SDCC 2015 Wrap Up! Toys & Collectibles

Alive, slightly less sore, a little less tired and a whole lot more excited about all the amazing goodies coming out in the next year. That’s me, right now, a few days after the mean streets of SDCC closed it’s hollowed halls.

Actually, THAT’S me (Thanks Sideshow Collectibles), sporting my first ever semi-cosplay as the mighty Jack Burton from Big Trouble and Little China. Never having done that sort of thing before I can tell you, it’s a little strange being on the other side of the lens. I was stopped constantly by people happy to see their nigh-forgotten hero brought to life in front of them so perfectly.
“Wait a minute, Kurt Russel didn’t have a beard in that movie.”
“But he COULD! It’s all in the reflexes.”

I took a million photos, just like I do each year and as a result, I’ve only been able to go through and edit a few. I’m splitting my wrap up into two sections. For this article, I’m focusing on the Toys and Collectibles. I’ll post our massive Cosplay gallery in the next day or so. If you’re here for that, check back soonly!

Someone told me this year’s SDCC felt muted compared to past ones he’s been to. I told him I felt more like someone turned the volume all the way up, but then unplugged the subwoofer. All the noise, crowd and aggressive fart clouds were there… but something else wasn’t. There’s no punch line or resolution to this paragraph’s setup.  I honestly can’t explain why I felt that way because I could never quite put my finger on it.
Maybe I’m just getting old or jaded… or both.

Most of the usual movie franchise-flaunting epic-ness was still in full effect, though the lack of Marvel popping off a big super hero movie to blow the doors off things with it’s mega star powered money machines was certainly noticeable. But we had freaking Star Wars! You simply can’t get bigger than that, can you? DC/Warner Bros had Batman V Superman which raised hope as well as expectations for many. Leaked trailers of the new Ryan Reynolds/Sony R rated Deadpool flick as well as the up-until-now-almost-universally-panned-as-going-to-be-awful Suicide Squad caused a huge stir.

At one point, whilst I roamed the floors, the cast of Game of Thrones caused people to amass in claustrophobic picture-taking panic when they sauntered onto the showroom floor for their scheduled signings. I was only able to snap a few before the swarm overtook me.

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San Diego Comic Con 2015 Toy Exclusives

*UPDATED 7/4/2015 with new stuff! Look for the **

The rush around the crowded convention floor to snag the one or twenty SDCC exclusives can be equal parts a rush of adrenaline in anticipation of bagging that one limited edition goodie and a frustrating, joyless, line-sitting slog.

I wanted to put a little list together of what I consider the highlights from this year. Keep in mind, there are literally 100’s of exclusives from tee shirts and toys to bottle openers and lunch boxes, so don’t consider this list a complete representation.

To keep up with us during the con, check all our many social medias and use the hashtag – #RtRSDCC and #RtR

And now, in no particular order…

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ThreeZero – Tyrion Lannister – Game of Thrones

I love Game of Thrones.

I realize that’s probably not the most original statement an individual with access to HBOs mega hit series can make, but I stand by it. Few shows have me waiting with baited breath for a fresh episode, season after season like GoT. Breaking Bad, LOST, The Walking Dead… Archer… the list of shows that have held that affect on me isn’t very long. The list of shows that would make for some amazing action figures is even shorter.

ThreeZero has practically made an art of snatching up some of the best licenses in the past couple years. At first, they snagged The Walking Dead and everyone lost their $#*% over the possibilities. Unfortunately, even with a few teased images of several lead characters (including seeing one in person at SDCC 2013) from the show… only Michonne’s Pets have actually seen light of day. (review here) We’re sure to get preorder info on Michonne, Rick, Daryl and all the rest fairly soon but the wait is killing me.

Michonne’s Pets and Merl figures on display at SDCC 2013

When ThreeZero announced they’d locked down Game of Thrones, I was both excited and hesitant to celebrate all at once. Would this be another situation of a single figure release followed with months of silence?

ThreeZero put their first figure from GoT, Tyrion Lannister up for preorder on May 26th, 2014. Almost immediately afterwards we started to see teased images of the follow up release, Ned Stark, who eventually went up for preorder in September. With two figures, released fairly closely to one another, there’s a good chance this license won’t sit idle for long. This also means, unlike those two zombies, I won’t have to worry about White Walkers roaming around my office unchallenged.

Ned will eventually have his day… but for now I’m happy to have the opportunity to talk to you about the Hand of the King, The Little Lion, The dude that always pays his debts… Tyrion Lannister.

*keep reading for the in depth review and check out our video review for the rest!

 

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Best movies/tv/music of 2011

We don’t need no stink’n top 10 when we have a top 5 “Best of 2011” List. Top 5 Music, Movies and TV shows of the year, in Miller’s humble opinion.

Best of 2011 by Miller

MUSIC

 1. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’

This album is a throwback to a time that never existed. The former Tony! Toni! Tone! singer has gone from new jack swinger to 60’s sounding soul man, and to quote his former band’s biggest smash, “It Feels Good.” Stone Rollin’ is one good song after another. Saadiq makes retro sounds, but he does it in a way that is all new. Art appreciation is subjective, but this album is objectively awesome.

2. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest

I love country music. That is just who I am and it ain’t never gonna change. Gillian Welch is one of the greatest country music singers alive today and “The Harrow & The Harvest” gives her a chance to showcase her talents. These songs sound as if they could have been written at the turn of the last century, but they make sense in the present as well.

3. Destroyer – Kaputt

So, Destroyer’s frontman, Dan Bejar (also a member of The New Pornographers), must have been REALLY into Al Stewart. “Kaputt” is an album that saunters and slithers into your eardrums and gently massages your heart and mind. I’m trying to sound like a guy who would wear a white linen shirt unbuttoned to his navel with a gold chain. “Kaputt” could truly be appreciated by a guy like that, and pretty much everyone else worth a damn.

4. The Train Wrecks – Saddle Up

The Train Wrecks are a four piece outlaw country group from Savannah, Georgia. This is a super independent album and one that probably can’t be found on the torrent sites. Somebody should really post this mofo on the torrent sites because people need to hear “Saddle Up.” I often imagine what it must have been like for Waylon Jennings’ touring bass player in the late seventies, drowning in a sea of quaaludes, whiskey, and feather haired groupies. That dude would have been all about the Train Wrecks. I’m all about the Train Wrecks. You should be all about The Train Wrecks too.

5. Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean

This was probably the album that I listened to the most this year. Sam Beam is a weird dude. He is a songwriter’s songwriter, yet he packs his lyrical and melodic genius into super palatable, easy to digest pop/soft rock container. This album is reminiscent of Prince’s favorite Joni Mitchell album, “The Hissing of Summer Lawns.” It is a one time singer of soft acoustic ballads recruiting a full band to flesh out the sound while retaining the intimacy of insightful lyrics that take a few listens to tuly appreciate.

MOVIES

1. Bridesmaids

I’m sick and tired of the sausage party that is modern comedy. Sure, the ladies got it going on in TV Land (30 Rock, Parks and Recreation) but when it comes to the big screen, moviegoers have to settle for Katherine Heigl, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, and Jennifer Aniston trying to do it with Gerard Butler or Josh Duhamel in this months garbage romantic comedy nonsense. I’m the kind of guy that likes to mix business with pleasure when it comes to combining two of my favorite things in this world, women and laughter. Bridesmaids is the funniest movie of the year.

2. The Tree of Life

Terence Malick stepped up to the plate and he swung for the fences. This movie is either the most pretentious strike out ever, or the best movie ever made summing up all of existence within a couple of hours. Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, and young Hunter McCracken should all three be nominated for Oscars this year for their performance in this strange movie. I couldn’t stop thinking about this movie after I left the theater and that is a rare occurrence these days.

3. Your Highness

I’m sure that if anybody reads this list (which they may or may not) they are going to see this entry and immediately disregard my opinion regarding anything and everything ever. However, I don’t give a @#$%. I love to laugh and “Your Highness” made me laugh. You know how, when you are at a wedding for someone you barely know and somebody makes the mistake of handing some drunken middle aged uncle the microphone during speech time, and you just sit back and watch the bizarre spectacle unfold. Some unfortunate studio executive got the bright idea of giving David Gordon Green, Ben Best, and Danny McBride a buttload of millions of dollars and let them run wild with it. The funniest thing about this movie is that it ever got made at all. Future cult classic.

4. Super 8

I was just about the age where one can first sit through an entire movie when “The Goonies” came out in 1985. I loved watching a movie about a group of kids running around and embarking on a wild adventure. They talked like kids talked and they walked like kids walked. Super 8 reminds me of that movie, and not just because it is set in the 80’s. J.J. Abrams’ homage to the 80’s is action packed, sweet, and funny. Kyle Chandler is great in a supporting role and all of the kids are spot on. Speilberg himself would have a hard time topping this one.

5. The Future

This is a film that some critics loved and some hated (Time Magazine called it and “Your Highness” two of the worst films of the year). I think that writer/director/star Miranda July should take that as a major compliment. Haters gonna hate. This is a heart breaking story of a quirky young couple living in America right here and now. They have jobs, but they don’t make any money. They have each other, but they aren’t sure if that is enough. They have plans to adopt a cat, but they feel like that might be too much of a commitment. In an ideal world Hamish Linklater would be a huge star and Miranda July would make one movie a year like Woody Allen. Time Magazine called her a “hipster” (basically the worst thing you could call someone these days), but really she is just a devastatingly talented iconoclast who made a really good film.

TV

1. Parks and Recreation

Watching “Parks and Recreation” makes me happy. As a great man once said (really it was Jerry Maguire, but I’m not very smart so all of my quotes come from popular films) “we live in a cynical world.” Negativity reigns supreme. Everybody is a critic and we all log on to facebook just to laugh at how fat the people we went to high school got. Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, Tom Haverford, April Ludgate, Andy Dwyer, Ben Wyatt, Chris Traeger, Anne Perkins, Donna Meagle, and Garry “Jerry” Gergich are better than all that. They look out for each other and they make decisions that aren’t always based on selfishness and nihilism like characters in every other well made sitcom on TV right now. It must be hard to write anything that can be as smart as “Parks and Recreation” and still stay so upbeat. I hope that the writers can keep it up and I hope that the show can attract more viewers before NBC replaces it with something as bad as “Whitney.”

2. The Good Wife

Alicia Florrick’s life is complicated. Her world is inhabited by really smart people who are really good at their jobs and clients who really need their help. This show is about politics. Not the kind of politics that you see on the news, but everyday politics; family politics, workplace politics, and sexual politics. It would be very limiting to call “The Good Wife” a feminist show, but it wouldn’t be completely inaccurate. Prime time network dramas are rarely this well written and Juliana Margulies is the best actress on TV.

3. Game of Thrones

“They would never cancel ‘Game of Thrones.’ It’s a crossover hit. It’s not just for fantasy enthusiasts, they’re telling human stories in a fantasy world.”

Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) from “Parks and Recreation”

4. Friday Night Lights

FNL did something really amazing in its 5 season run. It was a drama that was just as engaging and well crafted as any other on television (Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Dexter), but without all of the darkness and negativity. Real life can be inspiring and uplifting, but really good TV shows rarely are. FNL ended its run on a high note and I feel sorry for those who haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying it. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose!

5. Revenge

This show is pretty much just a soap opera. I’m not going to get into how it is deep and meaningful, because it isn’t. The shelf life on the quality of enjoyment for this guilty pleasure is probably going to be pretty short, so watch it while you still can, before this thing jumps the shark higher than any other show has ever jumped before. Check out Emily Thorne and the gang before the plot gets too ludicrous to endure, and believe me, it’s coming.

Miller is suppose to be studying for the bar exam but instead wasted his precious time writing this summary of 2011. We hope you enjoyed it.