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Disney teams with Bandai to make their own Giant Robot

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Disney has always found a way to collaborate with almost every major company on the planet. From food to toys to jewelry, the faces of Mickey and friends have been plastered everywhere.  Now, Disney joins the ranks of Volton, Power Rangers, Mazinger Z and tons of other shows with the announcement of their own giant robot toy.

Bandai announced they are releasing King Robo: Mickey and Friends. In classic giant-robot form, the nearly 9″ tall robot is made up of several smaller robots (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Steamboat Willie, and… Pluto’s dog house?).

Die-hard Disney fans can pick up this unique robot next March in Japan for ¥13,440 (US$169). Folks in Japan will get to check out the toy’s first public showing this weekend in Akihabara.

Check out past the break for a gallery of each character’s robot doppelganger.

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Dolifie Dream Fate/Extra Saber (Nero)

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Today I was able to stop by the Volks USA store in Torrence and pick up my Saber Dollfie Dream order. There were 2 unique sabers put up for pre-order last Fall in an unusual turn of events for Volks. Rather than their usual method of enter a raffle for a chance to win the privilege of buying this doll, they took open pre-orders. This was great as it gave everyone who really wanted it a chance to get one, it was not so great as it took a year to fulfill the orders. The 2 offerings were Saber from Fate/Extra (Emperor Nero of Rome) and Saber from Fate/Hallow Ataraxia (Fallen King Arthur). Both versions are not found in the Fate/Stay Night anime series and are found in their respective games instead.

The price points for each doll were slightly different Nero rang in at $759 and Altria Pendragon at $682. Volks also allowed you to secure your doll with a down payment through mid October 2011 reserving your order and giving you until the end of March 2012 to make the 2nd and final payment. This is the 1st Dollfie or ball joint doll I have ever purchased on my own and found it a hard decision to make. In the end I liked the detail and the impractical sword of the Nero saber over the unique, designed just for the doll, outfit of Altria saber.

We were the only ones in the store when we picked her up today which did surprise me as they just released the orders this week and are only open to the public on Saturday and Sundays. With the size of the order they showed in their blog and the fact that it took the store a month to process the shipment/prep for pick up, I expected this place to be a madhouse. Our rep opened the package and removed the arms and legs checking the joints for cracks, informing us that it was a problem the 1st run had, part of the reason the orders took so long to fulfill. She also highlighted some of the changes introduced with this new body type more flexibility with a new joint system and a softer skull cap. Once everything passed our quality inspection she was carefully repackaged and we were on our way.

We recorded the unboxing and assembly of the doll and will have the video up shortly so those who are interested can see the complexity of the outfit and the pieces that go into her ensemble. Some parts are being edited for time, content ect. In the mean time we have some pictures here as a preview.

“Wreck-It Ralph” renamed “Sugar Rush” in Japan

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Disney already had my attention with “Wreck-It Ralph,” but now it has my attention for a different reason altogether. A new Japanese trailer, released earlier today, spins the tale of videogame villian Wreck-It Ralph trying to become the “good guy,” into focusing on his moe companion, Vanellope von Schweetz, who is a character in a racing game called “Sugar Rush”.

I understand why Disney went down this path, even going as far as to change the name to “Sugar Rush”. The go-kart game with tracks made of candy and sweets is something the producers feel would come from Japan. Focus on that part of the story, and bring in AKB48 to perform a new song for the soundtrack, and you should, in theory, have Japanese movie gold. Time will tell, but at least we can check our the new Japanese trailer here and catch some new scenes not yet seen in the American ones.

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“Wreck-It Ralph” soundtrack to feature AKB48

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Disney’s next animated feature, “Wreck-It Ralph,” has hit all the right video-game nostalgia notes for me so far. Featuring characters from classic franchises such as Street Fighter, Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and even Super Mario Bros., it’s basically a who’s-who of my childhood.

To ignite even more of those nostalgic feelings, composer Henry Jackman (Winnie the Pooh, X-Men: First Class) researched arcade games and incorporated their classic sounds into the film’s score, bringing the arcade and its individual games to life. This just solidifies my need to buy the soundtrack asap.

While director Rich Moore loves what Jackman has brought to the film, he wanted to accent it with some additional artists. “When it came to the music of ‘Wreck-It Ralph,'” said Moore, “we wanted to work with some really talented artists and I love that they aren’t necessarily the people audiences expect to hear in a Disney animated movie. But when they hear the music and how it supports the story and drives the emotion, they’ll say, ‘This is perfect.'”

And which artists did Moore have in mind? AKB48.

AKB48 will be featured in the video game “Sugar Rush,” which is described as a candy-coated cart-racing game in a land of sweets. Producer Clark Spencer said, “We’ve always thought of Sugar Rush – with its nod to anime – as a game that may have originated in Japan. So we went to Japan and got the hottest J-pop group to perform the song that really sets the tone for the ‘90s-era cart-racing game: young and hip.”

The girls weren’t the only artists Disney brought in. Both Skrillex and Owl City will be producing tracks for the soundtrack. Buckner & Garcia, who are behind the 80’s pop-hit “Pac-Man Fever,” were tapped to write a new song for “Wreck-It Ralph” as well.

This isn’t the first time Disney has tapped a Japanese music artist for one of their film’s soundtracks. Cars 2 featured a track by Perfume.

‘Wreck-It Ralph’ will hit theaters on November 2, 2012 and the soundtrack will be available on October 30, 2012.

Click past the break to watch the latest trailer for “Wreck-It Ralph,” and count how many video game characters you recognized. (There are over 188 character cameos throughout the movie.)

Also, check out the latest Japanese trailer, complete with new scenes not found in the American trailers.

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Madoka Magica Movies 1 & 2 Coming to the US!

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Madoka fans in the US rejoice! Aniplex of America announced this morning that, in collaboration with Eleven Arts, will be screening the first two Puella Magi Madoka Magica films as a double feature in five cities across the US! Best part, these screenings are just a week after their premiere in Japan! You can’t really get it much faster than that! Now the first two movies are basically a compilation of the wildly-popular 12-episode TV series that aired last year. A third movie that will come out later, will have an all-new story.

The theaters and dates are as follows:

  • Los Angeles’ Downtown Independent (October 19-25)
  • New York’s Big Cinema Manhattan (October 20)
  • Chicago’s Music Box (October 20)
  • Houston’s Alamo Drafthouse (October 20)
  • San Francisco’s New People (October 20)

If you’re able to make it to the screenings in Los Angeles, there will be exclusives and special merchandise for sale. I will be damn sure to make it there myself.

Buy your tickets here!

In preparation for the theatrical screenings, Aniplex has released an English-subtitled trailer (available after the break), featuring the song “Connect” by ClariS, which was used as the opening theme song from the original television anime series.

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Wii U launch details for the U.S. (with video)

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Nintendo of America’s President and COO Reggie Fils-Amie definitely gave gamers a lot to talk about this morning during the Wii U U.S. launch announcement, but there were a few things that he surprisingly omitted. Let’s jump right in. I’ll add some additional news previously released to give the whole picture.

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Wii U launch details released (for Japan)

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Nintendo just wrapped up their online press conference, detailing the console’s specs, launch bundles, and pricing. Most of the following info is for the Japanese audience, but there are still some tidbits that Western audiences can get excited over until the official US announcement later today.

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Opinions on Apple’s iPhone 5 press event

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Apple CEO Tim Cook wrapped up his company’s latest press conference with a 3-song set by the Foo Fighters. The event showcased the brand new iPhone 5 plus updates to the iPod lineup and accessories. I know there are many other websites that will offer much more depth on details, so instead I want to give my overall opinions on today’s announcements.

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Valve launching Steam Big Picture today, takes another step towards world domination

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Valve has toyed with the idea of bringing the full power of their digital distribution portal to TVs, and now it looks like they’re ready to take the first actual step in the living room. Later today, Steam’s “Big Picture Mode,” a TV-friendly version of the service will launch. While the new mode will only work on PCs, the UI has been tweaked significantly.

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Watch FF XIII-3’s art director work on Lightning’s oil painting

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If you have watched the press event for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, you were trolled a bit by series Art Director Isamu Kamikokuryo, who teased an oil painting of Lightning at the end. Square Enix has decided to post a video of Kamikokuryo working on the painting (complete with bossa nova soundtrack) along with a picture of the final piece.

Enjoy the video and the final work after the break.

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“Fairy Tail” Manga Author Swaps Characters’ Gender in Sketches

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The Fairy Tail manga author, Hiro Mashima, has has a very fun week so far. After promoting the Fairy Tail the Movie: The Phoenix Priestess, he has been tweeting about random things, like what Pokemon he would want to be and what magazines he collected from the 90’s. He’s also been posting some new sketches. His latest batch includes some sexy gender-swapped versions of Fairy Tail‘s main characters…

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Parkour Athlete takes on Assassins Creed

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Ever sit down to play Assassin’s Creed and wonder how it would look if Altaïr or Ezio were brought to modern times? Wonder no more. Parkour athlete Ronnie Shalvis dons the iconic outfit and roams around Salt Lake City, and finds that dumpsters work just as well as hay stacks.

Watch the epic video along with behind-the-scenes footage after the break.

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