Wind up Geek’s Cool Merchandise: Handmade Harry Potter Mugs

25 Jun

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

In all my travels and in all the conventions I visit (Van Isle Comic Con, Tsukino-Con, and Fan Expo Vancouver for examples), I have been amazed at some of the cool merchandise that can be bought at the vendor tables. And I don’t just speak about the mass-produced items with names like Funko, Bandai, and Hasbro, but of the finely crafted local items as well. At the 2017 Tsukino-Con I spent much of my money on said items and a roll full of prints from local and more internationally known artists. I even bought a My Neighbour Totoro phone charm (which I will highlight at another time). For now I will bring to your attention merchandise I discover and to share them with you, our readers. Perhaps along the way I will help you find something new.

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King Arthur Never Met Transformers: The Last Knight

23 Jun

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
* Spoiler Alert

Only morbid curiousity motivates me to continue watching the live-action version of Transformers. The fifth film, subtitled The Last Knight, offers opportunities to explore the world in new ways. To watch vehicles morph into bipedal form gets the kid in me giddy in delight. But as anyone who love the original animated material and toy lines will tell you, they will not be seeing this film because it’s not their Transformers anymore. I know folks vehement in their disdain of this cinematic (i.e. Michael Bay) treatment. Despite my longing to simply loathe it because of the people involved or how terrible the ideas get executed, I have to observe how far gone this universe is.

At the same time, as an enthusiast of King Arthur‘s literary and historical legacy, I wanted to see if this film has any redeeming factors. Pairing the Transformers with this legend has been done before (“A Decepticon in King Arthur’s Court”), and I hoped part of this movie will see this warrior’s messianic return to save the day. Instead of mighty robots, a human (or ancestor of) can certainly turn the tide.

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Video

Retro Otaku Rejoice! Anime High School Kimengumi’s Music to be Re-released on CD!

21 Jun

By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)

Pony Canyon has announced they will be releasing a CD of previously published songs from the animated series High School! Kimengumi (1985-1987). The series based off the Weekly Shonen Jump publication (1982-1987) by Motoei Shinzawa spawned an animated film and video games on both the MSX2 and the Sony Playstation.

There were a large number of recurring characters but the show followed five junior high misfits of the funny face club (Mayunashi no Rei, Manako no Gō, Mukiba no Kiyoshi, Ebisu no Jin, and Ochobokō no Dai) and their two female friends (Kawa Yui and Uru Chie).

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Is the Third Time a Charm for the Cars Franchise?

19 Jun

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By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)​

The big question I have after watching Cars 3 is if there is anymore gasoline to keep this franchise moving? Technically, this film has Lightning McQueen’s story finish running its course. When younger and sleeker looking hotshots are coming into the field of competitive racing, the “older” generation can not compete. Some opt to retire and for McQueen, he can leave with his head held high or go do something else. Sadly, when an accident nearly destroys him, the question of when he will come back, if he does, if put into question.

This main plot point is a great one to show to anyone watching this computer animated film that life is not over unless you want it to. Director Brian Fee certainly drives the point home in a story he developed with Ben Queen, Eyal Podell and Jonathan E. Stewart. The visuals developed by PIXAR always improves with each new film. If the car’s front did not have faces, the illusion of watching a real race is perfect. Add the camera angles of being positioned like you’re watching it from the perspective of the latest camera equipment mounted on varying vehicles and drones in the track, I swear I am right there.

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