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From the News Archive
Mattel July 2009 Leaner For Challenging Times


Mattel (NYSE: MAT) achieved a small boost in its quarterly earnings via an ongoing cost-cutting program, spurred on by the difficulties toymakers have faced since the depth of the recession. After Mattel and other toymakers went through a dismal Christmas season last year, Mattel is attempting to get leaner in advance of this year's traditionally busy time for toy buying. Mattel also faces strong competition from other players in its industry, so the battle for consumer dollars will be fierce.

Mattel's Report

Mattel earned 6 cents per share profit for the second quarter, or $21.5 million, up from 3 cents per share or $11.8 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue, however, fell from $1.11 billion in the same quarter last year to $898.2 million in this year's quarter. Profits were boosted by the ongoing cost-cutting program, designed to take out from $180-$200 million over a two year period. 

Beyond the Earnings Report
While the goal of the cost-cutting is to keep inventories lean and ultimately avoid a repeat of the bleak Christmas season last year, Mattel is facing other challenges. Its major competitor, Hasbro (NYSE: HAS), just reported a robust earnings quarter boosted by its strong tie-ins with movie properties Transformers and G.I. Joe.

Mattel does not have any blockbuster properties this summer, and there is some concern that its age-old staple property, Barbie, may be a bit tired. Job cuts and price increases will only take Mattel and other toymakers so far, the key is the ongoing development of fresh properties and new toys.

Posted 7/26/2009
City, state offer incentives to Little Tikes - Hudson Hub-Times

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City, state offer incentives to Little Tikes
Hudson Hub-Times
MGA Entertainment, parent company of Little Tikes, was awarded a state tax credit June 29 to expand operations in Hudson. Tom Richmond, general manager of ...

Posted 7/26/2009
Little Tikes July 2009 gets grant, tax break - Hudson Hub-Times

Little Tikes gets grant, tax break

Hudson Council unanimously approved a grant and a tax break to try to keep Little Tikes in town.

Council approved legislation July 15 to offer Little Tikes a six-year, 50 percent income tax credit -- valued from $8,657 to $24,735 annually depending on what goals are met after three years -- and a one-time grant of $300,000.
Little Tikes, which broke ground on Barlow Road in 1983 and at its height employed 2,000 people, has seen that number fall to 398 employees presently. Officials from the company, now owned by MGA Entertainment, have said they were considering relocating.
'We're waiting to hear back from the state at the end of month,' said Tom Richmond, general manager of MGA Entertainment. '[Hudson's offer] is only one piece of the puzzle, and it's nice the city stepped up, and we need the state to do the same.'
Hudson's $300,000 grant would match an Ohio Department of Development Rapid Outreach Grant offer.
In addition to Hudson's income tax offer, Little Tikes has been offered a 50 percent state income tax credit for seven years.
The city's tax credit would begin in 2010 and continue through 2015 and would be 50 percent of payroll taxes paid to Hudson.
According to the city's proposal, in return for the grant and tax credit, Little Tikes would invest $5.8 million in machinery, equipment and new technology and hire 66 new full-time employees by 2012.
The company would hire 12 employees from June 2009 to June 2010, 24 employees from June 2010 to June 2011 and 30 employees from June 2011 to June 2012.
The new employees would add $1.6 million to the company's annual payroll in 2012.
The current payroll for 386 full-time employees is $15 million.
According to the agreement, if the Little Tikes fails to meet 75 percent of the payroll requirement in any given year, the city's tax credit would not be awarded for that year. If it fails to meet the requirements for three consecutive years, the agreement could be terminated.
As part of the tax credit agreements, the state requires MGA Entertainment to maintain operations at the project site in Hudson for at least 14 years

 
Posted 7/26/2009
Hasbro profits rise as Transformers leads fight - Times Online

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Hasbro profits rise as Transformers leads fight
Times Online
Mattel did, however, get a boost last year from movie-related toys, including Batman, Kung Fu Panda and High School Musical. The company did not give any ...

Posted 7/26/2009
Voice of 'SpongeBob' surprised at show's success - Times Herald-Record

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Voice of 'SpongeBob' surprised at show's success
Times Herald-Record
But Kenny — who also voices the controversial Skids robot in the 'Transformers' movie sequel and a talking toy chain saw under development by Fisher-Price ...

Posted 7/26/2009
G-Force (New York Times)
Talking guinea pigs: Juarez, voiced by Penélope Cruz, left, and Darwin, voiced by Sam Rockwell.
Posted 7/26/2009
Bossa Nova Robotics Inc.July 2009 Prime-8 & Penbo robots
Prime-8 runs on his arms, stops to sniff whatever's in his way and even can shoot a plastic rocket at an annoying little sister. Penbo purrs when she's petted, and plays games with the chirping baby penguin that hatches from her tummy.
Prime-8 alt=Prime-8 src=http://www.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2009-07-09/0710toys1-a.jpg>

Robots are all the rage this summer as toys from the latest 'Transformers' and 'Terminator' movies fill stores, and Carnegie Mellon University spinoff Bossa Nova Robotics Inc. plans to start selling its own two playthings with personalities in coming weeks on cable shopping channel QVC and online retailer Amazon.comsrc=http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=tritotmed-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B001EYUKV0.
The yellow, gorilla-faced Prime-8 and chubby pink penguin Penbo showed off their tricks, speed and agility Thursday at an event at the Oakland campus.Penbo
 
They're the first toys developed with technology from CMU's Robotics Institute to debut commercially, but others are in the design and prototype stages.
For consumers, 'The most successful application for robots so far is in the toy business,' said John Feghali, one of Bossa Nova's three founders.
Inspired by Furby and other interactive toys, Prime-8 and Penbo use mechanics adapted from a cockroach-like robot named RHex created several years ago at CMU.
Both toys walk or run on two rotating limbs, Prime-8 on his arms and Penbo on her legs.
They don't trip on carpet as many toy robots do, their creators say. And using sensors, they respond to their owners' moves, play games and dance and fall asleep if they're ignored. Blow a kiss to Penbo, and she'll kiss back.
Prime-8, geared for boys ages 8 to 12, goes on sale for $99.99 on QVC on July 25. Penbo, for girls 4 to 6 and costing $69.99, will follow with her first TV appearance in mid-August.
Amazon.com will feature both products starting Aug. 1, and they'll be in stores for the holidays.
Feghali along with Bossa Nova cofounders David Palmer and Sarjoun Skaff tested their play robots with children at Carnegie Science Center on the North Shore. The toys will continue to be used there as part of the Robot Workshop at the science center's new Roboworld, billed as the world's biggest permanent robotics exhibition.
Feghali, Palmer and Skaff met through CMU, shared a liking for bossa nova music and talked about starting a robotics business.
They decided to make entertaining and educational toys that would be priced competitively after watching a group of toddlers giggle as RHex chased them around a campus lawn.
The partners founded their company four years ago, secured money from several sources including the Pittsburgh Technology Council's annual EnterPrize contest, and brought in former Mattel, Hasbro and MGA Entertainment executive Martin Hitch as CEO.
While toy robots undoubtedly are popular with kids, gauging sales isn't easy.
Electronics claimed $865 million of the toy industry's total $21.6 billion in sales last year, but interactive technology is showing up in lots of classic playthings ranging from dolls to board games. The Japan Robotics Association forecasts that the market for personal and lifestyle robots will grow to $15 billion by 2015.
For kids, 'Robotic toys are emulating what
Posted 7/26/2009
Bossa Nova's July 2009 Gorilla-faced Prime-8

The robot that roars makes his TV debut on Sunday. Carnegie Mellon University spinoff Bossa Nova Robotics Inc. will sell its gorilla-faced Prime-8 toy during shopping network QVC's 'Christmas in July' programming this weekend.
The yellow interactive robot who runs on rotating arms is scheduled to appear at 3 p.m., with a professional sales representative showing off his speed and personality.
'There are multiple ways to play with Prime-8 but the real, key thing is action,' said Bossa Nova CEO Martin Hitch, who joined the startup after roles at Mattel and Hasbro. 'Prime-8 is the fastest running toy robot.'
Prime-8 is the first toy developed with technology from CMU's Robotics Institute to hit the market. John Feghali, David Palmer and Sarjoun Skaff met through the university and founded Bossa Nova four years ago to create robotic toys that were more lifelike and agile than others in toy stores.
In addition to QVC, Amazon.com, Toys R Us and Target will sell Prime-8 online, Hitch said. He's trying to get the toy into Toys R Us' Times Square store in New York City before the holidays.
West Chester-based QVC will feature about 60 toys during its 'Christmas in July' show. Rich Yoegel, director of merchandising, said the network is 'always looking to provide our customers with the newest and most innovative toys for the holiday season.
'We also were excited to be the first to market this particular item.'
Hitch said he can't disclose how many Prime-8s will be available for sale to QVC viewers, at $99.99 each. The robot growls, shoots plastic rockets, comes with five games — and does more, the more he's played with.
'The beauty of QVC is that we'll get an instant read, within a few hours, on response to the product,' Hitch said. Independent retailers who spot the toy on TV could stock it quickly, for holiday shoppers, he said. Major retailers like Wal-Mart typically need more time.
Bossa Nova's Penbo, the pink penguin with a chirping baby inside an egg in her tummy, will be featured on QVC for $79.99 in August or September, Hitch said. Penbo will be offered in coming weeks in stores in Italy, Spain and Portugal, then other parts of Europe.
Posted 7/26/2009
TakaraTomy Revenge of the Fallen Buster Optimus Prime
Japanese Toy Retailer Hobby Search has posted brand-new images of the Takara-Tomy Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Buster Optimus Prime. The first fully-painted figure was shown first at Tokyo Toy Show.
Posted 7/26/2009
Mattel Leaner For Challenging Times

Mattel achieved a small boost in its quarterly earnings via an ongoing cost-cutting program, spurred on by the difficulties toymakers have faced since the depth of the recession .
Posted 7/26/2009 by  Investopedia 
Amok Time 2007 Battlestar Galastica - Cylon Commander

Cylon Commander (Gold)

Cylons 002

 
 
Name Cylon Commander
Toy Line
Number
Manufacturer Amok Time
Released 2007
Materials Cloth, Plastic, Soft vinyl
Scale
Category Doll
Series Battlestar Galactica (Classic)
Designer
Orig. Price $49.99
 
Posted 6/20/2009
Jakks June 2009 Timmy Time: Jakks gets Master Toy license for the US

Timmy Time proves a hit
aardman, golden bear, jakks pacific, vivid imaginationsAccording to BARB, the new pre-school show from Aardman has been watched by 4.8 million since launch in April.

The show airs three times each weekday, and has achieved above average share of carers with children from birth to three years-old and four to six year-olds in all three time slots.

Viewing figures are particularly strong in the afternoons where it averages 3.5 share points above the 2008 average for that slot among the audiences.

This winning debut in the UK marks the start of the international rollout of Timmy Time with a raft of major broadcast and licensing deals already in place.

To coincide with the launch, Vivid Imaginations is on board as master toy licensee with a range due to hit shelves at the end of July. Golden Bear will offer a line of wooden toys in the UK and Jakks Pacific has signed up as Master Toy licensee for the US and Canada.

Aardman has also recently secured deals with Egmont who has picked up publishing rights for the UK and commonwealth and Titan Magazines will be producing a monthly comic for the UK and Eire.
Posted 6/20/2009
Life in a year, Part 5: For Stanford students, a time of discovery and the time of their lives
At Stanford and other colleges, the campus is a place to sort it all out, to find the careers that we want, the friends that we'll keep, and to indulge the uncontrollable urges that we never knew we had.    Video: Students at Stanford University describe their experiences    Slide show: Life at Stanford
Published 6/20/2009
Amok Time 2009 Blacula Exclusive
Amok Time toys just announced that they've picked up the license to make a horror toy that's never been made before. Coming sometme in 2009 they'll be selling an exclusive Blacula figure that comes with interchangable heads. There's no word on the price yet but you can see a large image on their website. Amok's Blacula
Posted 7/26/2008
DKE Toys June 2008 Mr Toast - It's Breakfast Time

The Mr. Toast family will be growing by three new plush characters.

 Joe the Egg (6' tall) is Mr. Toast's best friend. He Lives in a treehouse in Mr. Toast's back yard. They are always going on adventures together.  Shaky Bacon (10' tall) is Mr. Toast's neighbor. He spends his time watching people out his window and fretting about their doings.  Clem Lemon (9' tall) is the local country bumpkin. He enjoys watching the grass grow and counting his spare change. 
Wholesale inquiries should contact DKE Toys.
Posted 6/23/2008
Yamato June 2008 SIF EX Pretty Cats Show Time Lesson B Black Lingerie Ver. PVC 1/6
SIF EX Pretty Cats Show <b>Time</b> Lesson B Black Lingerie Ver.1/6 (Figure)
Item name : SIF EX Pretty Cats Show Time Lesson B Black Lingerie Ver.1/6 (Figure)
Manufacturer : Yamato
Scale : 1/6
Material : PVC ABS
Producer : Ikuma Kuramoto
Original : Pretty Cats Show Time
Release Date : Late Jun., 2008
Regular Price : 6,800 yen  about 63.07 USD  40.15 Euros
Posted 6/23/2008
Hasbro June 2008 Transformers - Earth Mode Optimus Prime - Animated - Figure - Tformers.com

Optimus Prime seems to get a ton of love lately in any line, with no less than 5 figures representing him. With the street date upon us, we've already seen 2 iterations of him. Now, prepare yourself with the third version of Optimus Prime. This Prime is the voyager class figure of him in Earth Mode. When Optimus Prime crashed to Earth with the rest of the Autobots, he didn't really know what it meant to be a hero. He spent most of his time in space dreaming of glory, but it wasn't until he was first faced with the terrible decisions that inevitably come with leadership that he finally understood. He became a true hero - a being who does what he does not for the glory and fame, but because no one else can do it. Optimus Prime is represented as a fire truck in the Animated series. However, for his action figure, he makes do with just the cab half. The styling is much different from his Battle Damage deluxe mold and more accurate to the animated show. He is mostly red on the upper cab, with some silver and black at the beltine and a huge silver front bumper. The rear is mostly blue, with part of his 'trailer' portrayed. This piece features a water cannon mounted rearwards. The cannon can be rotated 360 degrees, but tends to pop off easily. He retains the translucent blue lightbars on his roof.

Robot Mode

Posted 6/23/2008
Hasbro June 2008 Transformers - Earth Mode Optimus Prime - Animated - Voyager Figure - Review
Optimus Prime seems to get a ton of love lately in any line, with no less than 5 figures representing him. With the street date upon us, we've already seen 2 iterations of him. Now, prepare yourself with the third version of Optimus Prime. This Prime is the voyager class figure of him in Earth Mode. When Optimus Prime crashed to Earth with the rest of the Autobots, he didn't really know what it meant to be a hero. He spent most of his time in space dreaming of glory, but it wasn't until he was first faced with the terrible decisions that inevitably come with leadership that he finally understood. He became a true hero - a being who does what he does not for the glory and fame, but because no one else can do it. Optimus Prime is represented as a fire truck in the Animated series. However, for his action figure, he makes do with just the cab half. The styling is much different from his Battle Damage deluxe mold and more accurate to the animated show. He is mostly red on the upper cab, with some silver and black at the beltine and a huge silver front bumper. The rear is mostly blue, with part of his 'trailer' portrayed. This piece features a water cannon mounted rearwards. The cannon can be rotated 360 degrees, but tends to pop off easily. He retains the translucent blue lightbars on his roof. The detailing is much cleaner with the Voyager version in most areas. Curiously, the clearance lights on the roof are not painted, but that's an easy fix. Should you want more show accuracy, simple take off the 'trailer' half and you can have just the cab. Unlike the deluxe mold, the rear end has no gaps. Overall, a much cleaner approach to an already great alt mode. Transformation is NOT similar to his Deluxe mold. Grab the front bumper at each and and pull it apart, seperating it in 2. Spread the pieces back 90 degrees. Next, take the rear end and spread it apart slightly to disconnect his legs. Push the rear wheels under and around until they're on the inside of his legs. This will give you room to finish his leg conversion. Take the corners of the bumpers and fold them down 90 degrees. While pushing the bumpers back into his legs, fold them in half. The blue inside will clip to the sides. Finish the lower half by pulling out his legs and flipping out his feet The box advertises a 'gravity spin' transformation. By pushing a black button on the rear, the waist is supposed to automatically swivel and flip forward. While not flawless, you have to make sure everything is aligned right to do it. Don't forget to lock the waist in place or it will flail around. Flip out the black panels below the headlights and fold the sides back 180 degrees. Now, grab the rear half of the cab near the top and pull it out, then forward 90 degrees to form the shoulders. Line up the arms, with the black flaps facing down and away from the body, then flip out his hands. Fold the lightbar completely back, then flip his head up. Flip forward the black piece attached to the lightbar until it secures to his neck.
Posted 6/23/2008
Yamato April 2008 Pretty Cat's Show Time Lesson B PVC 1/6
Price: 6,800 yen
Series: Pretty Cat's Show Time
Manufacturer: Yamato
Release Date: Apr 2008
Type: Completed Fixed-Pose Figure
Description: From the mind of illustrator Amaori Tatsuki and his 'Pretty Cat's Show Time' artbook comes this luscious, lissome lady, wearing nothing but lingerie! And, well, glasses. First released as a garage kit by Ikuma Kuramoto, the detailed sculpting of the lace is phenomenal--with the rest of her mighty fine, too--and her unique pose makes her a standout (even sitting!) in any collection. Super-hot! Please note that figures such as this are mass produced and as a result some inconsistencies in finish and painting may occur; these are not considered manufacturer's defects. If you absolutely must have perfection, prepare to do some touch-up work on your own.

Posted 6/23/2008
Medicom 2008 News: Jikou Keisatsu (Time Limit Detective) figures
Fan Favorite Actor Odagiri Joe is finally Immortalized in beautiful 1/6 scale form!!! Based on his famous role in Popular Detective Drama Jikou Keisatsu (Time Limit Detective) Kiriyama Shuuichiro (Played by Odagiri Joe) is a detective that has an interest in solving unsolved cases that are past the statute of limitations. A past time that he does without permission for his own uncovering of the truth. The Kiriyama 1/6 figure appears with his signature hairstyle, police uniform and even includes an inscale 'I Won't Tell Anyone' Card. He is joined by a figure of the female lead of the show Mikazuki Shizuka who was played by Popular actress Asou Kumiko. This way you can have Kiriyama and Mikazuki solving cases together! Both figures will be available in July '08 for the price of 15,540yen (tax included)



Posted 1/6/2008
Hasbro Dec 2007 Transformers Movie Allspark Incerator, 1st Strike Prime & Offroad Ironhide

Transformers Movie Allspark Incerator, 1st Strike Prime & Offroad Ironhide
INCINERATOR

Since the end of the war and the destruction of MEGATRON®, more and more individual DECEPTICONS® have been appearing on Earth, chasing rumors that their leader still lives. Most choose to remain hidden from the AUTOBOTS® who have stayed behind to defend the world, but not INCINERATOR. He’s actively hunting AllSpark-enhanced AUTOBOTS, reasoning that one of them must know where MEGATRON is. When he catches an AUTOBOT®, INCINERATOR takes him on a little ride, swooping and diving dangerously, hovering over canyons and volcanoes, and generally terrifying whatever information he can out of his victim. When he’s done, he just finds the deepest hole he can and drops his helpless prey in.

FIRST STRIKE OPTIMUS PRIME

When the AllSpark was destroyed, the war against the DECEPTICONS® ended in one stroke. OPTIMUS PRIME® was bathed in the power of the shattered AllSpark. The gaps in his armor gleam with ancient energy, his eyes and voice pulse with power. He has become a living receptacle of the creative power of the AllSpark, capable of healing – or destroying – with the merest thought. Despite this, he remains dedicated to peace. As a symbol of this dedication, he has altered his exterior decorations to match the ones he bore as a young leader, before the beginning of the war.

OFFROAD IRONHIDE

Infused with the power of the AllSpark, this old warrior feels like he just rolled off the production line. It’s great to feel young again, and with the war over, IRONHIDE®* feels free to indulge his wild side in the mountains and deserts of Earth. Together with his new human friends, he’s having the time of his life conquering the most challenging trails on the planet, from Death Valley to the darkest Amazon basin. Of course, if something gets in the way he can’t drive over, well, he can just blast his way through it with his newly supercharged weapons systems. No one said the end of the war meant he never got to blow stuff up again.

Load up this raging robot figure’s cannons and fire! In robot mode, this awesome AUTOBOT hero features quad-missile cannons to help ward off evil enemies! Convert to a tough Topkick truck with “mud”-splashed doors in vehicle mode for a totally rad robot ride!
Posted 12/15/2007
Cincinnati Museum Center Dec 2007 Toys through Time Exhibit

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Toy time at the Museum Center
Cincinnati Enquirer, OH -

What better way to celebrate the season for playthings than to visit the Toys Through Time exhibit in the John A. Ruthven Exhibition Gallery at the Cincinnati Museum Center? And, it's free.
Highlights include original 'Star Wars' toys and their prototypes made during the 1970s and '80s by the former Kenner Co. of Cincinnati.
Also on exhibit are ice skates from the 1840s and a first-edition Monopoly set with sterling silver game pieces. Dolls, trains, books, blocks, building and mechanical toys, puzzles and sports equipment also are displayed.

Through Jan. 6 during Museum Center hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday,10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, at 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. 513-287-7000.
Posted 12/15/2007
Jssy Ltd Dec 2007 Hong Kong Producer Apologizes For Toxic Beads ... Taipei Times
A Hong Kong producer of toys that sparked huge recalls in the US and Australia apologized yesterday after several children slipped into a coma after swallowing toxic toy beads.
JSSY Ltd said in a statement yesterday that it had used a chemical, 1,4 butylene glycol, which could cause unconsciousness and coma when ingested by releasing a substance akin to a date-rape drug.
The toys were manufactured for Australia-based Moose Enterprises by Wangqi Product Factory -- a JSSY affiliate -- in Shenzhen, China.
JSSY said it had always used the substance on its toys, including samples given to Moose for testing.
The Hong Kong-based firm apologized to the children who fell ill after swallowing the beads, as well as to their parents and other consumers.
It also apologized for damaging the reputation of all 'made in China' products.
'We have learned a profound lesson. Our company will strengthen the control of our safety analysis on the raw materials we use in future,' it said.
Several million sets of the toys -- called 'Aqua Dots' in the US and 'Bindeez' in Australia -- have been recalled since the scare was revealed.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 4.2 million units of Aqua Dots after two children fell into a coma after swallowing the toy distributed by Spin Master in Toronto, Canada.
Meanwhile, Mattel Mexico, the local arm of the world's largest toy maker, on Wednesday destroyed 175,000 lead-tainted toys taken from store shelves and factories throughout the country, just as the holiday shopping season kicks into gear.
The toys -- including race cars, action figures and colored plastic dragons -- had lead levels that exceed those allowed by law, said Juan Garcia Villa, director of Mexico's federal commission on product safety, known as Cofepris.
Mexico plans to strengthen laws that would stop lead-tainted toys from entering the country, Garcia Villa said.
Concerns over toy safety remain high after US-based Mattel Inc recalled more than 21 million Chinese-made toys earlier this year on fears they were tainted with lead paint and tiny magnets that children could accidentally swallow.
Mattel's own tests on the toys found that they had lead levels up to 200 times the accepted limit.
China is the world's top toy exporter, selling 22 billion products overseas last year, 60 percent of the world's total.
Posted 12/8/2007
Jakks Dec 2007 WWE's Hardy Boys Enter the Ring Just in Time for the Holidays

Ringside Collectibles is offering an exclusive WWE Classics 2-Pack featuring Jeff and Matt Hardy. What's more, they're offering guaranteed shipping if you order as part of their pre-Christmas shipment. This is one of many online exclusives being made available now, but one of only a very small fraction that is actually going to ship by Christmas.
  
Quantity in Basket: none
Code: EX-048
Price: $39.97

 
 
 

For amateur collectors, the price tag might seem a bit high, especially since different non-exclusive WWE Classics 2-Packs are available in stores at a much lower price. The important thing to keep in mind is that Ringside Collectibles is the only place to offer this exclusive. Therefore, the store is allowed to set their own price. Conceivably, an online store can charge whatever they want for their exclusives, but they have to price the exclusives to sell.
Exclusives offered by individual collectible dealers tend to retail for more than exclusives that hit retail stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys R Us simply because it costs the company a lot of money to guarantee a large enough order to warrant the toy manufacturer to make the exclusive. So if you want to complete your WWE Classics collection, then this is the price you are going to have to pay. But with the strong market for wrestling action figures, it's something that you probably won't regret in the long run.
Posted 12/8/2007
Dec 2007 Plastic Clamshell Packaging Not Fun At Present-Opening Time!
Few things detract more from the spontaneity and joy of the season's gift-opening rituals than prying open a plastic package with your teeth.
Countless gift items, from consumer electronics to toys, look so appealing while entombed in their clear-plastic clamshell packaging. But extricating an action figure, and cutting thick plastic seams sealed together with heat, can seem like an endeavor worthy of the Jaws of Life. Even less extreme packaging has drawbacks. A cardboard box with a plastic window, for example, may display merchandise nicely. But items are often anchored with painfully twisted wires and rubber bands that seem impossible to untangle.Manufacturers say retailers love -- and even insist upon -- the hard-to-open packaging as a measure to reduce theft. Shoplifters cost retailers, and ultimately consumers, $13.3 billion in 2006, the most recent year for which information is available, according to a survey conducted by the University of Florida for the National Retail Federation in Washington. The protective packaging also makes products visually pleasing and protects them during shipping, say manufacturers. Frustrated consumers can now even purchase tools, such as Package Shark Pro and OpenX, designed for opening impenetrable plastic.
To test the consumer-friendliness of theft-resistant, protective packaging, we tried to open five randomly selected gift items without using sharp implements -- at least at the outset -- and timed our progress. We matched our testers with items appropriate for their ages, and provided assistance to our child-age testers only when it seemed necessary. We learned it's nearly impossible to open many items without a sharp implement, so keep scissors or an opening tool handy during holiday festivities, and bring one if you're a guest. Remove toys from their original packaging if they contain numerous small pieces and box them on your own, or you may ruin the moment by having to untangle a mess of wires. We wasted almost 15 minutes opening one such toy.
Our 11-year-old tester was drawn to a set of motion-activated drumsticks, mi Jam Drummer, in a plastic clamshell package. Opening the electronic toy without using a sharp implement seemed impossible. We could not tear the thick sealed edges. Cutting with our scissors was even difficult. Once we snipped open a corner, we again tried tearing, but had to be careful of sharp points along edges of the plastic. A spokesman for mi Jam manufacturer Blue Box Toys Inc., in Livingston, N.J., said the packaging offers both security and visual appeal, but the company is modifying it next year to a box with a window-type opening.
 
Posted 12/8/2007
Mattel Nov 2007 Barbie dolls up in amchi Dollywood - Economic Times

Barbie dolls up in amchi Dollywood
Economic Times, India -
MUMBAI: For over five decades, she has been a fixture in toy stores. Soon, she turned a fashion icon offering young girls tips on hairstyles, makeup and dressing up in gowns.

But did you know that Barbie Millicent Roberts from Willows comes shopping for clothes to suburban Mumbai? The dresses and tresses that make Barbie, the world’s most famous doll, a global fashionista are from a nondescript firm in Sewree.

Jayant Parekh, the promoter of Fancy Fittings, has been stitching clothes for Barbie for about four years now. He also makes her hair, combs, mirrors and shoes; all this away from public glare. The dresses for the first Barbie-born in 1959-were handstitched by Japanese homeworkers for their finery.

But the doll’s maker, Mattel, now prefers to pick the stuff from small units in China and India, as they come cheaper. Many of the partywear and cocktailwear that Barbie stacks in her wardrobe are sourced from the Sewree workshop.

And Mr Parekh has been making the best of it. Exports of assembled Barbie dolls and Barbie products are helping him notch up Rs 40 crore annually. He is now dolling up his firm for PE infusion.

Barbie uses more than 105 million yards of fabric and more than a billion pair of shoes every year. Fancy Fittings is one of the companies, but the only one in India, to produce these accessories.

“Mattel has outsourced a part of the production of the doll’s accessories to us. We export her dresses, shoes and hair for use in other markets. We also assemble the dolls meant for the Indian market and pack them,” says Mr Parekh.

Mattel India MD Sanjay Luthra says, “We have been associated with Fancy for sometime now and we are extremely happy with the quality of the stuff they make for us. Small companies, which follow the best practices, will continue to get business from us.” The company also manufactures and assembles moulded toys for Barbie products.
Posted 11/24/2007
Hasbro Nov 2007 Transformers Fast Action Battler Fire Blast Optimus Prime
src=http://tformers.net/i/a/movies/fab-fireblast<bprime-1.jpg>
Posted 11/24/2007
Nov 2007 Black Friday - Shopping Bargains Before the First Bite of Turkey - New York Times

Yes, the economic outlook is grim.
But they call it the holiday shopping season for a reason. For all the dour predictions, Americans will still mob the malls in search of the right gift at the right price.
Here is a guide to the five trends that are likely to dominate the gift-buying season that (officially, at least) begins next week.
PRE-TURKEY SHOPPING Disregarding the last known boundaries between tradition and capitalism, retailers are trying to persuade Americans to start their Black Friday shopping before the first bite of Thanksgiving dinner.
The biggest offender is CompUSA, the technology store. The chain — the first retailer to open at 12:01 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving two years ago, then at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving last year — is holding an online-only sale this year at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving.
“Before you pop the turkey into the oven, you can buy online,” said the chain’s spokeswoman, Jessica Nuñez, who added that the sale was not an intrusion into a national holiday, but “just another option” for time-starved, deal-hungry consumers.
Remember when Black Friday, so-called because historically retailers become profitable that day, was actually on Friday? Well, we don’t either, and neither, it seems, do retailers.
The rule breaking began with Wal-Mart, which has held miniature Black Friday sales every weekend of November, in a brazen attempt to rearrange the holiday shopping calendar — and, of course, to steal business from its competitors. Every Friday morning since Nov. 2, it has offered door-buster discounts starting at 6 a.m.
Now, seemingly everyone is following suit. Toys “R” Us has held door-buster sales every Friday and Saturday this month (including one this morning, starting at 7 a.m.)
Kmart will open at 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving this year and, on Black Friday, J. C. Penney is opening an hour earlier than last year, at 4 a.m.
Stores will reward the early birds with food. CompUSA is offering pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving night and several malls are serving Maxwell House coffee at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. One retailer, Best Buy, is having none of it. The chain is closed on Thanksgiving and opening at the comparatively reasonable hour of 5 a.m. on Friday morning.
Brian Lucas, a company spokesman, said the chain “believes this is the right thing to do for our customers, who have come to think of Black Friday morning as somewhat of a tradition to start the shopping season, and to our employees, who value having time with their families on Thanksgiving day.”
BE YOUR OWN ROCK STAR The toy industry wants to turn every child under 10 into a self-made rock star, with a genuine guitar in one hand and a video game version in the other.
As if in lock step, every major toy maker — like Hasbro and Mattel — has put a guitar-based game in its product lineup and every big retailer has put those products on its top 10 toy list.
The companies say they are piggybacking on the runaway success of Guitar Hero, the video game guitar system; the popularity of Hannah Montana, the rock star television character; and the enduring strength of the reality show “American Idol.”
“Whenever a trend is as hot as this, a lot of people come up with the same idea,” said Neil B. Friedman, the president of Mattel Brands.
He should know. This holiday season, the Fisher-Price unit of Mattel is rolling out the I Can Play Guitar System ($100), for children 6 and older, a mock guitar that hooks up to a television. Users learn to play by matching color-coded hand positions on the screen to those on the toy guitar.
Posted 11/17/2007
Nov 2007 Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (New York Times)
'Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” was written and directed by Zach Helm, whose previous major credit was the screenplay for the Will Ferrell comedy “Stranger Than Fiction,” which envisions a sophisticated adult version of the same kind of magic. But if the concept is ingenious, its execution is erratic. The story is arbitrarily divided into chapters of varying length that have no clear beginning, middle or end, and the movie’s narrative drive is sporadic.


The story finds Mr. Magorium planning to leave the world because he is down to his last pair of the shoes he has stockpiled for decades. He intends to leave the store to his devoted clerk and right-hand woman, Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman), a once-promising classical pianist and composer who lost her inspiration. But when he announces the bequest, she balks, believing she lacks the power to keep the store alive. (One of the movie’s weaknesses is Ms. Portman’s attitude of disengagement. Even when magic is all around, the sparkle in her eyes is dim.)


Mr. Magorium engages an accountant, Henry Weston (Jason Bateman), whom he calls Mutant, to go through years of erratic bookkeeping, determine the store’s value and help arrange its passage into Molly’s hands. A prototypical uptight numbers cruncher, Henry seems like the last person in the world who would understand what the store is about. With the emporium’s future up in the air, its most devoted customer (and the movie’s narrator), Eric Applebaum (Zach Mills), a shy, lonely 9-year-old, makes a pitch for it.


In the most exciting scene the store, sensing its days are numbered, rebels and stages a full-scale temper tantrum. The toys turn on the customers (not violently, I hasten to add), and nothing works as it should. After the tantrum subsides, the magic rapidly dissipates. The brightly colored walls warp and turn black, and the place eventually resembles a charred ruin in which nothing stirs.
Posted 11/17/2007
Nov 2007 The sad state of today's toys (The Devil’s Playthings) - Los Angeles Times

The Devil’s Playthings
It’s toxic, all right.

I don’t have the space to account for all the pathos and pathology at Toys R Us. (And, in fairness, much the same would apply to the toy sections of big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target.) Nor do I have room to bemoan the fire hose of marketing pressure turned on children to get them to buy into franchises, everything from Spider-Man to Hannah Montana, whoever she is. A lot of writers have covered this ground, anyway. Of recent note is Benjamin Barber’s scholarly if distempered “Consumed,” which describes how advertisers lay siege to young people to create a lifelong dependency on consumption. To me, the money quote comes from R. Buckminster Fuller: “Those who play with the devil’s toys will be brought by degrees to wield his sword.” Typically at this time of year, retailing experts offer their lists of hot toys for the season. Among the buy-early favorites for 2007 are Webkinz, stuffed animals that come with fluffy avatars in an online Webkinz virtual world—dry sand for emotionally thirsty children. And so, in honor of the first day of orgiastic holiday shopping this Friday, I thought I’d offer my own list of the most awful, creepy and child-nullifying products for sale this year. Or, in Fuller’s happy phrase, the devil’s toys. Please enjoy.

Monopoly Electronic Banking Edition: Instead of the traditional pastel currency, this edition of the Parker Bros. game uses debit cards and a swipe-here card reader, the better to inculcate bitty buyers into the effortlessness of impulsive buying. The tokens also have been updated to depict a Segway personal transporter and a flat-screen TV, among other items. The charming and evocative top hat and iron have thus been exchanged for the contents of K-Fed’s storage unit.

Play Along’s Tattoo Doodle Monster: Play Along has a large line of stuffed animals that children can decorate with washable pens. The Tattoo Doodle Monster includes temporary tattoos and various stencils for children to use on themselves. “Hey Dude, I’m Inkee,” the box says. This is a great toy if you want your 4-year-old to grow up to be Tommy Lee.

Tiger Electronics’ Dream Life:Absolutely the saddest thing in the store. The tag line for this TV plug-in game is “Create the Life You Dream About.” In the game, the player (either a girl or a fairly confused boy) begins a new school year: “Bad hair day? Swing by the salon & try out a new hairstyle. . . . Make lots of friends—joina sports team—or just hang out . . . it’s all in your hands.” I can’t help thinking about the poor kid who’s drawn to this game, frantically flipping buttons in the vain hope it will reunite her divorced parents.

Planet Toys’ CSI: Forensic Lab: Join Grissom’s crew! Ages 10-plus. Sweet, suffering Jesuits. First of all, if you are allowing your 10-year-old to watch “CSI,” you should be reported to the authorities. Second, do you really want your middle-schooler dusting for prints or learning to run a black light over your upholstery? I do appreciate that this toy hearkens back to a time when apprenticeship toys—chemistry and Erector sets and build-a-radio kits—tempted young minds with careers as chemists and engineers. But really, forensic technician? How long before you discover grandpa sleeping in a recliner, surrounded by crime scene tape? Obvious brand extension: CSI Special Victims Unit Rape Kit.

Fisher-Price Star Station: Baby karaoke. Say no more.
Posted 11/17/2007
Nov 2007 comic Conventions = Geek Nirvana! - Corvallis Gazette Times
Forget Disneyland, comic conventions are the happiest places on Earth

When I was a kid, I wanted for nothing. My parents loved me, I had plenty to eat and a beautiful house to shelter me.
Actually, I needed nothing, but I wanted much. I wanted action figures and books and Underoos and T-shirts that read, “I prefer to be called Batman.” I wanted to ride Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, and I wanted to find a golden ticket in my candy bar that would allow me entrance to Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompa sweatshop empire.

In those days, I didn’t think about such things as sweatshops. Why wouldn’t an Oompa Loompa want to toil its life away making me chocolate? For that matter, why wouldn’t someone in Hong Kong want to work for a pittance to bring me my G.I. Joe figures? Such thoughts simply didn’t occur to me. Being privileged enough to live in a world of pure imagination, I did.

Walking through the doors at the Portland Comic Convention last Sunday was like taking a trippy boat ride back in time. I could feel the layers of self-consciousness and political awareness, disdain for my fellow man and anxiety over the state of our culture melting away like so much excess fat.

The first booth I came upon was filled with G.I. Joe figures still in their original packages, Star Wars figures, Transformers and every other imaginable poseable from my youth. On the back shelf, I even saw a Sectaur, a very rare insect-themed figurine I had assumed to be extinct.

I’m not kidding when I tell you I’ve had dreams like this, dreams where I walk into a larger-than-life Toys”R”Us to find aisles upon aisles of action figures that only exist in my mind. These are intricate, fully realized action figures, such as the G.I. Joe Swamp Trooper, that comes emerged in real swamp water in the little four-inch-tall plastic casing that serves as its home.

While none of the booths at the comic convention were selling my imaginary action figure, they were selling Croc Master and Blowtorch, The Baroness and Snake Eyes. There were booths selling only Star Wars figures and others featuring rare movie posters and T-shirts. There were bootleg DVD stands offering otherwise unattainable digital copies of “Thundarr the Barbarian” and the formerly out-of-print pilot to “Twin Peaks.” Boxes filled with discarded X-Wing Fighters and Battle Rams littered the floor under the tables.

Oh yeah, and there were comic books, too. Booth upon booth was filled thousands upon thousands of books. Stands selling only vintage DC and Marvel comics sat next to ones offering 50-percent discounts on trade paperbacks and hardcover collections.

I had to do three laps before I could even think about spending dollar one. Sure, I was almost certain I’d buy that He-Man Zodiac action figure I’d been taunted with as a kid by my best friend, but maybe I’d come upon something even more irresistible.
Posted 11/17/2007
Grand System Models Nov 2007 Transformers - Optimus Prime Head Bust by G-system

Grand System Models is showing off their head bust of 'Transformers' Optimus Prime on their website. The model is extremely detailed and is roughly nine inches tall and five inches wide. The kit features a workable LED system, seen in pictures, as well as an infrared system. Take a look at the detailed gallery over at the manufacturer's website. No price has been set for the 1/12 scale kit as of yet.
Posted 11/17/2007
Hasbro Nov 2007 Transformers Movie - AllSpark Power First Strike Prime, Evac In-Package

In-package Transformer First Strike Optimus Prime and Evac from the AllSpark Power sub-line.
First Strike Prime is a repaint of the voyager class in Generation 1 colors and Evac is a repaint of voyager Blackout in Coast Guard colors. Take a look at the in-box shots.
Posted 11/17/2007
Max Factory Nov 2007 Collect800 Children's Time 8 pieces
Collect800 Children`s <b>Time</b> 8 pieces (Completaed Figure)
Item name : Collect800 Children`s Time 8 pieces (Completaed Figure) Restock Item
Manufacturer : Max Factory
Scale : Non
Producer : Yuuji Kudou etc
Original : *Children`s Time
Release Date : Early Nov., 2007
Regular Price : 6,096 yen 
Posted 11/9/2007
Claiz Nov 2007 Time Bokan Series Yatterman - Doronjyo

 




Posted 11/9/2007
Claiz Nov 2007 Time Bokan Series Yatterman - Doronjyo

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Posted 11/9/2007
Diamond Select Nov 2007 Transformers Busts Announced - including Rodimus Prime and Shockwave - seibertron.com

Diamond Select Toys have updated their website with 3 new additions:

A Rodimus Prime Head Bust



An Art Asylum Sculpt! Based on 1986’s animated classic, Transformers: The Movie, this miniature head bust features the temporary leader of the Autobots – Rodimus Prime! Beginning as the aptly-named Hot Rod, the Autobot Matrix of Leadership transformers this reluctant Transformer into Rodimus Prime and leads to the eventual defeat of Unicron and the Decepticons! Limited to 1,500 pieces and sculpted by Art Asylum, this five-inch mini-head features a hand-numbered base with matching box and Certificate of Authenticity!

Price: $50.00

Estimated Availability Date: 2/28/2007


An Ultra Magnus Head Bust




A NEW YORK COMIC CON RETAILER EXCLUSIVE!

As the reluctant leader of the Autobots™ in times of need, Ultra Magnus™ prefers his role as a soldier to the responsibility the Matrix of Leadership entails. Whether battling Megatron™ and the Decepticons™ or facing off against the unstoppable Unicron, this Transformer’s courage and dedication to duty are the stuff of legend. Now he can be proudly displayed with this exclusive Ultra Magnus Mini Head Bust! Measuring 4 ½' tall, this highly detailed bust makes the perfect addition to any desk or office!


Sculpted by Art Asylum
Limited to 600 pieces
Features a hand-numbered base with matching box and Certificate of Authenticity

Price: $45.00


And a Shockwave Bust



A Diamond Select Release! The key military operations commander of the destructive Decepticon forces, Shockwave’s brutality has made him Megatron’s second-in-command and created a reputation for cruelty unequaled in the galaxy.
Sculpted by Art Asylum and limited to 1000 pieces, this 6' bust features a hand numbered base with matching box and Certificate of Authenticity.

Price: $60.00
Posted 11/9/2007
Hasbro Jan 2008 Transformers Animated: Look At ''Animated'' Prime, Bumblebee Protos

Now that the January debut of 'Transformers: Animated' is looming ahead, a steady stream of figures from the series is starting to pop up. The latest in this slew are new looks at prototypes of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee figures, thanks to 'paranooid.'
Posted 11/9/2007
Diamond Select March 2008 Transformers Rodimus Prime Bust

Transformers Rodimus <b>Prime</b> Bust 
Transformers Rodimus Prime Bust Description:
The reluctant leader of the Autobots. Based on 1986's animated classic Transformers: The Movie, this colorful miniature head bust spotlights the emerging leader of the Autobots-- Rodimus Prime. Beginning as the aptly named Hot Rod, this hesitant self-doubting Transformer is converted by the Autobot Matrix of Leadership into the immensely powerful Rodimus Prime. This leads to the eventual defeat of Unicron and the Decepticons! Limited to 1,500 pieces and sculpted by Art Asylum, this distinctive 5-inch head bust features a hand-numbered base with matching box and certificate of authenticity. Don't hesitate now. Add him to your cart while you have the chance!
Posted 10/27/2007
Mattel Oct 2007 Costly recall reckoning - Seattle Times

Lead balloon
One recall is bad enough, but Mattel had three in just over a month, causing the shares to lose 11.9 percent.
'We do not expect the worst is over for the company on the recall front,' says Gerrick Johnson, analyst for BMO Capital Markets, who rates Mattel 'underperform.'
'We believe the damage to the brand could cause performance to suffer more than many expect. Maybe it will pass in '08, but this holiday season will be a rough one,' Johnson said.1. Aug. 1: 1.5 million toys recalled worldwide, due to lead paint
2. Aug. 14: 19 million toys recalled worldwide, due to lead paint and small magnets that could be swallowed
3. Sept. 4: 800,000 toys recalled, including 675,000 Barbie accessories
4. Sept. 21: A top Mattel official apologizes to China's product-safety chief for blaming Chinese manufacturers for its problems
Posted 10/27/2007
Diamond Select Nob 2007 Transfomer Busts, including Rodimus Prime and Shockwave
An Ultra Magnus Head Bust




A NEW YORK COMIC CON RETAILER EXCLUSIVE!

As the reluctant leader of the Autobots™ in times of need, Ultra Magnus™ prefers his role as a soldier to the responsibility the Matrix of Leadership entails. Whether battling Megatron™ and the Decepticons™ or facing off against the unstoppable Unicron, this Transformer’s courage and dedication to duty are the stuff of legend. Now he can be proudly displayed with this exclusive Ultra Magnus Mini Head Bust! Measuring 4 ½' tall, this highly detailed bust makes the perfect addition to any desk or office!


Sculpted by Art Asylum
Limited to 600 pieces
Features a hand-numbered base with matching box and Certificate of Authenticity

Price: $45.00


And a Shockwave Bust



A Diamond Select Release! The key military operations commander of the destructive Decepticon forces, Shockwave’s brutality has made him Megatron’s second-in-command and created a reputation for cruelty unequaled in the galaxy.
Sculpted by Art Asylum and limited to 1000 pieces, this 6' bust features a hand numbered base with matching box and Certificate of Authenticity.

Price: $60.00
Posted 10/27/2007
Max Factory Nov 2007 Children's Time - Kokonoe Rin PVC 1/6
Kokonoe Rin (Completed Figure)
Item name : Kokonoe Rin (Completed Figure)
Manufacturer : Max Factory
Scale : 1/6
Material : PVC
Producer : Chieri
Original : *Children`s Time
Release Date : Nov re-release
Regular Price : 6,477 yen
Posted 10/18/2007
Tokyo Game Show Oct 2007 Cosplay Time !

 
Tokyo Game Show 2007.
 
Posted 9/29/2007
Tokyo Game Show Oct 2007 Cosplay Time - continued

 
   



Posted 9/29/2007
Sept 2007 Akihabara's awful truths - The Japan Times

News phototimes.co.jp/images/photos2007/fo20070927pma.jpg width=540 > Akihabara has its roots as a black market locale for electronics in the postwar era. In the years of economic miracle-building that followed, it became a haven for consumer electronics and home appliances. The area was transformed by the PC boom of the 1990s when otaku took the area over and built a striking, virtual living room-writ-large for themselves in the process, filling it up with their hobbies and objects of desire. Throughout it all, Japanese mainstream society wrote off otaku as socially maladjusted misfits, and deemed their hobbies an escape from reality. But interest in anime and manga only continued to grow abroad. Now, it seems, by accident or design, all sorts are in the mood to enjoy Akihabara, to see otaku in their native environment, and to sip 'Akiba (as Akihabara is known) Cola' in a maid cafe. While the buzz about Akihabara has been growing steadily over the last few years, the turning point was 2005, when 'Densha Otoko (Train Man)' — an unlikely tale about a love affair between a stereotypical otaku and a 'normal' woman, sold as a true story — became a phenomenon thanks to a best-selling book and subsequent film and TV adaptations. Then there was the Tsukuba Express train line, which opened in 2005 and now whips commuters, non-otaku and curious folk to Akihabara from the northeastern suburbs of greater Tokyo faster than a fireball from Dragon Ball Z. The big guys have been closing in ever since. The Yodobashi chain opened a massive Yodobashi Akiba superstore offering electronics and otaku goods such as model kits, airsoft guns and collectible toys at cutthroat prices that the smaller stores on the street couldn't hope to compete with. A surprising number of otaku are starting to simply avoid Akihabara in lieu of other options. One of my friends, a manga artist named 'Denki' Watanabe, says, 'Akiba is a little too noisy for me recently (like Harajuku). So I now go to Nakano instead.' He's referring to Nakano Broadway, an indoor shopping mall, with nary a non-otaku chain store, full of vintage toys and anime goods. The catch is, unless you are a fan of such things, or a rabid collector yourself, there really isn't much to see and do. Still, Denki says, 'It has a decadent charm which Akiba used to have.' By that he means that in Nakano Broadway, the otaku spirit is once again allowed to pursue whatever weird, twisted, maladjusted path it wants to, safe from the prying eyes of the straight world. Which is just as well, since the true face of otaku culture is hardly ready for prime time. The awful truth about Akihabara. It's actually a hotbed of pornography (both animated and otherwise), adult toys, triple-X-rated manga, and photo books of under-aged girl idols that would burn a sane person's eyeballs in their sockets. How long can politicians, tourist organizations, and even the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (which is sponsoring the Akihabara Entamatsuri 2007 festival next month) afford to simply pretend it doesn't exist? And what will happen when they start paying attention? Even if Akihabara's 'dark end of the street' is razed to the ground, the lonely otaku in search of virtual company will still have plenty of other options. After all, you can find similar material around any transportation hub in Tokyo.
 
Posted 9/29/2007
Sept 2007 Phthalate monster is science-phthiction - Los Angeles Times

Phthalate monster is science-phthiction
Los Angeles Times, CA -
A bill is heading for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk that calls for banning certain substances that are used to make vinyl toys and child-care articles soft and flexible. The bill, AB 1108, is loudly and vigorously supported by pressure groups that feel these articles present a possible health hazard. The bill has no basis in solid scientific research. It creates a mythical monster and asks the governor to slay it with a stroke of his pen. It should be vetoed.

The bill touches an issue on which we all agree — the health and safety of our children. State and federal governments have spent billions of dollars creating health and regulatory systems to protect their citizens from harm — California is second to none in its commitment to health and environmental safety. This bill circumvented all those safety systems. In fact, it ignored them. Its passage ignored the findings of exhaustive risk assessments performed in the United States and in Europe. Now it threatens to short-circuit a promising state effort to reduce hazardous waste and toxic threats called the California Green Chemistry Initiative, an innovative venture with which our industry hopes to cooperate.

The issue revolves around a particular chemical, called di-isononyl phthalate (DINP), which is the primary softener used in vinyl toys. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSP, spent more than four years studying DINP and found 'no demonstrated health risk' to children and 'no justification' for banning it. The European Union's Chemicals Bureau also spent years conducting a risk assessment, reviewing 257 published and peer-reviewed scientific articles, before finding DINP 'unlikely to pose a risk for consumers (adults, infants and newborns).' The European Union findings were published in 2006. The CPSC findings were reaffirmed in a letter to a state senator just in July. What, one can fairly ask, is the issue?

It is not for industry to say what motives are behind the assault. But we do strongly object to gross overstatements and the perpetuation of urban legends about these and other chemicals, all apparently designed to sow fear and uncertainty among consumers and product manufacturers. To say, as Karp and Gibson said in their Op-Ed, that this chemical can be sucked out of a vinyl toy like the flavor out of bubble gum is grossly wrong and far beyond the bounds of reason. And to use political pressure to push this bill through the Assembly, where it was first defeated, and then through the Senate, may be impressive politics, but it is not good science.
Posted 9/29/2007
Mattel apologizes to China - Los Angeles Times

Mattel apologizes to China

Thomas A. Debrowski, Li Changjiangtimes.com/media/photo/2007-09/32712924.jpg width=500>
Andy Wong / Associated Press
Thomas A. Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice-president for worldwide operations, left, meets with Chinese product safety chief Li Changjiang during his visit to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) office in Beijing.
The Chinese call it guanxi, and it refers to the relationships that are so crucial to doing business in their country.

To many observers, it helps explain why a high-ranking Mattel Inc. executive appeared with Chinese government officials Friday to publicly apologize for having to recall more than 19 million toys because of lead paint and dangerous magnets.
The toys had been made in China. So why was Mattel eating crow?

'It's the whole concept of guanxi -- cooperation -- and face saving,' said Mark Allenbaugh, a lawyer who consults with companies doing business in China. 'Mattel has developed relationships over the years, with the factories and with government officials. That can all disappear very quickly if Mattel went the other route and blamed the Chinese manufacturers as being the bad guys here.'

Few companies would know better than Mattel about the importance of guanxi.

The El Segundo toy maker imports 65% of its products from China and, unlike most others in its industry, owns the factories there that produce many of its goods.

Because so much of its business is based in China, it's especially important for Mattel to be on good terms with the Chinese government, noted Allenbaugh, who also owns an Irvine manufacturing company that imports products from China.

'The Chinese government can make it very, very difficult and expensive for a company like Mattel to continue to do business in China,' he said.

But as news of the meeting circulated Friday, Mattel had the difficult task of trying to quell a brewing storm -- a week before Chief Executive Robert Eckert makes a trip to China to personally inspect the company's new manufacturing safeguards.

'China should be apologizing as well to consumers around the world for exporting shoddy products and dangerous food,' said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in a quickly issued statement.

Placed on the defensive, Mattel said the meeting between Chinese officials and Thomas Debrowski, Mattel's executive vice president for worldwide operations, had been 'mischaracterized.'

A spokeswoman said after the meeting that the company's appearance in Beijing was no different from similar testimonials before the U.S. Congress and European Union officials.


Posted 9/22/2007
Takara Tomy Sept 2007 Trying Times for Transformers Toymaker

With the Steven Spielberg-produced Transformers a summer smash in theaters worldwide, these should be happy days for Tomy, the Japanese company that makes the shape-shifting toys on which the blockbuster film is based.

While the China scandals dominate the headlines now, Chinese factories aren't the only problem for Tomy. Just as worrying, at least in the longer term, is that the company's main market, Japan, is shrinking as the population ages. Statistics show just how bleak the future is. By 2030, the National Institute of Population & Social Security Research predicts Japan's population of 127.7 million will fall by almost 10% and that youngsters will number fewer than one in 10, from around 13.6% now.

To fill the void, the company is targeting adults for one of its hottest toy rollouts in years. To coincide with the release of Transformers in Japan, Tomy is rereleasing dozens of the morphing robot toys that the company hopes will be a hit with generations X and Y. 'The Transformers have had an image in Japan of being only for children,' says Masahiko Yamazaki, who leads Tomy's marketing effort. 'We'd like to bring back old fans and create a new market for adults.'
Tomy says it hopes to do more than $50 million in Transformers sales this fiscal year, through March, 2008. That might be possible, but sales in Japan so far have been disappointing, according to Mizuho Investors Securities. Says Shoji Morita, an analyst at Okasan Securities: 'In the U.S., there are many success stories of a hit movie leading to a hit toy. In Japan, however, hit products are always connected to TV anime or TV programs such as Pokemon and Gundam.'

In fact, few expect the Transformers to help Tomy's earnings much. Tomy produces Transformers for U.S. toymaker Hasbro, but the Japanese company's profit margins from the arrangement are miniscule, and Transformers-related sales have amounted to less than 10% of the company's total.

But even if the Transformers flop, some analysts think Tomy will still get by. In the first quarter, Tomy's operating earnings swung to a profit of $500,000 from a $2.6 million loss a year ago, and sales rose nearly 15%, to $342 million. Etsuko Tamura of Mizuho Investors Securities says Tomy's Tomica trains and Barbie-look-alike Licca-chan dolls are big enough sellers to lift the company's profits this year. For the financial year, she projects operating profits will grow 57%, to $40 million. If only Tomy's stock price could show a similar recovery. 'It's disappointing as we've had healthy revenue growth,' says spokesperson Asahara.
Posted 9/10/2007
Sept 2007 Optimus Prime Custom by David
Remember when the Autobots (excluding Bumblebee) first came to earth during the movie? They flew in and crash landed on earth; they probably weren't all shiny and flawless, and probably had a lot of wear and tear from their space travels. That's what my goal was on this Protoform Prime - a more natural look of a robot that flys through space in a cometary mode. I gave the whole figure a basic robotic-metallic design, then added some rusting-effects on various areas to show the wear I mentioned earlier. I added metallic blue and purple touchups as well. His chest windows are actually blue and purple fusing together (can't really see that in the pictures, but it's obvious in person). I added a paintjob to his gun as well, and gave him an ammo belt attached to his back, and a small flame piece on the tip. I custom made his sword from SCRATCH (used a lot of geometry) and colored it metallic blue, which can be attached into his arm easily. All in all, I think I achieved the goal I set of making him look more 'natural' rather than just a plastic toy comet robot.

This is a custom Transformers Movie Deluxe Protoform Optimus Prime, as shown in the pictures below. He comes with original transformation instructions, his gun, and his sword. Fully poseable, Optimus Prime can be transformed into his Cometary mode and back. All of my customs are hand-painted with high quality acrylic paint, and finished with a protective coating to ensure lasting quality and longevity. I make sure to ship my items packaged carefully in sturdy material to ensure a safe trip for the item. This figure, as with all of my custom Transformers, is finished with a protective coating to eliminate paint chips and scratches during its transformation, but should still be handled and transformed with care, to reduce the chances of paint damage.

Posted 9/10/2007
Clayz Aug 2007 Time Bokan - Doronjo-sama PVC 1/7
Price: 6,000 yen
Series: Time Bokan
Manufacturer: Clayz
Release Date: Aug 2007
Type: Completed Fixed-Pose Figure
Description:
Here's a gorgeous PVC figure of slinky Doronjo-sama from Tatsunoko's 1977-79 Time Bokan series 'Yattaman'! Sculpted with dedicated detail by Karuma Hazuki, the unmasked vixen is enjoying some relaxation between attempts to find the Skull Stone with her Doronbo gang. (We do not want to see Boyakki and Tonzura luxuriating in their down time...) Her uniquely designed lounge seat is included, although the wooden display base pictured below is not.Please note that figures such as this are mass produced and as a result some inconsistencies in finish and painting may occur; these are not considered manufacturer's defects. If you absolutely must have perfection, prepare to do some touch-up work on your own.

Posted 9/10/2007
Yujin Aug 2007 Disney Tea Time Ball Chain 1 Box Posted 9/10/2007
Mattel Aug 2007 'China Barbie' takes on Mattel - Asia Times Online Posted 9/2/2007
Mark Beekman Aug 2006 Artist sees the Lite - Centre Daily Times Posted 9/2/2007
Aug 2007 Custom Transformer Optimus Prime Posted 9/2/2007
Hasbro Aug 2007 Transformers - Cyber Stompin' Prime Peter Cullen Variant Posted 9/2/2007
Clayz Aug 2007 Yatta-Man - Time-Bokan Yatta-man Dronjo PVC 1/7 Posted 8/26/2007
Shueisha May 2007 Heaven's Prison - Heaven's Prison Vol.3 Limited Edition First Time With Saki Figure Posted 8/26/2007
MGA Aug 2007 'Bratz' tries to sweeten dolls' tart image - Seattle Times Posted 8/26/2007
McFarlane Aug 2007 Grinch - Time And Space Toys.com To Sell Exclusive Posted 8/26/2007
Wonder Festival Aug 2007 - Cosplay Time Posted 8/19/2007
Aug 2007 Dutch chain recalls beds from China - Taipei Times Posted 8/19/2007
Aug 2007 Paying for cheap play - Chicago Sun-Times Posted 8/19/2007
Opportunity for Europe's toymakers - Chicago Sun-Times Published 8/19/2007
Hasbro aug 2007 Transformers Movie - Voyager Class Optimus Prime and Megatron in stock at a Toys R Us Posted 8/11/2007
Aug 2007 China bans exports by 2 toy makers - Los Angeles Times Posted 8/11/2007
Aug 2007 Peru seizes 60t of Chinese toys - Daily Times Posted 8/11/2007
Hasbro Aug 2007 Transformers Movie - Prime with Legends Bumblebee & Jazz - CostCo Exclusive Posted 8/11/2007
Hasbro 2006 Transformers Optimus Prime Posted 8/5/2007
Mattel Aug 2007 expects toy recall to cost $30 million - Los Angeles Times Posted 8/5/2007
Mattel Aug 2007 Mattel India sends toys back to China - Times of India Posted 8/5/2007
One2Believe July 2007 Spread the word: superhero dolls have a new rival - Brisbane Times Posted 8/5/2007
Aug 2007 These are difficult times for Collectibles Stores. Posted 8/5/2007
Hasbro Aug 2007 Transformers Movie - Costco Exclusive Movie Optimus Prime Posted 8/5/2007
Hasbro July 2007 Transformers Movie - Nightwatch Optimus Prime Posted 7/21/2007
July 2007 Compilation of Great movie robots - Times Picayune Posted 7/15/2007
July 2007 Nalika’s doll story - Sunday Times.lk Posted 7/15/2007
Claiz Aug 2007 Time Bokan Series - Doronjo-Sama - Yatterman PVC 1/7 scale Posted 7/5/2007
Playskool July 2007 Transformers Optimash Prime Mr. Potato Head Posted 7/5/2007
Millenium June 2007 First Time Dentist 1 Box Posted 7/5/2007
Action Figures expected to sell in 2007 - The Money Times Posted 6/16/2007
Hasbro June 2007 Transformers Movie Optimus Prime Voice Changer Helmet Posted 6/11/2007
September 2007 Releases: Bandai Gekiranger Geki Shark, TakaraTomy Microman 2007 Space Time Police ,... Posted 6/11/2007
June 2007 Pokemon builds TRU Times Square boutique - Playthings Posted 6/11/2007
Hasbro June 2007 Transformers -Optimash Prime Posted 6/11/2007
Antique dolls capture childhood - Centre Daily Times Posted 6/11/2007
Takara Tomy June 2007 Transformers Movie - MA-01 Optimus Prime Gallery Posted 6/11/2007
86Hero June 2007 Transformers - GIANT Optimus Prime Figure - 6 feet tall! Posted 6/11/2007
MGA May 2007 Smoby negotiating with lenders to repurchase inventory - Financial Times Posted 5/27/2007
May 2007 Reasons to attend 'Star Wars' Celebration IV - Los Angeles Times Posted 5/27/2007
Hasbro May 2007 Transformers Movie - Optimus Prime Autobot + Megatron Decepticon Posted 5/27/2007
TOMY May 2007 Announces U.S. Release of 'i-SOBOT', Its High-Tech Robot From Japan, Just in Time for Holiday 2007 ... Posted 5/12/2007
Ganz May 2007 Webkinz 'virtually' difficult to find - Gaylord Herald Times Posted 5/12/2007
Hasbo May 2007 Transformers Optimus Prime Unleashed Posted 5/12/2007
Hasbro May 2007 Transformers Movie Protoform Optimus Prime and Starscream. Posted 5/12/2007
Hasbro 2007 Transformers Movie Optimus Prime Posted 5/5/2007
Hasbro Summer 2007 Transformer Mr Potato Head! Optimash Prime Posted 5/5/2007
Children's toys evolve over time Posted 4/14/2007
Hasbro April 2007 Transformers Movie Voyager 'Robo Vision' Prime Images Posted 4/14/2007
April 2007 Transformers - Optimus Prime Projection Alarm Clock Posted 4/14/2007
April 2007 Transfomers Plush -Transformers Softimus Prime & Slumblebee Pics Posted 4/7/2007
Diamond Select April 2006 Transformers 6-Inch Optimus Prime Bust Posted 4/7/2007
Hasbro April 2007 Transformers Movie - Voyager Class Optimus Prime Posted 4/7/2007
Hasbro March 2007 Transformers - Movie Voyager Class Optimus Prime Images Posted 3/31/2007
Hasbro March 2007 Transformers - More Voyager Class Movie Optimus Prime Images Posted 3/31/2007
Ohio Art Co March 2007 Maker of Etch A Sketch shows a profit for the first time in 4 years. Posted 3/31/2007 by  Toledo Blade 
Hasbro March 2007 Transformers LOC Reissues - Cybertron Prime, Soundwave and Hot Shot Posted 3/29/2007
Toys R Us March 2007 TRU Alleged robber ejected from trial, twice - Vallejo Times-Herald Posted 3/24/2007
Hasbro Transformers RID 6-Inch Optimus Prime - Review Posted 3/22/2007
Hasbro March 2007 Transformers 6-Inch Titanium G1 Rodimus Prime - review Posted 3/17/2007
Hasbro 2007 Transformers - Classics Optimus Prime Posted 3/17/2007
Hasbro March 2007 Transformers Review - 20th Anniversary DVD Edition Optimus Prime Posted 3/9/2007
Hasbro 2007 Transformers - Speak like Optimus Prime Posted 3/4/2007
Transformers 2007 BT-17 Black Convoy vs Alternator Nemesis Prime Posted 3/4/2007
LeapFrog's loss grows to $145M - products "technologically past its prime." Posted 3/4/2007 by  Bizjournals.com 
Sideshow & Hot Toys - Feb 2007 ED-209 is back, this time sporting some battle damage! Posted 2/27/2007
As landfills vanish, so do most gulls - Danbury News Times Published 2/24/2007
Supreme Commander, Crackdown Storm Real-Time Charts - Gamasutra Published 2/24/2007
Toy fair features array of multimedia creations - Washington Times Published 2/24/2007
MP-05 In-Box; Sports Label Nike Prime, Megatron Pics Posted 2/24/2007
Transformers Movie Optimus Prime Costume Posted 2/24/2007
Robot Heroes Rodimus, Insecticon; Prime, Ravage MOSC Posted 2/24/2007
Feb 2007 'Bout time I show my daily arrivals!! Posted 2/16/2007
Feb 2007 Doll Collector Profile - Dolls, lace, dreams come together for girls of all ages at Stella’s - Beaverton Valley Times Posted 2/10/2007
Feb 2007 'Wow' toys are hot sellers - Seattle Times Posted 2/10/2007
Hasbro Publishes Transformers Timeline Posted 2/10/2007
HUGE Images of Movie Prime VC Head and Toy Design Posted 2/10/2007
Hasbro to end relationship with Grey Worldwide: New York Times - MarketWatch Published 2/4/2007
Hasbro Feb 2007 Transformers - Titanium 6-Inch RID Optimus Prime Gallery Posted 2/4/2007
Hasbro Feb 2007 Hasbro to end relationship with Grey Worldwide: New York Times - MarketWatch Posted 2/2/2007
Good Smile 2006 Please! Teacher - Mizuho Kazami Dessert Time 1/7 scale PVC Figure - review Posted 1/30/2007
Jan 2007 Book 'Real Toy Story' reveals dark side of toy industry - Times Record News Posted 1/30/2007
Jan 2007 Coolest Toys of All time: The List- Glasgow Daily Record Posted 1/30/2007
American Girl Jan 2007 Sales edge up - The Capital Times Posted 1/30/2007
Sideshow - Lord od the Rings - Legolas Review - Hylton Mayne is back, and this time he’s brought an Elf! Posted 1/30/2007
Museum exhibits antique toys worth thousands - Greenwich Time Posted 1/9/2007
Jan 2007 Action Figure Times - Best of 2006 Poll Posted 1/6/2007
2006 Plastic and Plush Toy Awards: Primer Posted 1/4/2007
Time Traveler's Gets A Rewrite Published 1/4/2007
Bruce Museum Dec 2006 Exhibit looks at toys through time Posted 12/29/2006
Dec 2006 Toys tell tale of past fun times - OCRegister Posted 12/21/2006
The 10 Most Dangerous Toys of All Time Posted 12/17/2006
Brownsville Heritage Complex Dec 2006 Batteries Not Included: Timeless Toys from the Past Posted 12/17/2006
Second childhood - Cape Cod Times Posted 12/17/2006
Spielberg Does TV Time Travel Published 12/12/2006
Mattel wins patent suit against Safety 1st - Los Angeles Times - Dec 2006 Posted 12/10/2006
Translucent Worlds Smallest Transformer Optimus Prime Replica Published 12/4/2006
Faerie tales come true for Katara - The Capital Times Posted 12/2/2006
Star Wars action figures hit right note for season - Washington Times Published 12/2/2006
Sculpting Studio in Brooklyn - Making Better Monsters and Their Super Rivals - New York Times Posted 12/1/2006
Titanium RID Optimus Prime and WW Starscream Official Images Published 12/1/2006
More Test Shot Images of the Transformers Movie Optimus Prime and Starscream Toys Published 12/1/2006
Optimus Prime and Wing Saber Costco Exclusive Out In Canada Published 11/29/2006
New Images of Classics Ramjet, Ultra Magnus, Titanium Starscream, RiD Prime Published 11/27/2006
Levi’s Time Figurine Box Set Posted 11/21/2006
Studios feast on fast-food tie-ins - Los Angeles Times Published 11/21/2006
Danny Chan X Ultraman - Levi's Time 12" Figure Posted 11/21/2006
Toys' R Us: No Playtime on Recovery Road - New York Times Posted 11/19/2006
For GI Joe creator, the real action is in the Bible - Huntsville Times Posted 11/17/2006
Ultraman . . . forever - The Japan Times Published 11/12/2006
Why a Happy Meal really could put a smile on your face - The Sunday Times Posted 11/12/2006
Comment: Sarah Carey: Dolls are toys for little boys - The Sunday Times Published 11/12/2006
IDW February Solicits - Prime Directive #1 Published 11/10/2006
Hasbro Nov 2006 Transformers Classics Voyager Optimus Prime Figure Posted 11/8/2006
Optimus Prime vs. Megatron 2-Pack In Stock at Kooltoyz.ca Published 11/8/2006
New International In Package Images - 20th DVD Prime and More Published 11/7/2006
Nov 2006 Hot toys can act, interact, and react - Fort Frances Times Posted 11/6/2006
New Images of Classics Minicons, Leo Prime, Fireflight Published 11/3/2006
Schwentke Travels To Time Published 11/2/2006
Alternators Nemesis Prime Shipping From Hasbrotoyshop.com Again Published 11/2/2006
International Classics Prime vs. Megatron and Another Mini-Con Set Published 10/25/2006
Official Titanium Soundwave and Rodimus Prime Images Published 10/24/2006
McAdams Mulls Time Traveler Posted 10/23/2006
Transformers Classics and DVD Prime Out In Canada Published 10/23/2006
Good Smile - Please Teacher Mizuho Kazami Dessert Time Statue Posted 10/22/2006
Mezco Releases Living Dead Doll Art Prints In Time For Halloween ... - USPRwire Published 10/22/2006
It’s time to sell this Howdy Doody collection Posted 10/20/2006
Now is the time to donate to Toys for Tots Posted 10/20/2006
Me2 Is Time-Travel Comedy Published 10/19/2006
Playmates Toys With The Land Before Time - Animation World Network Posted 10/18/2006
Build your own Mario shrine one pixel at a time - Gizmodo.com Published 10/13/2006
Bratz Dolls Get New Couture Look - International Business Times Posted 10/11/2006
Galaxy Force Optimus Prime Released In Canada Published 10/8/2006
Galaxy Force Vector Prime and Deluxe Class Wave 9 Released In Canada Published 10/7/2006
Marie Osmond Dolls Arrive Just in Time for the Holidays at Beacon’s Glow Collectibles Posted 10/3/2006
Go, Joe! Big time for hero - Atlanta Journal Constitution Posted 10/3/2006
Optimus Prime - Classics - Figure - Tformers.com Posted 10/1/2006
Classics DVD Optimus Prime Released Published 10/1/2006
An iconic toy that has ruled since 1959 - The Brunei Times Published 9/28/2006
Costco Optimus Prime and Wing Saber 2-Pack Released Published 9/28/2006
McFARLANE'S 'LOST' ACTION FIGURES TO LAUNCH AT TOYS 'R' US TIMES SQUARE Posted 9/28/2006
Official Classics Prime vs. Megatron 2-Pack Images Published 9/27/2006
NEW! Revoltech Optimus Prime Release Date and Price - seibertron.com Published 9/22/2006
e-HOBBY Exclusive T.H.S-02B Optimus Prime Black Version Published 9/22/2006
Maker of Bratz Dolls, Citing Need for Space, Plans Move to ... - Los Angeles Times Posted 9/21/2006
Beat 2006: Ichigo Marshmallow Bath Time 2nd Color 1 Box Posted 9/21/2006
Galaxy Force Optimus Prime Released In Canada Published 9/19/2006
Toy Companies Push High-Tech Robotic Toys - TIME Published 9/19/2006
Electronic fun doesn’t push the right buttons - The Sunday Times Published 9/19/2006
Adding some passion to our plastic world - The Japan Times Posted 9/17/2006
Toys R Us to begin using shipping center in Ohio - Centre Daily Times Published 9/15/2006
New Classics Optimus Prime 2-Pack Test Shot Images Published 9/15/2006
Playmates toys with The Land Before Time - Playthings Posted 9/14/2006
Wrigley, O'Hare part of latest Monopoly edition - Chicago Sun-Times Posted 9/14/2006
Cybertron Galaxy Force Vector Prime Released in the US Published 9/14/2006
Designs For Unproduced Optimus Prime Block Figure Published 9/13/2006
Times Square Gets Jump on Boardwalk Published 9/13/2006 by  Los Angeles Times 
Camelback in prime Monopoly spot Posted 9/13/2006 by  Arizona Republic 
Monopolizing Monopoly: Is Times Square the New Boardwalk? - ABC News Published 9/12/2006
Would You Like Fries With That Monopoly Game? - New York Times Published 9/12/2006
New 3-Inch Titanium Images - Prime and Galvatron Published 9/11/2006
Fisher-Price Shares Play Tips Just in Time for Grandparents Day ... - Business Wire (press release) Published 9/7/2006
Fans lift J-culture over language barrier - The Japan Times Published 9/7/2006
More Movie Optimus Prime Work In Progress Images Published 9/6/2006
Moon Knight is restored to life, set to battle crime - Washington Times Published 9/4/2006
Big-time collectors flock to toy store Posted 9/4/2006
Australia's 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin dies - Hindustan Times Published 9/4/2006
Collection Figure Primera Published 9/1/2006
Classics Legends Perceptor, Fireflight, And Leo Prime In Package Published 8/31/2006
Transformers Candy Just In Time For Halloween Published 8/30/2006
Package from India - Times Online Published 8/29/2006
Time to play in Toy Town, U.S.A. Posted 8/28/2006
Dunny lovers dunno what sits inside the box - Seattle Times Published 8/28/2006
Takara: Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime MP-01 Reissue Posted 8/25/2006
Good Smile: Please Teacher 1/7 Mizuho Kazami Dessert Time Figure Posted 8/25/2006
Takara: Transformers MP-04 Masterpiece Optimus Prime Convoy + Trailer Posted 8/25/2006
Kansans spend time, money on die-cast collectibles - Kansas City Star Published 8/25/2006
New Images of Classics Megatron and Optimus Prime 2-pack Published 8/25/2006
Premium Format Darth Vader, from Sideshow - Washington Times Posted 8/24/2006
Optimus Prime vs. Megatron 2-Pack In-Package - New Pics of Mirage, Grimlock and Jetfire On Side Panel Published 8/24/2006
NEW! Hasbro to release Mr. Potato Head Prime? - seibertron.com Published 8/22/2006
Polish Brothers Fly With Time Published 8/22/2006
International Starscream vs. Vector Prime and Sky Shadow Published 8/20/2006
Cybertron Galaxy Force Optimus Prime Released in the US Published 8/15/2006
First Look at 2-Pack Classics Optimus Prime Images Published 8/15/2006
Rock Music Menu: Poison isn’t feeling it in Philly region - The Delaware County Times Published 8/13/2006
Four thousand Barbie dolls up for auction in Sept - Khaleej Times Published 8/13/2006
Mandate Acquires 27 Times Published 8/13/2006
Clear Images of Transformers Movie Optimus Prime Published 8/9/2006
More Images Of Cybertron Galaxy Force Vector Prime Published 8/9/2006
Official Pics of Cybertron Optimus Prime, BW Megatron, Smokescreen, Titanium Jetfire Published 8/9/2006
6 Inch Titanium Optimus Prime and Megatron Released In Canada Published 8/9/2006
Captain ready for action; Thamuz menaces Spawn - Washington Times Published 8/7/2006
Tell Retro Time with Nintendo - Kotaku.com Published 8/4/2006
Bandai to sell giant Gundam - The Japan Times Published 8/4/2006
Todd McFarlane Launches Pop Culture Megasite Aug. 1 - PrimeZone Published 8/1/2006
20th Anniversary Optimus Prime DVD Edition NOT Released Published 7/31/2006
Fall Out Boy figures to hit stores soon - Washington Times Published 7/29/2006
Tustin Woman Puts Her Faith in Dolls to Spread the Word of God - Los Angeles Times Posted 7/29/2006
Violent Protest Erupts at Chinese Toy Factory - New York Times Published 7/28/2006
Optimus Prime And WingSaber Costco Exclusive In-Package Published 7/28/2006
20th Anniversary Optimus Prime DVD Edition Released? Published 7/28/2006
Hasbro Toy Shop Nemesis Prime Update Published 7/28/2006
SDCC Nemesis Prime IN-STOCK at HasbroToyShop.Com Published 7/28/2006
Weight of rising costs presses Amazon profit - Seattle Times Published 7/26/2006
BigBadToyStore.com - Nemesis Prime IN STOCK Published 7/25/2006
Metroid: Prime Toys from First 4 Figures - Kotaku.com Published 7/22/2006
New 6" Titaniums at SDCC - G1 Soundwave, G1 Rodimus, WW Starscream, RID Prime Published 7/21/2006
Hasbro and SDCC Exclusive Alternators Nemesis Prime Published 7/21/2006
LOST Cast Member Jorge Garcia and Todd McFarlane Unveil McFarlane ... - PrimeZone Published 7/20/2006
Jakks' Profit Drops 45%; Forecasts Are Lowered - Los Angeles Times Published 7/20/2006
6 Inch Titanium Optimus Prime And Megatron Out In Retail Published 7/19/2006
Rules Regarding Online Alternators Nemesis Prime Purchases From The Transformers Collectors Club Store Published 7/19/2006
First Time Bathtime Set #2 Published 7/19/2006
Even More 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime Rerelease In-Package Images Published 7/18/2006
Simm Travels Time In Mars Published 7/17/2006
VIDEO: Customizing action figures - Richmond Times Dispatch Posted 7/17/2006
20th Anniversary Optimus Prime Rerelease In Package Published 7/17/2006
More Images of 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime Reissue Published 7/15/2006
First Look at 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime Reissue Published 7/14/2006
TFsource.com - MP-01 Masterpiece Optimus Prime 2nd Wave Released Published 7/14/2006
Brando Becomes Action Figure For First Time - KCCI.com Published 7/13/2006
Official In and Out of Package Images Of Classics Optimus Prime Published 7/11/2006
In turmoil, LeapFrog taps new CEO - Contra Costa Times Published 7/6/2006
More Cryo-Scourge and Galaxy Force Optimus Prime In Package Images Published 7/6/2006
Official Images Of Titanium War Within Optimus Prime and Megatron Published 7/6/2006
Superman action figure searches for redemption - Washington Times Posted 7/5/2006
'Sonic Brand' Marketer Pitches Barbie's Song - Los Angeles Times Published 7/5/2006
Real-life GI Joe inspires game, figure - Corvallis Gazette Times Published 7/5/2006
Blythe's revival is bliss to designer - Chicago Sun-Times Published 7/5/2006
Chief of Toys 'R' Us US Division is Fired - New York Times Published 6/30/2006
Tools for Fun at New Milford Shop - Litchfield County Times Published 6/30/2006
The toy done good - Financial Times Published 6/30/2006
Prime Vs. Storm Shadow Statue In Full Color Published 6/30/2006
Alternators Nemesis Prime Bio Published 6/28/2006
Alternators Nemesis Prime Out In Hong Kong Published 6/28/2006
Is it time for a Bye Bye Barbie? Posted 6/26/2006
SDCC Storm Shadow VS Optimus Prime Statue Published 6/26/2006
New Classics Optimus Prime Test Shot Images on Ebay Published 6/26/2006
Special Edition Tamagotchi celebrates 10 years of wasted time - engadget Published 6/23/2006
Vector Prime Repaint Is Named Galaxy Force Vector Prime Published 6/23/2006
Hill: Horror Takes Time Published 6/22/2006
Bill's Toys and Games - SDCC Exclusive Nemesis Prime Published 6/22/2006
Classics Optimus Prime In Test Packaging Published 6/22/2006
Classics Optimus Prime Prototype Images On Ebay Published 6/22/2006
Jakks Wins Rights to Pokemon Products - Los Angeles Times Published 6/21/2006
Playtime is over for China's toy industry - Asia Times Online Published 6/20/2006
Playskool Is Expanding to Baby Care - New York Times Published 6/19/2006
McFarlane Toys Announces MLB Exclusives for John Hancock All Star ... - PrimeZone Published 6/16/2006
Cybertron Deluxe Optimus Prime Gallery at TFKenkon Published 6/16/2006
New In Package Images Of Alternators Nemesis Prime Published 6/13/2006
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