Sunday, December 16, 2012

nWo DVDs

I was recently walking through Walmart when I saw that there were some new WWE Home Videos re-released in 3-disc special editions that included extra footage.
They were Brock Lesnar's Here Comes the Pain! and nWo (now subtitled "The Revolution") both in a new 3-disc edition. This was followed by shortly by a new 3-disc release highlighting the "Attitude Era" in the WWF.
 I was in middle school and already a hardcore fan of wrestling by the time the "Attitude Era" started, which is probably the time that people remember the most fondly of the WWF when they finally overtook WCW in the ratings war. Even though I already owned a copy of the original Brock Lesnar and nWo Back in Black DVDs, I couldn't help but try my luck with the nWo since they were the guys that first got me into wrestling!
And so, here are some quick thoughts about the recent 3-disc release highlighting the nWo:

I definitely like this one better than the original "Back in Black" release. That one almost felt rushed because they were trying to get the fans hyped for the return of the nWo in WWE. This one is extended to cover their short run in the WWE along with a ton of bonus matches on discs 2 and 3. The bonus matches were nice because old wrestling footage can sometimes be hard to come by. Even though the documentary itself wasn't one of the better ones I've seen from the WWE, it's still a lot better than the Back in Black DVD because it took the time to dig a little deeper and highlight more of the nWo's history. Feuding with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, "Macho Man" Randy Savage joining the Black and White, Wolfpac, and much more. The matches were cool but I would've liked to have seen more nWo antics between the matches instead. I would rather see the brawls at the end of Nitro, where they jump other wrestlers or when people like Sting get the better of them. I remember them more of their antics outside of the ring than their matches inside of it.

What I felt this DVD was lacking was more memorable moments from the nWo. Even though this one covered some interesting moments, where was the part where The Giant got kicked out of the nWo? What about the "Finger poke of doom" incident between Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash? Followed by the unification of Wolfpac with the Black and White? This documentary dug a little deeper than the first one but there is still SO much ground to cover. They should've shown Curt Hennig (aka Mr. Perfect) turning on the Four Horseman and join nWo. They could've shown that one time a bunch of fake Stings marched into the ring and were getting tossed aside by the nWo until the REAL Sting came out with a mask over his face and dropped "Buff" Bagwell with the Scorpion Death Drop!!! So many classic moments... this barely scratches the surface.

Conclusion, this DVD had the potential to be SO much better but still wasn't bad. This was definitely better than the first release and this is probably the best we're going to get, so I'm pretty happy with it. For the $20 price tag though, I would say hold off even if you are a die hard wrestling fan. I'm pretty sure the price on this sucker is going to drop and it's really nothing that you MUST own immediately.

For me, this was just a little slice of nostalgia that I could enjoy for a bit. I should've picked up the Attitude Era DVD instead, just for something completely new. So that's going to be next up on my list along with the CM Punk's 3-disc release titled "Best in the World". Hoping for the price on those to drop!
Just an update on the original trio of the nWo, Hogan and Nash are both still wrestling or at least popping up in different promotions. Hogan was last with TNA wrestling and Nash made a return appearance in the WWE last year before appearing on the indy circuit with long time friends, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman (Syxx, X-pac). The saddest thing to report is that Scott Hall doesn't seem to be in the best of the shape. In fact, ESPN did this story on Scott Hall and his life since the spotlight.

I feel bad for the guy, I really do. I have a lot of respect for him. I guess I don't really know but the guy really seemed like a class act. Here's an older video of him appearing on Jerry Springer when he was still Razor Ramon in the WWF.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Street Fighter X Mega Man trailer!!!

Attention all fans of Mega Man!!! His official 25th birthday is next week on Dec. 17, 2012!!! In honor of his celebration, Capcom will be releasing a FREE game for download onto a PC. Even though I was never really good at the Mega Man games, I've been a fan ever since I was a kid. According to the video, this should be a celebration of Street Fighter's 25th Anniversary as well?! SUPER stoked for this crossover, don't miss out on this pure awesomeness!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Gamera fans!!!

My new favorite company, Shout! Factory, has a great sale going on right now for fans of the giant flying turtle. They have an 8-film Gamera bundle with exclusive postcards available in the US and Canada. Please follow the link below and check out this amazing offer!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mortal Kombat: Legacy gets season two!

One of the most popular web series of 2011 just began production on its second season. Filming is taking place in L.A. and the web series is debuting some time next year.

Check out the guys at Far East Films for the whole scoop!

Monday, August 13, 2012

DC Movie News Aug 13, 2012

The next project for DC that has already been announced is a Superman reboot simply titled 'Man of Steel'. Director Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300) will be at the helm for this one. General Zod is said to be the main villain along with another surviving Kryptonian that has yet to be announced. The story.... is probably exactly what you expect from a Superman reboot. I had the same feeling about the Spider-Man reboot but that turned out pretty well, so I'll wait to see how this one turns out too. There's already a trailer out for it, check it out:

After The Dark Knight trilogy came to a close, the only other project that is openly being worked on is the Man of Steel movie. All other DC properties seem to be in the very early stages of development or are just rumors currently.

The Flash is one movie that they seem interested in putting out next. They apparently have a script but nothing else and, after seeing how Green Lantern bombed, are taking extra precautions with their superheroes. This seems to be the closest to becoming an actual release but is still far from actually being filmed or even confirmed as a project. The writer has confirmed that this is very high on DC's list of movies that they're interested in.

On that note, they are also considering Green Lantern 2 as a possible sequel. With the first one not doing as well as they had hoped, they're interested in going with a different director and possibly a new creative team for a sequel that is supposed to be 'edgier' than the first. I'm sure audiences will be skeptical about a sequel unless they completely re-vamp the character and go with an all-new creative team. This one is pretty much just a rumor and hasn't taken any real steps towards actually being filmed.

Another project that is just in "talks" at the moment is a possible Teen Titans movie. This project was actually announced YEARS ago but has been in development hell ever since. The idea was originally to use the Nightwing character as opposed to Robin, so they can go for a darker tone in the movie. This obviously would not follow any canon that the comics or TV shows have laid down already. Also, it wouldn't even make much sense as this team is supposed to consist of teenage heroes and sidekicks that have come together to form a team of their own. Robin doesn't adopt the Nightwing persona until he's much older. Also, I'm sure fans of the wildly popular Teen Titans series on Cartoon Network will be disappointed in this kind of re-telling of the story. (I was also a HUGE fan of that show!)

And, of course, the overall idea is to eventually move towards a Justice League movie. Recently, there has been a lot of buzz that Ben Affleck has been approached to direct after Christopher Nolan declined the position. Affleck is also reported to not be interested in the position but is meeting with Warner Bros. execs to discuss further. There are also rumors that, unlike Marvel, they might release a Justice League movie first and then have individual spinoff films that spotlight each character. I wouldn't disagree with this move as DC has never been very good at pushing their heroes other than Batman or Superman. This would give them a chance to put out a big Justice League movie first and then spotlight the most popular characters from that movie. All of this is speculation though, as nothing official has been announced.

And that, pretty much concludes DC's plans for superhero movies. Much further behind Marvel's schedule, which already has multiple sequels lined up as well as an Avengers sequel planned, DC has a lot of catching up to do.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Marvel Movie News Aug 8, 2012

I think the biggest news this week was that Joss Whedon has official signed on to be the writer and director of Avengers 2. In addition to this, he has signed exclusively to Marvel through 2015 to help develop a Marvel themed TV show. The Reel Bits has the scoop on Whedon's involvement with the Marvel franchise.

Despite just having recently been announced, there is already a big buzz about Avengers 2 and Whedon's involvement. That project is still in the far off future as we still have:

Iron Man 3 coming out May 3, 2013. There seems to be no official plot yet but is rumored to be based on the Extremis story arc from the comics. Coldblood and Firepower have been confirmed as villains with The Mandarin as more of a behind-the-scenes villain.

Thor 2 (The Dark World) has also been announced for November 8, 2013. Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, has this to say about the plot, “We're going to see the other side of Asgard. It's not all polished and golden in this film. And the events of 'Avengers' will have affected Thor for sure. His relationship with Loki will continue to evolve, and the biggest part is Natalie and Thor returning with Jane Foster.” 

While no official villain has been announced, Loki will be returning and Mads Mikkelsen has signed up to be a villain. Although it is not sure yet which villain he will be playing, apparently Thanos has been written off since Feige says he won't be incorporated into the Marvel movies until much later.

Captain America: The Winder Soldier is said to be picking up right where The Avengers left off, with Captain America working closely with Nick Fury and trying to fit into this modern world. While there is no official plot yet, the sub-title Winter Soldier alludes to Bucky (his sidekick in the comics, and best friend in the movie, who loses an arm and his memories in a plane crash) being revived in Moscow and reprogrammed as a Soviet assassin after the accident. Codenamed Winter Soldier, his missing arm is replaced with a bionic one that is upgraded every time the technology allows for it and used to carry out covert wetwork missions. In the comics, Winter Solider is said to have helped Wolverine escape from the Weapon X lab but later kills his wife and their unborn child.

On a somewhat related note, 20th Century Fox is releasing a sequel to the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie from 2009. Logan heads to Japan where he starts a forbidden romance with the daughter of a crime boss who has already promised her hand to someone else. As a result, he has the Yakuza after him as well as The Silver Samurai, who will probably be a rival and have the biggest fight with Wolverine. Also, Viper is said to be in the movie with no word on what her role will be. (Friend or foe?) This movie is slated for a summer release on June 26, 2013.

Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs The World) will be directing this movie about a shrinking superhero that will play out more more like a comedic comic book movie. Supposedly, this one won't have as much to do with The Avengers crossover storyline and will be intended as more of a standalone film that follows Hank Pym (the original Ant-Man from the 60's) and his successor Scott Lang.

Finally, during the Iron Man 3 panel at Comic Con, they announced that Guardians of the Galaxy will be coming August 1, 2014. The lineup seems to be Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and Gamora. While there is no official storyline yet, they do have a past with Thanos in the comics. Since Feige dispelled any speculation that Thanos will be the villain for the new Thor movie, perhaps he will be the main villain for this one. In the comics, they also aid The Avengers during a fight with Thanos so there's a strong possibility of a crossover eventually. Marvel also premiered some concept art for the upcoming film at Comic Con. (see below)

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises

Sorry readers, this post actually should've gone up last week but I was too tired to write anything by the time I got home from the movies, so I ended up crashing instead. I've also had work the past couple days, so this post has been coming along slowly.

Anyway, I had a day off from work last Wednesday and I decided to spend my day at the movies. I watched The Amazing Spider-Man and, after realizing that I had time in my day for another movie, I saw The Dark Rises as well. Since I saw them back to back, I'm going to attempt a double review then compare the two movies.

[Warning: The following reviews will contain SPOILERS]

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

First up is The Amazing Spider-Man. This was exactly the type of fun I was expecting to have at the theater with a comic book movie. There were plenty of jokes, lots of good action, and a story that kept you glued to the big screen. Sure, a lot of the action was CGI but at the pace that Spider-Man and The Lizard were fighting at, it had to be CGI to look good. With that being said, the CGI was actually pretty decent in this. At the very least, it was leaps and bounds above the first Spider-Man movie with Tobey Maguire in it. Given that it was about 10 years ago, you could argue that the technology is a decade old, but Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers came out that same year so that's not really an excuse. Some of those wall crawling scenes were so terrible that it made my skin crawl!!! Not to mention that movie had the longest opening title sequence of ALL time. (About 1/3 of the movie's total run time was probably the title sequence alone!)

This one jumps right into it with little to no waiting at all. Now, the story. We all know the story of Spider-Man, so why do a reboot? I was really skeptical about ANOTHER re-telling of Spider-Man's origins and thought we could've used a sequel instead of a reboot. I wondered what they could've possibly done differently this time around that they didn't do all the other times? Well, I stand corrected as going with the reboot seems like it was the best choice after all. We get to see him bitten (again) and we see how his powers develop (again) but rather than drag on the story, they kept the pace moving pretty fast. They touched on all the key points of the story without making too much of a spectacle of any one part of the plot. After Tobey's Parker was bitten, he goes for a wrestling match against Macho Man before he becomes Spider-Man. That entire segment was just to set up his mask/costume and Uncle Ben getting shot. In the new one, Uncle Ben is shot first and Peter decides to go hunt down the man who did it. (Using a tattoo on the criminal's left wrist as a reference) The first time he roughs up a guy, he gets chased onto a rooftop where he realizes that he's got the wrong guy. He turns to leave but falls through a hole in the roof and lands in a wrestling ring. As he stares up at the mask on the poster, the guys says that he's seen Parker's face and remembers what he looks like. Very simple set up and very straightforward, Peter's out doing something dangerous and realizes that he needs to wear a mask so no one can recognize him. Gets right to the point.

Another thing that I really appreciate about this movie is the way they show him web-swinging through the city. We usually get shots of Spider-Man swinging into to action or a shot of him swinging away but this movie combined first-person views with shots of Spider-Man spinning and twirling through the air as he web-swings. Really reminded me of one of the Spider-Man games where you could unlock different acrobatic moves for him to do while he's web-swinging. I just thought that little detail added more depth to this re-telling of the story. (Glad they didn't overlook the details!) Another important detail that I felt like they handled very well was how they introduced the idea of "With great power, comes great responsibility" without having to use that same quote over and over again. That line has been done to death in just about every incarnation of Spider-Man from TV shows to Comics and even the Video Games. I thought it was real nice that they could get that same message across without using that exact same line. 

Finally, what didn't I like about this movie? To be honest, there wasn't much to complain about. The action was cool, the story was good, and I liked how it felt like I was just reading another story arc in the comics. Varied but not completely different. The only real head-scratcher I encountered was why Dr. Conners, who had been a south paw scientist for a good part of his life, would use the arm he just grew as a result of the serum to open the door of taxi he was trying to get into. (Watch the movie and you'll see what I mean!) Other than that one part, I would have to say that this movie was thoroughly entertaining and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good time at the movies. Whether you're a long time Spider-Man fan or new to the franchise, this movie is just a flat out good time. Go see it! Just remember to stay after the credits for a secret ending.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The poster says it all. Bane, the man who broke the Bat. Quite possibly the most highly anticipated movie of the summer, it made even bigger headlines after the Colorado tragedy. I won't even speak on that just because I am disgusted by how much media coverage we've already given this psycho after he cried out for attention by hurting random people. Not cool. Back to the movie!! Although it definitely lacked the charisma that The Dark Knight had, along with much of the theatrics, this movie was good at what it intended to do. I've heard a lot of people compare it to TDK, saying that Bane just wasn't as good of a villain as The Joker was. I felt like these movies had two different end goals and both were good, each in their own rights, at what they were trying to do. The second movie had to step it up a notch from the first since by this time, the Batman character was already established and no longer a newbie at crime fighting. The theatrics were there to support the dark tone of the storyline but the movie was not entirely without jokes. (I mean, the villian IS the Joker after all...)

Being a trilogy, this movie has the task of concluding the story but also the difficulty of having to live up to the hype after the second movie. I feel like the second movie has the task of letting the Batman character shine and really show off what he can do while in his prime. This third movie had to portray a weakened version of the Batman character while introducing a much hungrier opponent. One that had a purpose as well as a means to defeat the Batman. This character came in the form of Bane, a hulking monster of a bad ass that lays a brutal ass whooping on Batman. That's what I meant when I said each movie was good at the task it was aiming to accomplish. The second movie was a means for Batman to "spread his wings" so to speak (excuse the pun) but the third movie was the conclusion and needed to introduce a much stronger and more bad ass opponent that was capable of defeating Batman. In this aspect, the movie succeeded as Bane tossed Batman one of the worst beatings I've ever seen him take. If I had to associate a word or phrase with each of these sequels, "theatrics" would be for the second movie and "bad ass" would be my pick for The Dark Knight Rises. Bane was just a bad ass that Batman tried his absolute hardest to fight, but was just too strong an opponent for him. The one-on-one fight between these two is just brutal. This is where a picture is worth a thousand words because no words can really describe the beating Batman takes in this movie, you just have to see it for yourself.

I'm not crazy about the way the final battle ends but the movie was pretty good overall. What did I like about the movie? Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the incredibly beautiful Anne Hathaway. Ok, maybe her fight scenes weren't as believable as say... Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow in The Avengers... but she's just so BEAUTIFUL that it's an absolute pleasure seeing her on the screen. The music was amazing to say the least and I think it really makes the movie. I think the biggest highlight was the fight scene between Batman and Bane, coupled together with the great music and stunning appearances by Anne Hathaway made for an entertaining movie. Now, with that said, what didn't I like about the movie? I wish there were more gadgets and fight scenes throughout the movie because it was a little dialogue heavy. Bane's voice was a little difficult to understand at time. Also, like I said, I wasn't crazy about the way they ended the movie. The final scene is pretty cool but the final battle and the way it was resolved was okay. Not great, but okay. Something about it reminded me of this scene from the 1966 Batman movie:

Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!

While I would say that the movie was pretty enjoyable overall, you really need to see the first two installments of the trilogy and appreciate them as a whole. If I were comparing The Dark Knight Rises to The Amazing Spider-Man, I would have to say that I had a better time watching Spider-Man. That movie was just more fun overall and I would recommend to ANYONE. The Dark Knight Rises would only be recommended to Batman fans and people who have seen the first two movies. I really liked what this movie did for the Bane character because the only other time you see him in the movies, he's just a lackey for Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin. They made him out to be a mindless follower that's just a peon for other villains. This movie made him out to be more of the bad ass that he actually is in the comics. The tone of this movie is dark and I really like that, but all I could hear echoing through my head the entire movie was "Why so serious?"

In conclusion, I'm sure The Dark Knight Rises will be talked about for a much longer period of time but for a more enjoyable time at the movies, I'd recommend seeing The Amazing Spider-Man instead this summer. (If you had to choose only one, that is)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Batman: Dead End

As much as I wanted to go watch The Dark Knight Rises this past weekend, I'm not really big on having to fight the crowds or line up early just so I can get into the movie theater. The way I see it, as a movie reviewer, if the theaters are THAT packed for the movie... then people have either seen it already or they can hop on Google and find a million other reviews of the movie. So I'm not in any big hurry to watch it because it will be just as good a couple weeks later once everyone's seen it already.

With that in mind though, I still wanted to do something Batman related. I considered re-watching some of the old Batman films but then I stumbled across an image that reminded me of a fan film I saw a few years back. This was the image:

And what it reminded me of was a fan film that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con back in 2003. I saw it on the internet a couple years later and how well it was made totally blew my MIND. Supposedly filmed on a budget of $30,000 somewhere in North Hollywood by Sandy Collora of Collora Studios, this is without a doubt one of the greatest fan films I've ever seen. Hands down. (and fists up!)

For those of you who don't know, Batman has previously fought both Aliens and Predators in the comics so that might explain why he's not surprised when they show up. All in all, this is one of the best fan films ever made. Kevin Smith calls it "possibly the truest, best Batman movie ever made". Enough said.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Naruto Shippuden: Dreamers Fight Part 1 & 2

Awhile back, I posted the first part of a fan film by Thousand Pounds Action Company for Naruto Shippuden. During that time, they were busy working on part 2 which has since been released. Here are both parts in their entirety all on one video. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pacific Rim and Godzilla at Comic Con

Comic Con 2012 just passed and, seeing as I wasn't there, I can't really do coverage of the event or anything. Besides, you can get all that news by doing a Google search. I just want to talk about two of the most exciting things that I've heard come out of Comic Con.

First of all, Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim is quite possibly the greatest thing I've ever heard of. When I first saw the poster, I had only heard that it was going to have robots. There wasn't too much information on the movie itself. Then I find out that it's actually a Giant Robots vs. Kaiju movie!!!! I also hear that there will be a variety of Kaiju, all completely original and created for this film. (Some will come from the sea, others from the air, and they will have a varying abilities) Apparently these monsters have destroyed most of civilization and mankind's only defense are these giant robots that are piloted by two people at a time. I'm ridiculously excited for this movie and will be keeping a close eye on the development of this film.

Speaking of Kaiju, apparently there was a really short teaser of another Godzilla being made. There wasn't much detail on the development of this one but being a HUGE Godzilla fan since I was a kid, I couldn't help but get excited over this news. I was absolutely disgusted by the horrible 1998 American attempt at making a Godzilla movie... but I doubt they could ever make anything that bad again. *knocks on wood*

With the announcement of both these films, I'm already giddy and looking forward to their release. I feel like a kid who's looking forward to Christmas!!! This is possibly the best news I've heard coming out of Comic Con.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monty Oum's Haloid and Dead Fantasy

On the topic of fan made films, Monty Oum (originally web-based animator) released a video in 2007 titled Haloid that was a HUGE hit in the gaming community. The premise was an ultimate showdown between Master Chief from the popular Halo franchise and the bounty hunter Samus Aran from the Metroid series. Check out his amazing video here:

After making every fanboy scream in delight, he continued by releasing the first part of what was to be a six-part web series entitled, Dead Fantasy. While it may sound like a dirty movie featuring the undead, it's actually another crossover video pitting some of the gals from the Final Fantasy series against some of the fighters from the Dead or Alive fighting games. See the video here:

(I also have to stop and give kudos to XolarDark for being kind enough to combine all 6 chapters and uploading it in HD format to YouTube for us all to enjoy!)

The popularity of both his videos have catapulted him in the spotlight and landed him a job working with major developers such as Namco and Midway Games. He is currently collaborating with Rooster Teeth Productions on Seasons 9 and 10 of the popular Red vs. Blue series. I hope everyone has enjoyed these videos, I do not own them or am I affiliated with them in anyway. I just wanted everyone to have a chance to enjoy them.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Naruto Fan Film

For all the Naruto fans out there, this fan film comes from the Thousand Pounds Action Company that brought us the two of the Street Fighter fan films from my last post. Enjoy!

Totally Awesome Street Fighter Fan Films

Fans of the Street Fighter video game franchise should get a major kick out of these if you haven't already seen them.

First up, we have one filmed on a budget of about $400 and features moves any fan would recognize from the games

Next up, we've got a film that seems like it had a bigger budget although I don't believe an actual dollar amount was ever stated. Another awesome fan film featuring a fight between the two most recognizable characters from the franchise.

Then, we've got a clip from an actual movie starring Jackie Chan spoofing the characters from Street Fighter using sound clips from the game!!! We even get to see Jackie in drag... I'm not sure if that's a good thing...

Finally, we have another short film from Thousand Pounds (the guys that made the first video) with a tribute to the Street Fighter X Tekken crossover.

I posted the first two on my Z-portal page a couple years back, but I felt like they deserved a new post on a blog that was actually about Video Games. Plus, it always fun to revisit this stuff after having not seen it in awhile. Really good stuff, I hope you all enjoyed watching.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Giant Robots that Combine to Make Even Bigger Robots!

Growing up, there seemed to be one staple of coolness throughout most of my childhood. Something that remained a constant theme of awesome whether it was animated, live action, or even if it's just a toy. There is something very special about Giant Robots in the eyes of a little boy. (Especially ones that combined with other robots to make even bigger robots!!!)

Voltron - 5 robot lions that combine to form a giant robot? HELL YEAH!!! This was one of the original shows to introduce the idea of robots combining together to make a giant robot. The story goes, a witch divided a giant robot into 5 lions and scattered them around this planet, Arus. When an evil King threatens to invade this world, 5 of their best pilots are sent in search of the lions. Threats to the planet would come in the form of Robeasts (monsters with robotic elements) which would wreak havoc on Arus before Voltron came to kick its ass! When summoned, these lions would come out from their different "environments" like the red lion would come out of a volcano and the blue lion out of the water. I remember watching this with my sister as a kid and even my cousins from Canada would have these toys. What is really interesting is that this show is adapted from a Japanese animated show (much like Power Rangers!) and was actually the third season of that show. (Also, kinda like Power Rangers) These guys not only defended Earth, they were Defenders of the Universe. Talk about epic.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - This show "carried on" the idea of combining robots to make a bigger, stronger robot. Funny that by this time I would be a little older even though the American Power Rangers series is adapted from the Japanese Super Sentai series, which also happened to be the 16th season of their show in Japan. I followed this show from the first episode, which talked about a group of 5 teenagers bestowed with the power to fight evil. This time, their robots resemble different dinosaurs called "Zords" and combine to make the "Megazord".

Form Blazing Sword...?

The show later added a 6th Power Ranger, who commanded his own Dragonzord, which would form various combinations with the Megazord including one with a carrierzord named Titanus. (A brontosaurus looking dinozord that combines to make the Ultrazord!!!)

"Ultrazord, POWER UP!!!"

Of course with each subsequent season, the Power Rangers would each get their own versions of the Megazord related to whatever theme each season had. This show pretty much cemented the idea of robots combining to make stronger robots into the imaginations of every little boy for generations to come.

Transformers (toys/TV show) - One show during the 80's, that was supported by a full line of toys, helped bring every little boy's imagination to life. Unlike with the first two examples, where they were successful shows that might've come out with toys as part of their merchandising. This was an example where Hasbro started a line of toys that were so popular, it got a show of its own. Matching the success of the toys, this made the perfect marketing combo and forever sealed its place in pop culture history.

Random pic I found online of someone's collection

Watching these robots on the TV was cool, but actually having something in your hand that you could play with and make up your own storyline for was like see those robots come to life. I'm sure that even when they stopped playing the show, people were still buying the toys because they were just so damn cool!!! They've had multiple revivals of the show since, but in the late 90's, one particular sequel was popular amongst a younger generation. One that told the story of the Maximals in their fight to keep the powerful Energon crystals out of the claws of the evil Predacons, this was none other than the Beast Wars saga. This was the big come back for Transformers at the time. The original series from the 80's was no longer airing so to make them relevant again, they made a new show, with a line of toys to boot, and changed them from vehicles to beasts (animals, insects, and even dinosaurs!) Although I wasn't crazy about the look of the primitive CGI designed show, this series definitely gave kids growing up in the 90's a reason to love Transformers all over again.

Beast Wars - Maximals

Then of course, there were the movies by Michael Bay in the 2000's followed by a new show on Cartoon Network. Both of which has brought Transformers back in full force!!! Even if the kids have never seen the movies or any of the shows, I'm sure they've played with the toys at the very least. Thus making Transformers a household name that every kid is familiar with.

Gundam (toys/anime) - Based off the Japanese anime, the models are what sticks out the most in my mind when I think Gundam. Even though the anime is wildly popular in its own rights, I never watched any of the seven different series and it wasn't until the Internet became more popular that I heard about people actually watching the anime. The models, however, are an entirely different story. Since I was young I've seen the models on display, and while I've never owned any myself, I can tell you that just walking by a display as a kid just puts your imagination into overdrive.

Tell me that wouldn't stop you in your tracks!

I think the fact that you can't play with them, yet they look so friggin' cool, forces your imagination to find a better outlet for the robo-awesome to escape. I know I had a great time just looking at them, but I can't imagine how disappointing it must've been for any kid who begged their parents to buy them one of these only to find it in a million pieces when they got home.

Spider Slayers - From the 90's Spider-Man cartoon series that aired on Fox Kids, 3 robotic Spider Slayers were built to kill Spider-Man. Designed after natural enemies of the spider, the first slayer that was sent came in the form of a Black Widow.

After this robot was dispatched, a larger Tarantula was sent after Spider-Man.

 Finally, a Scorpion was sent after Spider-Man but even that robot failed against Spider-Man.

The best part? They all combine to form the ultimate Spider Slayer.

Essentially, they all just stack on top of one another, it's not like they go through any complicated transformation or anything. I do remember having this toy as a kid though and they barely resembled the ones in the show. Spider-Man toys seemed to do that a lot. I mean, I had the original Megazord as a kid. Hell, I had a bunch of the Megazords over time, but every one of them looked EXACTLY like they did in the show!!! Why were Spider-Man toys the exception? I also had a Man-Spider action figure from when his DNA was mutating out of control and he grew some extra arms and became a giant spider. The toy looked cool in its own right, but looked VERY different than the character in the show. I think that was the first time I'd seen that. Anyway, back to the show. I believe these Spider Slayers only appeared in two of the episodes but that was obviously enough for them to make a toy for it.

There must've been demand for it, I mean, look at this thing!!! Three different robots that connect, what little kid wouldn't want something like this??

Mechagodzilla (Godzilla) - Last but not least, one of the most influential giant robots from my childhood, Mechagodzilla, otherwise known as Kiryu in Japan. The first time I saw him, it was on my aunt's small black and white TV during a monster movie marathon they were playing on either SyFy channel (then "Sci-Fi") or TNT's MonsterVision. Mechagodzilla first appears disguised as Godzilla and begins attacking the city. Anguirus shows up to stop him but gets his jaw ripped off!!! (As a kid, I couldn't believe what I saw!)

This is just a toy but that's how he originally looked

In another fight, Godzilla's fighting Mechagodzilla when he grabs Mecha-G in a headlock and rips his head off. Underneath is a lightbulb looking head (kinda like Tom Servo from MST3K) and the robot continued to deal damage before finally getting shutdown by the Big G. While I realize Mechagodzilla doesn't really combine with another robot to become stronger, he does go through a couple changes and I thought he was worth mentioning. At one point in the series, they give him shoulder cannons. I believe the humans had control of him at this point and was using him as a weapon in the defense against Godzilla.

And finally, he gets decked out with all these new weapons and they call him Super Mechagodzilla. Super BAD ASS!!!

Also, another character maybe worth mentioning from Godzilla would be Moguera. Just for the fact that he's another giant robot. Moguera doesn't combine with any other robots either so I won't say much about him.


There are TONS of other video games, anime, and cartoons that I'm sure I didn't get a chance to cover. There would just be too many, you could probably start an entire blog on giant robots alone. Also, I wanted to touch on these because they were the ones that I remembered most from my childhood. I hope all of you enjoyed reading this and realized why you thought giant robots were always cool.

==== UPDATE! ===

Check out part 2 for more combining robots!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Home, New Life, New Blog

Hello all, welcome to my new blog!!! I currently run the Z-portal blog but I felt like I needed one where I can write about my other passions in life that might not fit on a blog about horror and gore. I moved for the first time about a year ago and moving was an interesting experience, going through old stuff to see what you wanna keep and what you wanna toss, but basically just reliving my whole life through little treasures that I wished I'd taken better care of.

This blog is going to be where I talk more about the things that interested me as a kid and probably still does to this day. I'm talking about cartoons and TV shows I watched as a kid like:

The Real Ghostbusters

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

Godzilla, and other guys in rubber suits stomping around miniature cities

Wrestling, when these guys were on top!!!

Playing with toys like these:

I'll cover things that were popular when I was growing up and even newer things like Adventure Time and The Avengers movie. This blog is for the kid in us all and is the perfect escape from the crap of everyday life. Have fun!