipping work to meet him!

Mego Benjamin’s Geoff Johns Recommendations:

For a complete list of events, registration forms, guests, activities, ticket prices, and times, please visit www.wizardworld.com.

Benjamin

posted in Acknowledgements, Collectible Toy Shows, Comic Book News, Comic Books, World's Greatest Toys | 0 Comments

8th March 2008

Kotobukiya Panel Added to Wizard World L.A.!

Boba Fett Earlier today, Wizard World Los Angeles announced that Kotobukiya, Japan’s number one toy company, will be hosting a special panel at 11 a.m. next Saturday (March 15) in Room 304, showcasing an exciting new line of statues.

The panel, to be presented by Kotobukiya’s Frank Supiot and moderated by ToyFare Editor Zach Oat, promises to give fans a first look at the manufacturer’s Marvel Comics line, including statues based on characters from the upcoming “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” movies.

Additionally, the panel will look at other statues from their amazing Star Wars, DC Comics, and other, random anime and video game licenses.

“This Kotobukiya panel is an amazing addition to our already jam packed weekend of events,” said Wizard’s Senior Vice President of Operations, Joe Yanarella. “Our fans are sure to love the sneak peek at what the amazing designers at Kotobukiya have in store for their 2008 product line.”

About Kotobukiya

With over 50 years experience in the toy industry, Kotobukiya has grown into Japan’s number one collector toy company, with a peerless reputation for quality and craftsmanship. Many international fans first learned of Kotobukiya from the famous line of Final Fantasy merchandise, and more recently, collectors have been thrilled by Kotobukiya’s high end line of Star Wars and Batman ARTFX Statues.

For more Kotobukiya Star Wars goodness, visit the company’s official Web site.

Benjamin

posted in Collectible Toy Shows, Film & Television, Modern Toys, Random Musings | 0 Comments

4th March 2008

MC Esoteric vs. Gary Numan (General Zod)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhO9XCETjgg[/youtube]

Seamus Ryan (AKA MC Esoteric) is a breakbeat producer and MC. He’s also a toy geek who makes really strange but amusing videos on Youtube, most of which feature vintage Mego and other action figures.

My favorite video is called “MC Esoteric vs. Gary Numan (General Zod)” and features Gary Numan’s brilliant “We Have a Technical” as the track’s backdrop. I love the samples, including (of course) Terrence Stamp’s General Zod.

It’s kind of hard to explain, but you can check it our yourself, above. If the video dosn’t play back properly, you can also visit Youtube to watch Esoteric slay them whacks and lay mad tracks on wax.

Benjamin

posted in Acknowledgements, Collectible Toy Shows, Film & Television, Mego Memories, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Modern Toys, Music | Comments Off

4th March 2008

Star Wars Goodness at Wizard World L.A.

Newly announced guest include Prequel Stars Ray Park (Darth Maul), Daniel Logan (Young Boba Fett) and Zachariah Jensen (Kit Fisto)

L.A. Lucas Lovers rejoice! The Force will be strong at this year’s Wizard World Los Angeles! Prequel stars Ray Park (Darth Maul) and Daniel Logan (Young Boba Fett) will be attending the convention to sign autographs and talk to fans about their characters’ places in the franchise. The duo appears courtesy of Galactic Productions. Additionally, Zachariah Jensen, who portrayed Jedi Master Kit Fisto, will be on hand to keep the Sith in their place while greeting fans as well.

Also, Lucasfilm will be represented by its Director of Fan Relations, Steve Sansweet, who is hosting panels on Saturday and Sunday.

Members of the famed Star Wars fan club The 501st Vader’s Fist will be available for photos and The New York and LA Jedi will be performing lightsaber demonstrations throughout the weekend.

Sansweet’s panels on March 15 at 1:30 p.m. and March 16 at 11 a.m. will showcase the exciting year that’s coming for fans of the beloved Star Wars saga. He is bringing a sneak peek for Wizard World attendees of the eagerly awaited animated television series, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.” He will be sharing insights into the project from those closest to the creative process and the series development. Additionally, Sansweet will provide a glimpse of the game play from “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed,” the ground-breaking new game from LucasArts that promises to make players feel like they are inside the next chapter of the Star Wars Saga.

Finally, with the release of the upcoming “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” on May 22, the panels would not be complete without at least a few exclusive tidbits from the highly anticipated next chapter of the Indy story.

“What can be said that has not already been said about fan love for all things Star Wars,” said Wizard Entertainment Senior Vice President of Operations Joe Yanarella. “We are thrilled to be able to bring this panel to our attendees for a look at the next chapter of the Star Wars Saga. It is a great addition to our programming lineup.”

Mego Benjamin’s Awesome Amazon Recommendations:

For a complete list of events, registration forms, guests, activities, ticket prices and times, visit www.wizardworld.com.

posted in Collectible Toy Shows, Film & Television, Modern Toys | Comments Off

3rd March 2008

Heroes’ Milo Ventimiglia Stumping at Wizard World L.A.

Heading Up A Panel With A Sneak Peek Of The Sexy Psychological Thriller From Lakeshore Entertainment “Pathology”

Earlier today, Wizard World Los Angeles, the family-friendly comics and pop culture extravaganza at the LA Convention Center March 14-16, announced that Milo Ventimiglia (”Heroes,” “Rocky Balboa”) has joined the impressive list of celebrities attending Wizard World. Ventimiglia, star of “Pathology” from Lakeshore Entertainment, will be joined by cast mates Alyssa Milano (”Charmed”), Michael Weston (”Scrubs,” “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “Garden State”), and Lauren Lee Smith (”Trick R Treat,” “The L Word”) along with writer/producer David Neveldine and Brian Taylor (directors of “Crank,” “Game,” “Crank 2″) at 12:30 pm on Saturday, March 15th for a very special panel to discuss his sexy psychological thriller “Pathology.”

Mego Benjamin’s Awesome Amazon Recommendations:

Pathology follows the story of medical student Ted Gray (Milo Ventimiglia), who after graduating at the top of his class joins one of the nation’s most prestigious pathology programs. With talent and determination, Ted is quickly noticed by the program’s privileged and elite band of interns who invite him into their crowd. Intrigued by his new friends he begins to uncover secrets he never expected and finds that he has unknowingly become a pawn in their dangerous and secret after-hours game at the morgue of who can commit the perfect undetectable murder. As Ted becomes seduced into their wild extracurricular activities the danger becomes real and he must stay one step ahead of the game before he is the next victim.

Immediately following the panel, Milo Ventimiglia, Alyssa Milano, Michael Weston, Laura Lee Smith, Neveldine/Taylor will hold an autograph session at the Golden Apple Comics Booth (Booth #207).

“We love to bring our fans sneak previews and first looks at upcoming projects. We are very pleased to have partnered with Lakeshore to get Milo, the cast and creative team of Pathology to Wizard World,” said Senior Vice President of Operations Joe Yanarella. “All of Milo’s fans from Heroes will get a chance to see him in a very different kind of project.”

For a complete list of events, registration forms, guests, activities, ticket prices and times, visit www.wizardworld.com.

posted in Acknowledgements, Collectible Toy Shows, Film & Television, Modern Toys, Random Musings | Comments Off

27th February 2008

Wizard World Announces Programming for L.A.

Lucasfilms, Heroes, Screenwriting, Marvel, DC, Top Cow, The Incredible Hulk, Mega Movie Panel and Much, Much More!

Wizard has a lot of exciting panels and events for this year’s WWLA. Here’s the run-down of great stuff happening. I hope to see you there!

STAR WARS AND INDIANA JONES: WHAT’S HOT FROM LUCASFILM
Lucasfilm’s Steve Sansweet will showcase the exciting year that’s coming for fans. Enjoy sneak peek into the eagerly awaited animated television series, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” hearing insights from those closest to the creative process. Glimpse game play from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the ground-breaking new game from LucasArts that promises to make players feel like they are inside the next chapter of the Star Wars Saga. And in the Indy world, hear inside news on the upcoming “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

Benjamin’s Book Recommendations:
Benjamin’s DVD Recommendations:

HEROES TV PANEL
Join Co-Executive Producer Jeph Loeb as he discusses the smash NBC TV hit. Find out about the deadly virus that has plagued season two of the series and hear what’s in store for season three’s “Villains” storyline.

Benjamin’s DVD Recommendations:

THE ULTIMATE SCREENWRITERS PANEL, PART 1 & 2
Want to know the secret to writing a great screenplay? Or maybe how to get your screenplay sold? Or just hear from legendary screenwriters? We bring together a pair of decorated screenwriters in Academy Award-nominated Bob Gale (“Back to the Future” and sequels) and Marc Guggenheim (“Law and Order,” “CSI: Miami,” “Eli Stone”) who also happen to be big-time comic writers (both will serve as rotating writers on Amazing Spider-Man). Additionally, hear from, Zak Penn (“The Incredible Hulk,” “The Avengers”), Mark Verheiden (“Teen Titans”) and John Cox (“Sgt. Rock”). This two-part panel represents a rare opportunity for a budding screenwriter to gain first hand knowledge from some truly amazing professionals.

ULTIMATES DIRECTOR’S COMMENTARY
Joe Madureira has returned to comics and he’s doing it grand style, teaming with legendary writer Jeph Loeb to take a turn on the superteam The Ultimates, created by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. This will truly be an event as you’ll get to hear Madureira/Loeb dissect their first few issues of The Ultimates and tease what’s to come in this rare Madureira con appearance.

X-MEN PANEL

With the end of Messiah Complex and the future of the X-Men in doubt Craig Kyle, Chris Yost and Marc Guggenheim will provide insight into what lies ahead for the mutants in the Marvel Universe.

Benjamin’s Comic Book Recommendations:

DCU: COUNTDOWN TO CRISIS
Dan DiDio, Senior VP—Executive Editor DCU, and Bob Wayne, VP—Sales, are confessing secrets for a panel that’s not to be missed. The Sinestro War has passed, the Countdown is nearly over, and a Final Crisis looms! What lies ahead for our favorite heroes? Find out here!

Benjamin’s Comic Book Recommendations:

TOP COW 2008
Join Guest of Honor Marc Silvestri and the hottest creators from Top Cow as they give you a tantalizing sneak peek into Top Cow’s universe-altering 2008 plans! Find out about the buzzworthy new teams on Witchblade and The Darkness, check out the new candidates for Pilot Season 2008, and get the first hints about Top Cow’s super-secret summer event! Plus, every attendee will receive a FREE exclusive gift!

THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETROSPECTIVE WITH LOU FERRIGNO
Legendary TV personality Lou Ferrigno takes a unique interactive look at “The Incredible Hulk,” one of the most groundbreaking superhero-based shows in TV history. Featuring a riveting mix of video clips and photos, let Lou tell you about the makeup, fight scenes and dynamic with star Bill Bixby. Bonus: Hear Lou’s thoughts about June’s “Incredible Hulk” film!

MEGA MOVIE PANEL
Get ready for the next wave of comic movies. From “Iron Man” to “Incredible Hulk” to “The Dark Knight” to “Wolverine” to “Watchmen,” get the full scoop straight from Wizard Entertainment Editor Rickey Purdin on the movies that’ll be rocking the box office in the future. Bonus: Special guest appearance by “Wolverine” producer Jeff Katz!

“This could be one of our most amazing schedules of programming ever,” said Senior Vice President of Operations Joe Yanarella. “This year there is definitely something for everyone from the hardcore comic fan to aspiring filmmakers and those people who want the inside scoop of what is happening in the world of TV and feature films.”

For a complete list of events, registration forms, guests, activities, ticket prices and times, visit www.wizardworld.com.

posted in Acknowledgements, Collectible Toy Shows, Film & Television, Modern Toys, Random Musings | Comments Off

18th February 2008

Auditioning for TV’s “Deal or No Deal” and “1 vs. 100″

As discussed in yesterday’s blog, my buddy Rob Chatlin and I sold vintage toys at the L.A. Comic Book and SciFi Con this past Sunday. During the show, an adorable young woman approached our tables and thumbed through my book, Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! She was very sweet and we chatted for a little while.

About 20 minutes later, she returned to our table and asked whether I was aware of TV’s “Deal or No Deal” or “1 vs. 100.” I confessed being a fan of both shows, and she introduced herself as a casting agent for the production company responsible for the shows. Kindly offering that she ‘liked my personality,’ she asked whether I would be interested in auditioning to appear on either show.

“The top prize is a million bucks, right?” I asked.

She nodded.

“On both shows, if I’m not mistaken” I stated, with inquisitive intonation.

“Yep, that’s right,” she confirmed.

“Uhhh, yeah. I’m in.”

I was told to call her this morning to set up the audition, which I did. Around 11am, I got the official Email inviting me to audition for both shows, at the production company’s offices inside Culver Studios in Culver City, CA. I had to be there promptly at 5pm, which is no small feat, given that I had to work today, my starting location of Burbank, and typical L.A. traffic (heavy even on this holiday Monday).

I arrived and filled out the requisite paperwork (an application and preliminary contract). Looking around the waiting room, I realized it was a “cattle call” audition. I asked around and discovered that most people were there to audition for a future game show revolving around Movie Trivia… NOT “D.O.N.D. or “1 vs. 100.” I also learned that many people had responded to an advert on CraigsList.org. I thought this was a good sign, since I was actually invited to audition.

Eventually, the entire lot of us was called into a conference room, where we were instructed to ‘go around the room’ and introduce ourselves, talk about our interests, vocation, etc. Because the audition included the as-yet unnamed Movie Trivia game show, we were also asked to state our Top Three favorite films.

I was appalled that every potential contestant — one after another — cited “Star Wars” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy as two of their three favorites! I like “Star Wars” as much as the next guy (though I loathe “Lord of the Rings”), but how about a little originality, people?! The room was essentially a herd of nerd lemmings.

When it came around to me, I introduced myself as an Art Director who recently published a book about the ‘World’s Greatest Toy line’ from the 1970s. “Which,” I mockingly announced to the room, “is NOT Star Wars.”

Oooooh. BIG groan from the room. I probably shouldn’t have taken a dig at my fellow contestant wannabes, but, oh man. I enjoyed it immensely.

Anyway, copping to the fact that I wasn’t a film buff there to compete on a Movie Trivia show, I cited “Bladerunner,” “Raising Arizona” and “Somewhere in Time” as my top three. I could just as easily have said “Alien” or “Aliens,” not to mention “Contact” or “American Beauty.” But my choices were irrelevant. I’m no film nerd, and I’d probably get my butt handed to me on a Movie Trivia show.

Once everyone had spoken, the two casting agents excused themselves from the room to discuss… well, I have no idea what they discussed. Who the cutest guy was, for all I know. They returned about five minutes later, expressing how much they enjoyed everyone in the room. And that was that. We submitted our applications and we were on our way, right off the lot. But not before giving my casting agent friend a copy of the book! If I’ve learned anything while promoting this book, it’s the fact that every office seems to have an employee who knows and loves Mego. Hopefully, my book will make the rounds in the game show production offices.

Who knows if I’ll ever get a call-back? I probably won’t, but it sure was a fun experience. I figure, as long as I live in Southern California, I should take advantage of such opportunities.

“When in Rome,” and all that.

I’ll post more here if anything ever comes of it.

posted in Book Status, Collectible Toy Shows, Contests, Game Shows, Mego Corporation, Modern Toys, Random Musings, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

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