Monday, 22 July 2019

Avengers: Endgame ends Avatar's box office reign



Avengers: Endgame ends Avatar's decade-spanning reign at the top of the box office.

Director James Cameron congratulated the Russo brothers on the achievement as he did previously when Endgame beat Titanic.

Cameron posted on Avatar’s official Twitter account: "Oel ngati kameie, I see you Marvel – Congratulations to Avengers Endgame on becoming the new box-office King."

Avatar is now a Disney franchise, following the acquisition of Twentieth Century Fox's film and television assets earlier this year, and the first sequel is expected in cinemas December 2021.

During San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced Phase 4 beginning with Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Star Trek: Picard trailer engages fans at SDCC



Sir Patrick Stewart announced a new teaser trailer for Star Trek: Picard at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC). It's a home run, reuniting former cast members from The Next Generation and Voyager, and the stakes couldn't be higher.



In the spellbinding teaser trailer, Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Data (Brent Spiner) pay a visit to Picard (Patrick Stewart) who is a shadow of his former self 20 years after events in Nemesis.

Stewart has confirmed Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis will reprise the roles of William Riker and Deanna Troi from The Next Generation respectively. How about Q (John de Lancie), too?

In a departure from Discovery on Netflix. The latest CBS All Access spin-off will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime outside the US in early 2020. Until then, I'll let my Amazon Prime subscription lapse as BritBox, a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, launches in the UK later this year featuring classic Doctor Who.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance at SDCC



Netflix has released a San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) sneak peek, deftly illustrating the artistry, passion and attention to detail invested in this prequel to Jim Henson's classic fable, The Dark Crystal.

"The idea is you watch the show and you forget you're watching puppets." Fans at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 were given a glimpse of the artistry behind the scenes of the resistance by director Louis Leterrier and executive producer Lisa Henson.



The fine folks at Funko have announced a range of Pops! and action figures based on The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. These are sure to prove popular with fans of all ages.



The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance streams on Netflix 30th August. I won't be cancelling my subscription anytime soon.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Top Gun: Maverick takes to the skies at SDCC



San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) is full of surprises, but no one saw this coming. Tom Cruise took to the stage to introduce the first trailer for Top Gun: Maverick. A sequel to the original Top Gun (1986), directed by the late Tony Scott, 34 years later.



Maverick (Tom Cruise) is called back into action to battle drones. Got goosebumps hearing Harold Faltermeyer's iconic main theme and the trailer is taken from the Star Wars playbook.

Top Gun has left an enduring legacy and most recently influenced Captain Marvel.

Top Gun: Maverick is in cinemas 2020.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

That's no moon... it's War for Cybertron Unicron!



HasLab has announced its latest crowdfunded project Transformers: War for Cybertron Unicron.

Unicron (voiced by Orson Welles) made his Death Star-sized debut in Transformers: The Movie (1986) and the planet-eating menace has become an integral part of Transformers lore.



For many fans (myself included), Unicron was a dream toy in the eighties. Now, fans can own the ultimate incarnation for $575. This is as long as 8000 fans commit to the project by 31st August.

HasLab's previous crowdfunded project was Star Wars: The Vintage Collection Jabba's Sail Barge (The Khetanna) from Return of the Jedi.

Head over to the official site for further details and to pledge support.

What are your thoughts on crowdfunded collectables? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 15 July 2019

These are the droids you're looking for on Prime Day



LEGO and Amazon have teamed up for Prime Day with the launch of LEGO Star Wars Boost Droid Commander set.

"Introduce creative kids to a rich LEGO brick galaxy of lovable droid robots, exciting missions and coding fun with the LEGO Star Wars BOOST Droid Commander coding toy for kids. This interactive buildable robots toy puts your child in command of 3 app-controlled Star Wars droid robots: R2-D2, a Gonk Droid and a Mouse Droid, each with their own personalities and skills. The 3 in 1 app-controlled programmable interactive robot models help to learn the basics of coding, engineering and robotics. Using the free LEGO BOOST Star Wars app, your young commander builds the droid robots, inserts the Bluetooth-controlled Move Hub into the robot that will solve each mission, and brings the robot to life using the intuitive drag-and-drop coding environment. Your youngster then constructs tools, weapons, targets, obstacles and lots more as they progress through over 40 exciting missions – they’ll love it! This great birthday or Christmas Star Wars gift idea also helps youngsters develop their critical thinking. LEGO robotics coding kits introduce them to basic engineering and robotics."

"With LEGO BOOST, children learn about loops and variables, improve STEM and creative-problem solving skills and develop their imagination as they toggle between guided and open-ended play. The LEGO BOOST app is available for selected iOS, Android and Kindle smart devices. The app offers regular updates with new challenges and coding options designed to encourage social play. Visit LEGO.com/devicecheck for a list of all compatible devices."

The LEGO Star Wars Boost Droid Commander set is available to buy (affiliate link).

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Jon Favreau on The Mandalorian



The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series for Disney+, doesn't air until 12th November. However, executive producer Jon Favreau (The Lion King) is already hard at work on the second season for the House of Mouse's nascent streaming service.

Speaking on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Favreau said:

“It’s honestly like turning over your toy chest and playing with all the Star Wars toys together. We’re having a great time. It’s all-new characters. It’s going to be on Disney+ coming up in the fall. And we’re done with the first season. I was actually writing part of the second season now.”

Favreau reiterated The Mandalorian is set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The Empire has fallen and the galaxy is in chaos. The story follows a lone Mandalorian warrior (Pedro Pascal). Other cast members include Giancarlo Esposito, Nick Nolte, Gina Carano as Cara Dune, Emily Swallow, Werner Herzog, Omid Abtahi and Carl Weathers as Greef Carga.



A sneak peek at The Mandalorian will be shown during the D23 Expo next month.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens December



When Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opened in California last May, there was much disappointment surrounding the delay of its most advanced attraction Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Disney Parks has confirmed it will now open on 17th January, 2020.

Disney Parks' official description of the ride:

"When it opens, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will blur the lines between fantasy and reality and will put guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Guests will be recruited to join Rey and General Organa at a secret base. Along the way, they will be captured by a First Order Star Destroyer. With the help of some heroes of the Resistance, they break out and must escape the Star Destroyer, protect the secret base, and stay one step ahead of Kylo Ren."

Fans living on the east coast of America will only have to wait until 5th December when the ride opens at Walt Disney World, Florida. You can be assured our resident roving reporter, Nick Smith, will be checking it out for the Resistance.

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Meet the Star Wars Sith Trooper at SDCC



The design of Stormtroopers has evolved throughout the Star Wars saga and director JJ Abrams' (The Force Awakens) upcoming The Rise of Skywalker is no exception.

Meet the Sith Trooper, a fusion of a First Order Stormtrooper and Elite Praetorian Guard, announced ahead of San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) next week. The distinctive red evoking the Royal Guards from Return of the Jedi, adding further to the Emperor's (Ian McDiarmid) return in the final chapter of the Skywalker saga.

"It has some really unique aesthetics to it,” said Lucasfilm archivist Madlyn Burkert. "And it has some subtle ties to previous stormtrooper designs, which I think fans will enjoy discovering."

Sith Trooper merchandise will be available from Funko, Hasbro, Hot Toys and LEGO at SDCC. Stormtrooper variants are always a highlight for me as a collector. From a trooper to Biker Scout; I amassed quite a collection from the original trilogy toy line by Kenner.

What do you think of the latest look? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Jaws back in cinemas this summer



Jaws, the original seventies blockbuster from Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg, returns to UK cinema screens this summer.

Spielberg's shark story is regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made, and caught my imagination at a very young age courtesy of John Williams' iconic soundtrack serenading Star Wars action figure adventures.



The classic blockbuster film will be screening at selected cinemas across the UK from 12th July, including Cineworld, Vue, Picturehouse, Showcase and selected independent cinemas, as well as in selected international territories.

For further details visit Park Circus.

What are your memories of watching Jaws? Let me know in the comments below.