Warped Tour Gets Nerdy

The Van’s Warped Tour is a yearly music festival that features punk and, more recently, various other genres of rock. As it has gone on we see some years heavy with pop-punk, others with metal-core, or screamo, etc. Whatever is breaking mainstream the tour tries to accommodate the trends. Well add another bullet point to show the 20XX’s are the time of the geeks because Warped Tour is Getting Nerdy.

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First of we have I Fight Dragons: A pop rock band from Chicago that incorporates chiptune and Nintendocore in their sound as well as retro 8-bit lyrics and aesthetics permeating every aspect of the band. In the last few years they have had songs featured on Big Brother, WWE, The Hills, and NCIS as well as doing the theme to ABC’s The Goldbergs and now they are back again at the Warped Tour.

 

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Next is The Protomen: A Tennessee rock band best known for composing rock opera concept albums based loosely on the Mega Man video game series (a personal favorite of mine, so cheap points there). They have a major 80′s genre movie vibe enhanced by their inclusion of new wave in their melting pot of musical influences not limited to indie, hard rock, and Nintendocore. The have toured with I Fight Dragons (you remember them, right?) as well as playing several conventions from PAX to the Capcom booth at San Diego Comic Con International and now they will be joining the lineup of nerd bands at Warped Tour 2014.

 

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And Lastly we have MC chris: arguably the most popular nerd musician in all of nerd music. One of the forefathers of what has been come to be known and embraced as Nerdcore Hiphop. He has been featured prominently in Cartoon Networks Adult Swim, and has had songs in loads of major motion pictures, commercials,  and television shows as well as many major tours. His song “Fett’s Vette” blew up and got a lot of main-streamers interested (which funny enough is nowhere near his best song).

 

So far all of these are definitely going to the tour, but I don’t think we should stop their. Why don’t we get the other Godfather of Nerdcore Hiphop himself, MC Frontalot on this bill? And the younger internet crowd would get pretty hype to Ninja Sex Party and/or Star Bomb. So let’s make this happen, Warped Tour. Add these guys to the roster and bring home the fact that this is the year for nerds AND that glasses and video games T’s are sexier than skinny jeans and guy-liner.

 

 

 

Toys For Men!

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Sometimes it’s fun to peruse the isles at Target and Walmart and relive the boyhood hunt for bits of plastic shaped like your favorite TV and comic characters. Other times these 7 dollar 3 3/4 inch super-dudes just won’t cut it. That, my friends, is when you need…

TOYS FOR MEN!

NEW RELEASES

What better way to get in the spirit of a fairly fresh new year than with a few intellectual properties that are getting a proverbial face-lift in the coming months? First we have the King of Kaiju himself, Gojira! S.H. MonstarArts Godzilla 2000 (NOT Godzilla 1998, don’t get all worked up) has just showed up in 6.10 inches and over a pound and a half of greatness.

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It comes with a price-tag in the $70-75 dollar range, but you get what you pay for, and the S.H. line is one of the most solid in the figure market today. This newest addition will look quite dashing on the shelf with the rest of the S.H. MonstarArts collection, including: Mogera, Rodan, Destoroyah, Kiryu (aka Mechagozilla 3), Space Godzilla, Lil’ Godzilla, and (my Favorite) Godzilla 1995.

Next up, NECA pays tribute to the 8-bit classic video-game interpretation of everyone’s favorite cyborg police officer. ROBOCOP

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Officer Murphy is here in fully articulated 7-inch glory, complete with a spring loaded holster and his highly advanced 50-round select-fire machine pistol, the Auto-9. His paint job is a violet tinged blue complete with cell-shading that perfectly captures the 1989 video-game’s aesthetic. But it doesn’t stop there! The window box has a flap allowing you to view the figure without opening up the box which also recreates the look and feel of the game’s packaging. Don’t be surprised it I wind up talking about this more in-depth down the road as the reasonable price of $20-25 all but insures that I will be adding this one to my Robo collection.

But we’re not done there, creep! It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the future of law enforcement. ED-209!

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Omni Consumer Products (or NECA…) recently released the Enforcement Droid, Series 209 in 10″. The great thing about ED 209 being 10″? He is in perfect scale with the 7″ Robocops that NECA has put out. I know, right? Kanye levels of genius. He clocks in at 3.36 pounds and his three autocannons, autoshotgun, and rocket launcher are just too cute. He can be yours for one easy payment of $59.99

 

UPCOMING RELEASES

Next up we have Tommy Oliver’s own Power Rangers Legacy Green Dragonzord!

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Bandai brings back great childhood memories as well as sadness. (MOM?!?!? WHERE IS MY OLD DRAGONZORD?!?!?)
This beauty is made partly of die-cast materials and, even cooler, can combine with the Legacy MMPR Megazord to create a series accurate Battle Mode Dragonzord and Mega Dragonzord. I have a soft spot for Mecha, but with an $89.99 price I’ll have to start saving now if I want to be able to tell the wife “I need Dragonzord power, NOW!” when this this guy is released in May. Wand! Make my wallet grow!

Next up is a limited edition Tamashii web exclusive Kamen Rider Gaim: Blood Orange Arms

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For the most part, this guy is just a repaint. The cool part about that, however, is that he is flawlessly compatible with all of the previous “Arm Change” line. He feels a bit pricey at $45+, but I’m still riding pretty high on the Gaim wave, so I have a hard time talking bad about it in anyway. Regardless of any pricing factors, it a very neat figure with an immensely cool concept. Another Release for May, but being a limited special edition deal you might want to get a pre-order in ASAP

 

Now we enter the “only in my dreams” portion of the article. Sentinal brings us the T-Rex Getter 1 Diecast model.

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This is the bad-ass of bad-asses. I have the Hero Collection Getter 1 from around 2002 who is the centerpiece of my manga shelf since he and Phoenix Ikki from Saint Seiya were my first “grown-up” toys and thus hold a special place in my heart. Here we have a souped-up Getter with a souped up price tag. We’re looking at anything from $90 to $135. He does have a lot of cool accessories to lesson the blow including:
-Main figure
-Optional Face Piece
-Cloth Cape
-2 Getter Tomahawk
-Tomahawk parts
-2 Getter Machine Gun
-Tomahawk hands
-Machine gun holding hands
-Gripped hands
-Open hands
-Tomahawk holding hands
-Base parts
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We will see that one become more than a pre-order come March. Truly awesome. And we couldn’t get much more expensive this week, right? Right?

Lastly, lets look at another Tamashii web exclusive: Makai Kado – Zen & Gai Gold Set

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Garo, like seemingly everything that Keita Amemiya touches, has some of the most beautiful suits in all of tokusatsu. So beautiful I had to be dragged away from a booth at Gencon before I pulled out my credit card and dropped a months pay at a booth with several Amemiya Toku figures. My family thanks you, convention friend who shall remain nameless (…bitch). So it should be no surprise I dig these guys in all there golden glory. We get three additional hands and a sword for Zen, while Gai has six additional Hands and his bow. Oh, and a “background sheet set”. Now hold on to your comically over-sized hat, this set comes in at $137-$170.

Zen Is already out in his classic flame color for $84.99,

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Gai in his night sky color will be available in March for $73.99,

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and the gold set will be released in June, just in time for my birthday! So now come the hard questions:

Do I want the gold set?

Do I want their individual unique colors?

Do I want to pass on these great figures and stay married?

Tune in next time for the exciting conclusion on…

TOYS FOR MEN!

 

Log Horizon

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Log Horizon tells the story of an MMORPG called Elder Tale, which unsurprisingly seems to be the anime’s take on World of Warcraft. It has millions of fans worldwide and eleven expansion packs under it’s belt. As the twelfth expansion Novasphere Pioneers goes live the thirty thousand Japanese gamers who where logged in find themselves transported to the in game half-scale replica of earth represented in Elder Tale.
We follow Shiroe “the strategist” who plays an Enchanter and Scribe who cast spells and draws maps. His best friend Naotsugu the “open pervert” is the Guardian class who acts like a heavily armored paladin tank. Last is the Assassin Akatsuki, who is SPOILER a girl who used a male avitar. Unfortunately for Akatsuki, the large male body is very hard to maneuver for someone used to living in a small feminine body. Thanks to a potion from Shiroe, she gains a more natural, lady-like form and vows to follow her new “master” in payment for his aid.

My first thoughts upon hearing that it took place in an MMORPG world was to draw the obvious comparisons to Sword Art Online and .hack. Surprisingly, the show does a good job of finding it’s feet and feeling unique. Most importantly, it drops the “Die in game, die in real life” trope that I’m sure we’ve all seen everywhere. So if you can just respawn at the chapel and the food all tastes like unsalted crackers… what do you do? Some turn to PVP and are pretty much regarded as douchebags. Others band together and try to find some meaning in this strange new life.

So far I enjoy it far more than SAO and recommend it to any fans of Anime and/or video games. Definitely one to keep your eye on as the season progresses.

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Infinity Miniatures

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Infinity is a miniature skirmish wargame by Corvus Belli, which happens to incorporate science fiction and manga aesthetics. How could I NOT talk about this?

Infinity was first brought to my attention during Gencon 2013 thanks to their relationship with Battlefoam. I spent quite a chunk of time at the foam area looking at possible carrying options for my Warhammer 40k Tau army and saw that Infinity and Wild West Exodus were sharing space Romeo’s BF guys. I spent so much time talking to the WWX guys and buying one of everything that Infinity unfortunately fell to the side until after Gencon was over. I looked into the background story fluff and found that I really dig the Yu-Jing faction thanks in part to a model for the Aragoto Senkenbutai; an Akira style motor cycle gang mini!

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In the future the nations are taking to pace. China has taken over most of Asia to create one massive empire. Each faction is split into multiple styled armies, giving each faction even more flavor. The Yu-Jing are comprised primarily of the sinister Imperial Service; The elite military arm of the emperor and his judicial system comprised of the best of the best Chinese Tactical Police agents.

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The second is the Japanese Sectorial Army; A highly offensive assault corp comprised of samurai and ninja, fueled by ancient warrior tradition governed by the code of Bushido. The Japanese are treated as second class citizens by the Chinese, though they are (not surprisingly, I’m sure) the army that I was immediately drawn too. Expect to hear a lot more about the Yu-Jing and Infinity in upcoming blogs and podcasts, as I intend to dive deep into this new outlet full of all my favorite things.

Shougeki Gouraigan

Shougeki Gouraigan

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Shougeki Gouraigan is the newest tokusatsu from Keita Amemiya (creator of Garo and one of the most respected and successful toku directors ever) and Toshiki Inoue (of Chojin Sentai Jetman and Kamen Rider Agito, as well as countless anime and tokusatsu shows, though not regarded as highly in recent times).

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The show features Gou, a Hikaribito from a world called Choushinkai. One day, Gou was transporting captured Kageribito (super baddies) on his ship when he fell prey to an attack by the Magi (evil spirit monsters) causing his ship to crash on the Human World. Gou learns that the big baddy has called upon an army of 1,000 men to conquer Earth in 100 days, and decides to gather up the Kageribito who escaped in the crash to recruit them for his Army in preparation for the ultimate battle.

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Meanwhile, Hitomi Kai (played by Shinkawa Yua, most notable to Toku fans as “Pink Buster” from episode 41 of Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters) is “the heroine”, an ordinary (boring) high school girl with the ability to see the Magi (who look like nightmarish Muppets).

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The show attempts to capitalize on the sizable adult demographic of tokusatsu fans much like it’s spiritual predecessor Garo. Unfortunately this is not the return to form I was hoping for (an adult Super Sentai to Garo‘s adult Kamen Rider to use an an analogous relationship). While it maintains the high production and fantastic suits, the majority of “adult” content is wrapped up in Navi (Gou’s topless fairy sidekick) and her always exposed breasts. The first two episodes are not the refined, mature work of art that I was expecting, but it’s cool design, talented creators (and maybe a little bit of fairy boobs) will ensure that I continue watching.

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Forge World Tau at Games Day UK

Gallery of Greater Good!

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Over the next few weeks Forge World will be previewing some of the models that they will have available at Games Day UK on Sunday, September 29th at the Birmingham NIA, The first of which is the Tau XV107 R’Varna Battlesuit. A big, beautiful development of the Riptide, the R’Varna is said to sacrifice mobility in exchange for heavier armor and increased firepower. The XV107 R’Varna is a multi-part resin and plastic kit designed by Daren Parrwood. So start saving now; this bad boy is £70.00 or roughly $110 American.

Check out all the pictures below for the meticulous detail on this beast and his two pulse sub-munition cannons!

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Kamen Rider Gaim!

Tokusatsu Thursday #1: Kamen Rider Gaim!

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New information for the 15th Heisei Kamen Rider series, Kamen Rider Gaim has been trickling in for the past week or more, but with the influx of information posted in the official TV-Asahi site from the press conference yesterday we finally have some idea’s of what to expect when the series premieres October 6th. All the information at this point SHOULD be fairly accurate. The series is directed by veteran Heisei Kamen Rider directors Ryuta Tasaki and Takayuki Shibasaki, produced by Motoi Sasaki (TV Asahi) and Naomi Takebe (Toei) with scripts written by Gen Urobuchi (Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero). The Japanese reggae four peice Shounan no Kaze will perform Kamen Rider Gaim’s theme song.

The series takes place in a city under the grip of a corporate giant. Bored kids turn to street dance and summoning small monsters (known as Inbess) from another dimension and hold secret battles. But in using these dimensional holes, the gaps get larger and became a passage for bigger and badder monsters to get into our world. Enter Kamen Rider Gaim and his friends to save the day! Using the Sengoku Driver which cuts the Lock Seed and opens a small hole into another dimension, the user can transform to one of 5 fruit themed Kamen Rider armors.
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Kota Kazubara aka Kamen Rider Gaim (played by Gaku Sano) was second in the Team Gaim dance team and left the group to get a real job for his sister’s sake. He’s a sweet, nice guy with a penchant for getting sucked into other people’s problems. He finds the Sengoku Driver by accident. He uses the Orange Lock Seed and Pineapple Lock Seed to gain access to the Orange Arms and Pineapple Arms in battle. His catchphrase is “Passing through the audience, On Stage!”
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Kaito Kumon is Kamen Rider Balon (played by Yutaka Kobayashi) the leader of the rivals, Team Balon. He comes from a poor family and believes that “Weak people will be exploited by the weak”, seeing society as a persecutor and thus trains himself to be a stronger leader to face this society. He is a banana themed Rider with a Western style armor.
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Mitsuzane Kuwashima is Kamen Rider Ryugen (played by Mahiro Takasugi) a member of Team Gaim and is like a little brother to Kota. As a member of the Yggdrasil Corporation’s ruling family, he attends a very elite high school, a fact he hides from his friends. He doesn’t wants to follow the established path of his own future and seeks to find a way to live freely. He is a grape themed Rider donning a Chinese style armor.

 

 

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Takatora Kuwashima is Kamen Rider Zangetsu (played by Yuki Kubota) Mitsuzane’s older brother and is high up in the ruling Yggdrasil Corporation. He is a ruthless realist who doesn’t choose how to reach his goals, but he loves his family and is lenient on his younger brother. He is a melon themed Rider whose catchphrase is “Authorized by divine providence!”

 

 

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Mai Takatsukasa (played by Yuumi Shida) Kota’s childhood friend and professional dancer. She’s always competing with Kota and has to “pick up Team Gaim’s slack after”. Despite this, she truly treasures her friends above all.
Though he didn’t appear at the press conference, it is reported that a 5th Rider named Kamen Rider Griton will appeared in the show with a coconut Rider theme.

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From left to right: Mai Takatsukasa, Kaito Kumon (Balon), Kota Kazuraba (Gaim), Mitsuzane Kuwashima (Ryugen) and Takatora Kuwashima (Zangetsu)

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From left to right: Kamen Rider Griton, Ryugen, Gaim, Baron and Zangetsu.

BOTTOM LINE: Yes. Kamen Rider Gaim is based around dance battles, pokemon-like monster duels, and fruit themed Riders. On paper this sounds like one of the most ridiculous show concepts imaginable. So why am I so excited to see this???

Come back next Thursday for more Tokusatsu goodness.

Be safe, and stay nerdy!