Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category
This is awesome! Jonason Pauley (21) and Jesse Perrotta (19) have remade the entire Pixar movie Toy Story with live actors and real toys. Wow.
They used toys they found at Goodwill for their cast members. Some are not quite accurate. But they also created some toys from scratch which they couldn’t find (probably because they don’t exist). They have transformed two rooms in one of their homes into sets of Andy’s and Sid’s rooms (they must have amazing parents). It utilizes the original audio from the movie including the voices of Tom Hanks as Woody and Tim Allen as Buzz.
They even managed to get permission from Pixar to go ahead and post their video. One more reason why Pixar is awesome.
Check out the video below and when you’re done check out the outtakes.
Star Wars Blue-ray Box set
Pre-order the Star Wars original trilogy (episodes IV-VI) at Amazon now for only $39.99 (save $30.00 off the list price)!
The set will be released on September 16, 2011.
And, if the price decreases between now and the release date, you receive the lowes price.
I’m having some trouble determining if this is the original version of the first three movies, or the CG enhanced versions. I’ll post if I can get that cleared up.
A few Ugly’s
One of our favorite toys is the Uglydolls. We’ve sold Uglydolls at Dave’s Cool Toys since they first came out, I believe. At that time there was Wage, Babo, Cinko, Target, Tray, and Jeero, followed soon after by Icebat, Wedgehead, and Ox.
In the years since, Uglydolls has grown into an enormous franchise. In addition to lots more regular Uglydolls, they’ve has added Little Ugly’s, keychains, giant Ugly’s, comic books, vinyl, note pads, watches, cookie jars, t-shirts, games, mugs, watches, tote bags, tin toys, pillows, and even Swarovski Crystal iPad cases.
Now we’ve gotten news from Uglydoll that they will have their own movie!
Illumination Entertainment, who have made the films Despicable Me and Hop, have acquired the rights to turn the Uglydolls into an animated feature. They will develop the film with Universal Pictures. Uglydolls creators David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim will be executive producers. They plan on starting with a feature film and branching into wider media opportunities after that.
Illumination’s first feature release, Despicable Me, is being turned into a Universal theme park attraction. They are currently developing a stop-motion film based on the original Addams Familycharacters from the comic created by Charles Addams, directed by none other than Tim Burton. They are also working on The Lorax based on the Dr. Seuss book as well as a computer animated film based on Ricky Gervais’ book series Flanimals (which I’m sorry to say I’m not familiar with).
It’s still a little early for any further information on the Uglydolls movie, but we’ll post it here as soon as we hear anything more.
Jedi toy painting
Artist Robert Burden has created a wonderful work of art entitled "The Birth of a Jedi". It’s oil on canvas, and stands 10 feet x 7feet.
If you’re wondering how this fits in to a blog about toys you will understand towards the end of the video for the closeups
Of course if you’re wondering that, you probably haven’t visited my blog before (I go off-topic a lot).
The painting covers events in Return of the Jedi when Luke is rescued by Han and must be kept warm in the belly of the TaunTaun. Although I remember them being white, or gray.
Scroll down for a time-lapse of the 7 months it took to paint.
Today’s cool toy is the Lego Barechested Dastan Prince of Persia Minifugure.
I have not seen The Prince of Persia movie. But this minifigure character is Dastan, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. The princes in the Prince of Persia video game world did not have names, known only as "Prince".
The Dastan Minifigure is a great likeness of the character. He even comes with two swords! Although at $10.00 he is a little pricey (and this is apparently a reduced price). By comparison the same character with his shirt on is selling for $5.00 and Hassansin
is only 49 cents.
Another great Minifigure from the movie is the Skeleton. I love him and he’s only 25 cents.
The Dastan Minifigure is very cool and is a great example of the incredible variety of characters created by Lego. These little "action figures" are only about 1.5 inches tall, and yet the designers have managed to capture incredible unique traits in them.
Early Lego characters had no moving arms or legs and no facial features. Their character was mostly defined by the hat they wore. They certainly have come a long way since their release in 1974.
There is also a large community of Minifigure enthusiasts that not only collect the little guys, but modify them through the use of painting, decals, mixing and matching pieces, or even remolding them. For the collector, you can even buy Minifig Stand (in various colors) for displaying your favorite characters.
One of my favorite items is a poster of the anatomy of a Lego Minifigure.
Since Toy Story 3 opens today, here’s a video I stumbled on this morning that takes vocals and chords recorded from Toy Story
and remixes it into clips from the movies. Great video! For more of these, check out the Pogo YouTube channel.
It’s here! Toy Story 3 arrives in theaters today.
Pixar has created one of the most imaginative "trailers" for a movie that I’ve ever seen. It’s a series of animated mosaics of Toy Story 3 characters created from still images from Toy Story 1 and 2 (including credits). In total there are 16 mosaics created from 640,000 tiles. Each frame of the video took between 30 seconds and 16 minutes to render.
Notice while you’re watching that each mosaic image created by the tiles becomes a tile in a larger mosaic.
Disney/Pixar is also using an innovative Facebook page that lets you find showtimes for Toy Story 3 and coordinate with your friends to go see the movie together. When I visited the page, it automatically listed local theaters and showtimes. You then select a show and invite friends to join you. Very clever.
Crank your sound up, watch in full-screen and high-def if your system can handle it, and enjoy!
I came across this excellent video today. In the same category as the "Pixels" video we posted recently, it is a video game come to life in the real world featuring Mario.
I found the original site (I think) that this was posted and got a very poor translation from the Japanese description.
The best I could determine was that it was posted on June 8, 2010. The video was made with Post-It Notes (or generic versions) for some sort of festival. It took 2 weeks to make in an empty school and cost about 5,000 Yen (about $55.00 US).
I missed Star Wars Day, which was yesterday ("May the force" be with you). But I’m making it up with this little movie. It’s the original Star Wars Trilogy told in 2 minutes with animated Lego and narrated by a child. What could be better? The little nuggests of humor go by very fast, so watch it twice (or 3 times). My favorite… "What up, son". I wish I knew who made this, but I haven’t been able to locate that info. Enjoy!
This great "retro" commercial has popped up on YouTube (circa 1983). But if you remember having this bear or seeing this commercial, you have a faulty memory. It’s really a viral video posted by Pixar. Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear is not a real toy, but actually a new character in Toy Story 3. Check it out.
GI Joe poster
We watched G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra this past weekend and I was most disappointed with it. Aside from the fact that I was slightly surprised with the amount of violence and profanity in a movie that is based on a child’s toy, it just wasn’t a very good movie. Too many villains, too many things blowing up, too many sound effects, and visually a mess.
I recently read an article that blamed the demise in recent years of Disney’s animated film juggernaut on the fact that parents began to feel exploited by Disney. Many parents began to feel that the long list of animated films such as The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, etc. had become nothing more than a tool to sell merchandise to children and parents, cranking them out each year just for the sake of toy and video tie-ins.
It certainly is true that not only Disney, but all major movie studios strive to have films that tie in well with toy and merchandise. In some cases, effects and gadgets are written into films just because they would make a great toy, or the toy already exists.
Years ago I remember hearing the little creatures from the original Star Wars trilogy referred to as "the oh-so-merchandisable Ewoks". That didn’t work out too well for George Lucas (if that’s what he had in mind), since parents didn’t flock to the store to buy plush Ewoks, but he has certainly made up for it with subsequent movies.
A quiet moment in GI Joe when nothing is blowing up.
The article I read wondered if the recent trend of big-budget movies aimed at boys such as Transformers and G.I. Joe may have reached its end for the same reason.
I have always disliked marketing that tries to make you feel inadequate if you do not have the entire line, summed up with the statement "collect all 37!" Licensed merchandise plays upon that by having an entire line of characters from a movie, the full complement of children’s sheets, or limited edition items such as Disney video’s that will only be on the market for a few months. I don’t like feeling manipulated.
I recently posted about Toy Story 3, and this got me thinking a bit about Pixar and their films. Pixar has had a string of film success that is unprecedented. I love Pixar. Now this may be partly because an old friend of mine worked for Pixar for a while (prior to Toy Story) and their CEO is Steve Jobs, also the force behind Apple Computer. But is it also because of the wonderful films they produce and the talent and creativity at the company. Many years Pixar has released the only great "G" rated film. I know this from experience trying to choose child-appropriate films for middle school band trips.
But Pixar’s first film, Toy Story, was almost made for merchandising. That may have partly been because the very new medium of computer animation lent itself well to animating toys. But the movie, either by accident or design, reinvigorated some classic toy lines such as the Slinky and Mr. Potato Head. One anecdote about the Toy Story movies is that Pixar wanted to include Barbie in the first Toy Story movie, but they were turned down by Mattel because they didn’t expect the movie to succeed and didn’t feel they needed them. By the time they made Toy Story 2, Mattel was calling Pixar to get Barbie in the film. The point is that Pixar certainly capitalized upon Barbie in the film.
On the flip side, the recent Pixar film, "Up" was nearly un-merchandisable. There really were very few opportunities for toy tie-ins in the film. Pixar seems to have elected to concentrate on making a good film rather than concern themselves with merchandising.
Pixar is now owned by Disney and they are making Toy Story 3 (something Pixar fought against for many years). Will Pixar eventually succumb to the temptation of cranking out films in order to drive merchandising? It will remain to be seen.
Pushalong wooden toy
At Dave’s Cool Toys, we do not carry any licensed toys. We prefer toys that are not tied to the popularity of a movie franchise. We don’t concern ourselves with fads or worry about what is "hot" this year. Some of the toys you can purchase on our site have been in-stock for 14 years, since we first started out. Some of them have been around long before that, but are now hard to find in the giant big-box toy stores. Sometimes toys we loved have become fads, but that’s not our fault, so don’t hold that against us. Many of our toys are also low-tech. Batteries die, electronics stop working, video games get old. But a great wooden toy can last for generations.