Mattel’s Close but no Cigar Barbie Advert.

Mattel challenging gender stereotypes with brand new Barbie advert

In a first for toy brand Mattel, a new advert for their new Moschino branded Barbie features a young boy playing with the doll, all smiles and winks with his female buddies.  ‘Moschino Barbie is so fierce!’ the boy says to the camera as he holds Barbie’s purse before placing it on her arm.

Check it out below.

Sure, It’s a brave and bold move for Mattel, aiming to bring down the “boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls” stereotypes we’ve been accustomed to for generations and the move in general is a step forward in breaking down those gender stereotypes that we were all brought up with.

While watching the advert for the very first time, I applauded the introduction of a boy into the girl aimed market which acknowledges the fact that yes, there are boys who like to play with dolls too, especially in an time where more and more parents are becoming vocally against toy segregation in shops and more viral videos are popping up showing young boys embracing the Frozen phenomenon, it was great to see Mattel step up  – or at least I thought…

Close but not there yet.  This Moschino Barbie retailed for $150

See, then it dawned on me, this advert is for a collectible designer Barbie doll that retailed for $150 and not some jewel hair mermaid rocker Barbie that can be found in shops for $20+.  The target audience for this advert isn’t children who ask their parents to buy the dolls for them but for adult collectors who bought out the limited edition of 700 within an hour (and are now re-selling on the secondary market for $400-$800!!).

This advert won’t air on television during programs aimed at the 8-14 year old market or be found in catalogs crammed into mail boxes resulting in no little boys going to find this doll and thinking…”If the boy in the ad is playing with one, then I want it!”

It’s a kind of “the thought was there but we’re not going 100% with it” moment from Mattel.

Doing a bit of research it seems other people took notice of this fact which prompted Mattel to release the following statement to BBC News.

This video parodies iconic Barbie commercials from the 1980’s starring a young [Moschino creative director] Jeremy Scott look alike. The video celebrates how boys and girls alike play with Barbie – it’s all about self-expression, fashion, imagination and storytelling.”  Mattel added that the commercial (or fauxmercial as noted by Mattel) was created by them – but with Mr Scott calling the creative shots.

So yes, let us applaud Mattel/Jeremy Scott for breaking toy based stereotypes and finally including a boy into the world of Barbie doll advertising but let’s not be blinded to the fact that this is a marketing campaign about a designer doll played with by children that was directly aimed at an adult market.

Let’s just wait and see if this is only a  first move by Mattel into breaking down those boys toys vs girls toys barriers.

Oh, and by the way, the video is hosted on Moschino’s YouTube page, not Barbie’s.

Toy Review: Total Soldier Corps Elite Vs The Curse


Fans and collectors of the long running GI Joe figures by Hasbro will undoubtedly, during their time, have come across the well known knock-off line “The Corps” figures by Lanard Toys.  It’s pointless in trying to deny it!  We all had them infiltrating our collections at one time or another!  They’re cheaper though less articulated and are more readily available on store shelves than Joes are currently here in Australia.

Though recently, Lanard re-branded the Corps line as The Corps Elite Vs The Curse, released a bunch of brand new vehicles, mega play sets and figures, introduced new characters with better articulation and launched a website featuring bios, artwork and mini comics.  It’s a big and bold move for the company, but a smart one, especially in an age where its competitor in Hasbro’s GI Joe are becoming more and more scarce on toy shelves and collectors are screaming for more releases.

The biggest and best change to the line is the introduction of two female characters, never seen before within the Corps line.  Somehow, over all these years, there has been zero female presence within the Corps line which, looking back, is rather odd considering Lanards influence of Hasbro’s Joe line which contains a strong female presence with characters like Scarlet, Lady Jaye, Baroness, Agent Helix…the list goes on.

Snake Bite by Lanard Toys. Photo from
                                         Snake Bite by Lanard Toys. Photo from

That’s all changed now with ‘Snake Bite’ and ‘Puma’ permanently added to the roster and due to their popularity, could lead the way to even more gals to future Corps releases.  Snake Bite, the red headed Aussie chick and Puma, the gun toting bad-girl brunette feature a brand new head sculpt each though share the same body, but also feature increased articulation on a Corps figure.  The new figures offer 6 points of articulation from hinged knees, ball jointed hips, swivel mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, and a ball jointed head (standard Corps figures usually offer 4-5 points of articulation) which will keep the Joe fans happy.  The paint apps are nice with Snake Bite’s funky side shaved red hair and green/grey camouflage and Puma’s brown pompadour pony-tail and red/brown uniform.  The only miss is Snake Bite is missing her eye under her red fringe.

The brand new three figure packs also offer up a series of weapons (of which the girls have two throwing daggers, a pistol and crossbow each AND with added ports, these girls can hold all their weapons at once!) along with a motorcycle which, judging by the articulation needed to put the figure on, is made specifically for Puma and Snake Bite.

Brand new character Puma
Brand new character Puma

These new Corps figures have been floating around England and the USA for a few months now and have recently begun popping up in Target stores here in Australia oddly branded through Target’s budget Kids Space line (I say odd as Lanard’s website lists KMart as the official Aussie distributor for the line and Kmart confirmed to me that these figures aren’t releasing until Jan 2016) The price point for these figures are pretty neat also with the three pack selling at Target for $8 each (yep, $8 for three figures, a bunch of weapons and a vehicle!) and single carded figures for only $3 each – though, just like everywhere else, Puma and Snake Bite are not sold individually.

The official figures with detailed card back
Target Australia’s Kids Space offering

Where Hasbro’s effort with GI Joe being literally non existent on shelves anymore, Lanard’s newer offerings have arrived at the right time and with the right price point.  Affordable, visual, fun and diverse!  You can find the figure packs via Target Australia under their Kids Space budget toy line right now or as the official Corps Elite branding in Kmart Australia in Jan 2016.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Review

Leila (Ivy George) is the target for demon Toby
Leila (Ivy George) is the target for demon Toby

Through (now) six movies, including one odd spin-off/side movie, the Paranormal Activity movies are now finally attempting to close up for good by wrapping up the series long story-line revolving around sisters Kristi and Katie, young boy Hunter and giving life to the never-before seen protagonist – Toby, with the latest and last release in the line – Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.

Ghost Dimension follows the series previous outings with a ‘found footage’ feel, all seen through the lens of a camera but with the added twist of 3D special effects that funnily enough, when sporadically used, don’t offer much effect.

Picking up with a brand new family featuring husband and wife Ryan (Chris J Murray) and Emily (Brit Shaw) and their butter-wouldn’t-melt daughter Leila (Ivy George) who are getting ready to celebrate their first Christmas in their brand new house, where Ryan stumbles across an old 1980’s video camera that isn’t as vintage as it first looks.  While playing around with the recorder, Ryan discovers that he is able to see things that can’t been seen with other cameras or with the human eye.

Along with the camera, Ryan also discovers boxes filled with several old VHS tapes and it’s not long before Ryan and younger brother Mike (a wonderfully mustached Dan Gill) decide to check out the contents of the old tapes (seriously, who has a working VCR these days?!) and we discover how this final movie ties into all the others. See, these old tapes are filled with eepy-cray sessions of a young Katie and Kristi (whom we first met in paranormal activity 3) being hypnotized into a trance-like state by a pony-tailed man preparing them to meet Toby.

With the cameras ability to see mysterious things, Ryan gets the idea to set up cameras around the house hoping to catch a glimpse of what is making things go bump in the night and who his daughter is communicating with which sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

known for it’s ability to scare, some of the jump-out-of-your-seat moments presented in Ghost Dimension feel expected but none-the-less, still shocking and with the visual manifestation of Toby being introduced for the very first time, while certainly creepy, it makes this movie very different from the others.  Where other Paranormal outings working off the “what you can’t see” approach, being able to actually see Toby doesn’t add any extra element of fear to the movie.

As a long-time fan of the movies, the final pay-off does come – you will get your answers though I’d recommend revisiting the previous films to refresh yourself with the time-line and characters!  While I may not be too keen on how it all ends (it can only go one of two ways), it’s still nice to finally get that closure.  One thing I will say is that while the Paranormal Activity movies seem to have come to an end, Ghost Dimension does leave itself open to question whether a spin-off series of movies may be coming our way.

Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimensions is in select theaters Australia wide as of today.

More Info Released on Black Ops 3 Character Customizations

As previously confirmed, female soldiers will be playable in both multiplayer and campaign modes
As previously confirmed, female soldiers will be playable in both multiplayer and campaign modes

It’s been some time since the Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Beta was released and we all got to see a small glimpse of just what Treyarch has in stall for the newest installment of the first person shooter series.  With less an a month to go before the full game drops, some more information about the customization in both multiplayer and campaign mode has come to light.

Related Topic: First good and bad impressions of Black Ops 3 

Treyarch’s game design director David Vonderhaar recently confirmed that yes, customization is coming to multiplayer..

The tweet was quickly followed up with a screen shot showcasing the customization screen…

Here, we can see head, body and showcase weapon options with ‘variants’ listed in between each category – no word yet on what that entails – plus a taunts and gestures option included.

When it comes to campaign mode, players WILL be able to play as either a male or female soldier and will also have the ability to customize this character which will also transfer into cut scenes.  Check it out in the video below (3:10 mark) which shows the option to change gender, head and body load outs.

While not as in-depth as Advanced Warfare, the customization options offered up so far do mean that the clone-experience we all went through in the beta will not be happening in the full game!

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 will be available on November 6th for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. For the first time ever in the series, the game also features a 4 player campaign for PC and current generation consoles.

11 Things We Learned From Lifetime’s Unauthorized Melrose Place Story

The ladies of the original Melrose Place.
The ladies of the original Melrose Place.

From a pilot that was a massive hit to a slow burning season one to eventually becoming one of the hottest shows on the 90’s, Melrose Place cemented itself in pop culture history.  Loved it or hated it, you knew Melrose existed and the bed hopping, black mailing and crazy that went on.

But behind the on screen dramas, we got to learn a little more about our favorite 90’s guilty pleasure, the cast and the crew, thanks to Lifetime’s Unauthorized Melrose Place Story.  Check out the 11 things we all learnt from this tell-all…

1: Grant Show was almost Brad Pitt

Having been name checked in 90210’s Unauthorized movie (Pitt at the time, lived with Jason Priestly before Priestly was cast on 90210) it was revealed Grant Show was originally intended to play the role of good looking bad guy J.D in Thelma and Louise but had to turn down the role due to his Melrose Place commitments.  The part of course went to Brad Pitt and kick started his big screen career.  Wise choice?

2: The Melrose Place cast could have looked VERY different 

While Thomas Calabro (Michael Mancini), Josie Bissett (Jane Mancini), Grant Show (Jake Hansen), Doug Savant (Matt Fielding), Vanessa A Williams (Rhonda Blair) and Amy Locane (Sandy Harling) were already cast, it seems the role of good girl Alison Parker almost went to Courteney Cox (who was coming off Family Ties) instead of Courtney Thorne-Smith and before Tori Spelling selected Andrew Shue for the role of Billy Campbell (who knew Tori had a knack for casting?) Matthew Perry, Paul Rudd and Jason Bateman had all read for the role.

3: Thomas Calabro was a major theatre snob!

It was pointed out on several occasions that not only was Calabro a theatre actor but that he somewhat despised the shows early scripts, often mocking them and pointing out how much lesser the content was when compared to his previous stage work (ok, so season one and early season 2…he’s not wrong there!).  It was until his characters affair with Kimberly Shaw (Marcia Cross), which saw a new shady direction for the Michael, that he started to get into the part.

4: Laura Leighton’s manager got her on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine

We all know the cover – it’s now iconic – Laura Leighton, Josie Bissett and Heather Locklear looking all sexy with tousled hair and white tank tops and satin slips on the cover of Rolling Stones 1994 Hot Issue special…but it turns out, Courtney Thorne-Smith was originally in Leighton’s place and it wasn’t until Leighton’s then manager (who was also Heather Locklear and Bissett’s manager) suggested the two swap spots, ensuring Leighton (and her two other clients) made the cover. Thorne-Smith and Daphne Zuniga ended up being folded under the cover of the magazine.

“Where Courtney Thorne-Smith and Daphne Zuniga”?

5: FOX and Darren Starr told no one about Matt’s gay kiss being cut from the show

What should have been history in the making (Savant’s Matt Fielding was the first ever gay character on prime-time network television) led to fan outrage as the the first ever on-screen gay kiss between Matt and his date Rob (Ty Miller) was cut from the Season 2 double episode finale – even though it had been filmed.  When the episode aired with the edited scene, no one from the cast inlcuding Savant had been told.

Side note – the actual kiss took place in front of Matt’s apartment door while Billy (Shue) watched on in surprise but in the unauthorized movie, the scene was set on a park bench and the two’s kiss was interrupted by a passing cars headlights. Either way, Matt finally got his kiss on screen!

6: Josie Bissett, Daphne Zuniga and Courtney Thorne-Smith all asked for crazier story lines.

When going up against Amanda’s power bitch monologues, Sydney’s hooking-stripping-drug taking and Kimberly’s cray-cray, the other female actresses felt they needed their characters to go a little more into the dark side.  In the movie Thorne-Smith suggests Alison robs a bank while sleep walking, Zuniga recommends Jo becomes a serial killer and Bissett wants Jane to go all out crazy – but we can all safely assume none of those suggestions actually happened.  In the end, all three saw their characters get some more juicer story lines including stalking ex boyfriends, killing ex-boyfriends, dealing with stolen babies and pretending to be blind to win over an ex love!  Gotta love Melrose Place!

7: Heather Locklear and Laura Leighton were originally hired for a handful of episodes

While Leighton was hired for three episodes as Jane’s bratty younger sister and Locklear was brought in for a few more for a guest-star ratings push, both actresses ended up securing themselves multi-season contracts.  Leighton came back in season two as a recurring then regular character until the season five finale (where Syd was unceremoniously run over by a car on her wedding day!) and Locklear maintained her guest-star status (and dark roots) until the end of the shows run at season 7.

8: Andrew Shue has someone else besides Tori Spelling for the role of Billy Campbell  

Actor Stephen Fanning (or Stephen Dale as oddly named in the movie) actually HAD the role of Billy Campbell when Melrose first began to shoot.  Scenes for the pilot were shot and promo photos taken, but according to the movie, the time between being cast and production beginning (which is being quoted as two months) Fanning lost his ‘hot body’ while with family in Canada, gaining a crap load of weight and thus being fired from the show – because Melrose had no room for fatties.

9: Vanessa A Williams was convinced she was going to stay on Melrose for more than a season

It’s the case of what-could-have-been or blind want, with season one actors Williams and Amy Locane both being booted by the end of the first season.  Convinced her and Savant’s Matt Fielding were the shows two edgiest characters i.e “the black chick and the gay guy” Williams, it seems was completely blind sided by her axing from the show.  She did however go onto bigger and better things like…the TV movie Ice Spiders and a recurring role on Chicago Hope.

10: Laura Leighton and Doug Savant got married after Melrose Place

While not news to me, twitter was abuzz about finding out two of the shows stars were in fact married and are still to this day.  While the movie made note of the Thorne-Smith/Shue and Leighton/Grant Show’s off-screen romances, Leighton and Savant began dating (after her romance with Show ended and Savant had separated from his wife) and were married in 1998.

11: The entire cast all got on well together off-screen

Unlike that which was shown in the 90210 movie (Jennie and Shannen car park fight!!), the entire cast of Melrose Place was shown to actually get along with each other off set.  There were no over bearing egos or fights over wardrobe and even when Thorne-Smith and Zuniga were lost on the Rolling Stone cover (they barely battered an eye lid), Leighton called her manager demanding to know why.  Sadly, this really off-set the whole ‘unauthorized’ feel of the movie as there wasn’t really much drama to be told.

Regardless of how much the truth was stretched or how badly the Melrose time line was presented, we can all agree this Unauthorized movie reignited our love with Melrose Place.  I wonder how many are cracking out the DVD’s right now?

New Faces Revealed for Wentworth’s Fourth Season


Recently announced via Wentworth’s facebook page, two new and quite familiar faces have been confirmed to join the cast for the Aussie prison drama’s eagerly aniticpated fourth season.

Coming to season four is Corrections Officer Jake Stewart who is played by Bernard Curry, whom we know as Caleb’s sketchy father Jamie Doyle in Pretty Little Liars and as Principal George Turner on MTV’s Faking It and Kate Jenkinson, better known as bitchy Kendall Quinn from Super Fun Night and as Kate Reid (Patrick’s sister) from Offspring.  Jenkinson will be playing new inmate Allie Novak – there’s a typo in the official image above!

No word as yet on how each will be introduced or how they’ll play into the new season and we’re only speculating and secretly hopeful (thanks to this posts header image) that both Frankie Doyle (Nicole da Silva) and Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner) will be returning after last being seen driving off into the sunset at the end of season three.

Wentworth returns to Australian screens in 2016 on SoHo.

Get Your Own Zack Morris or Screech With New Saved by the Bell Pop! Vinyl Figures

The whole Bayside High gane in Pop! Vinyl
The whole Bayside High gane in Pop! Vinyl

Continuing on with their very cool Pop! Vinyl Television line which currently includes the likes of Orange is the new Black, The Walking Dead, The X-Files and the soon-to-be-released Friends line, Funko have now released the first images from the brand spanking new Saved by the Bell collection!  Everyone from Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) to AC Slater (Mario Lopez) and even Lisa Turtle (Lark Voohries), the whole gang (minus Mr. Belding) is now available for pre-order with a set December 2015 release – just in time for Christmas!

And in a recent twitter Q&A session, Funko also revealed some exciting new lines coming to the pop! Vinyl Television family..

Whilst I await any announcement of a Melrose Place pop! Vinyl line, we can all check out the newest Saved by the Bell pops below!

Pre-orders are up at Entertainment Earth at the following links:

Zack Morris  |  Schreech  |  AC Slater  |  Lisa Turtle  |  Jessie Spano  |  Kelly Kapowski

First Look: New Photos from Lifetimes Unauthorized Melrose Place Story

 Ciara Hanna (“Heather Locklear/Amanda Woodward”) and Frank Bailey (“Andrew Shue/Billy Campbell”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story Photo by Sergei Bachlakov Copyright 2015
Ciara Hanna (“Heather Locklear/Amanda Woodward”) and Frank Bailey (“Andrew Shue/Billy Campbell”) star in the all-new Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story Photo by Sergei Bachlakov
Copyright 2015

I am a Melrose Place geek.  It was my jam in the 90’s, I never missed an episode and I was (and still am) obsessed with Laura Leighton.  That said, I don’t know if I’m really ready to have that part of my teen years ripped apart with a Melrose Place tell-all movie that threatens to expose just what went on behind the scenes on one of the hottest shows of the 1990’s.

From Aaron Spelling and Darren Starr discussing a Beverly Hills 90210 spin-off to the revelation Grant Show turned down the role in Thelma and Louise that evertually went to Brad Pitt (and kick started his career) to Melrose’s early days with cast members Vanessa Williams and Amy Locane to the infamous Rolling Stone Magazine ‘Bod Squad’ cover shoot to Heather Locklear’s casting to ‘save’ the show, it’s all covered in the next installment of Lifetime’s ‘Unauthorized’ movies – The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story.

While recounting behind the scenes ‘drama’ the unauthorized movie also delves into the iconic 90’s dramas biggest and best story-lines including Sydney (Laura Leighton) transforming from annoying little sister to Jane (Josie Bissett) into a stripper/madam/druggie street walker, Kimberly (Marcia Cross) stealing Jo’s (Daphne Zuniga) baby and of course one of the biggest moments in the show’s history – Kimberly blowing up the apartment building during the season three finale!

Check out the gallery featuring images from the movie below!

Before the movie airs, check out the exclusive Sneak Peek trailer exclusive to

The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story airs Saturday, October 10th on Lifetime 8/7c

Let’s Fanboy(girl) Together! The X-Files New Season Sneak Peek Trailer is Here!

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are back for the 2016 X-Files reboot!
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are back for the 2016 X-Files reboot!

13 years!  Yes, it’s been 13 years since Special Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) last graced our screens (save for the two feature length films) and now the two are back in Jan of 2016 for a re-boot of the massive 90’s cult series that we’ve all been begging for on FOX.

The six episode mini series will pick-up after where the series ended in 2002 which will see our reunited duo chasing monsters and little green men but also dealing with modern day threats like drones, NSA spying and constant surveillance.

Check out the recently aired two-part teaser trailers below:

Joining our two favorite heroes in the reboot are familiar faces including Mitch Pileggi as Walter Skinner, William B. Davis  as The Smoking Man and Annabeth Gish as FBI Agent Monica Reyes along with Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood as The Lone Gunmen!

The X-Files mini-series returns to screens, Jan 26th 2016 on FOX

(Australia TBA)

Series Review: Scream Queens

Emma Roberts as Kappa Kappa Tau leader Chanel No.1.  Source: Network 10
Emma Roberts as Kappa Kappa Tau leader Chanel No.1.                                                      Source: Steve Dietl/Network 10

When you hear the name ‘Ryan Murphy’ and it’s attached to a new project, viewers these days tend to lean towards one of two ways – either the Glee side or the American Horror Story side.  Both brought to us by the mind of Murphy and so vastly different in their approach but so alike in their delivery and cult standing, it’s hard not to wonder which way Murphy’s newest project, Scream Queens was going to end up.

Oddly enough, even I had trouble placing this slasher series…ending up somewhere between Glee but closer towards AHS. While sharing more than a few Murphy project-related faces, Scream Queens takes it’s shine to a more comedic gross out presentation so think Glee with no singing and AHS with fewer tense and dark dramatic moments.

So what’s to expect with Scream Queens?  Well the series opens in a flashback to 1995 at a kicking party at Kappa Kappa Tau where “Don’t go chasing waterfalls….” is on blast, alcohol is flowing, there’s lots of long blonde hair…and a co-ed mysteriously dies…..after giving birth. Cut to present time and Kappa Kappa Tau has turned into Clueless on Mean Girl steroids where head sorority sister Chanel No.1 (Emma Roberts) has such a standing within the sorority (basically she’s a right mean bitch) that she has three mini-me minions who have all shed their birth names in favor of being named Chanel No.2, Chanel No.3 and Chanel No.5 (apparently no one knows what happened to Chanel No.4)

Chanel No.1’s life plans are in play but things take a nasty turn when sorority hating Dean Cathy Munsch (Jamie-Lee Curtis) shows up (she enforces Chanel to open up Kappa Kappa Tau to the entire community “even fatties”) and someone in a crisp red devil mask starts killing off those close to her and her sorority.

Of course, Scream Queens will be likened to MTV’s recent (and not so good) Scream series but fear not, the two are not alike.  While they may share a masked killer and a victim-of-the-week familiarity, Scream Queens isn’t aiming for emotional deaths, instead optiong to invest you in the bloodshed, and compared to it’s namesake, Scream Queens offers a lot of it…like bucket loads.  Not for the squeamish is an appropriate tagline one would assume after seeing the first two episodes.

Between awkward politically incorrect exchanges between sorority sister and maid, standardized stereotyping, pop culture bitchiness and floods of blood, Scream Queens opens itself to be a true entry into redefining what slasher entertainment used to be.

Starring Emma Roberts, Jamie-Lee Curtis, Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas, Lea Michelle, Abigail Breslin, Billie Lourd and Skyler Samuels.

Scream Queens premiere’s tonight, Network 10 at 9:15pm with the second episode airing directly after at 10:20pm on Eleven which will be the show’s permanent home.


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