it looks like Barbie is set to get her superhero on again with some rumblings that several characters in the X-Men and Star Wars franchises are to be given the Barbie treatment.
Spain based, family owned toy and pop culture shop “Toys Damaso SL” have listed pre-orders for six brand new dolls that include some surprising additions to the Barbie catalog.
Three characters from X-Men’s upcoming Dark Phoenix have been listed for pre-order – Jean Grey, Storm and Mystique along with three characters from Star Wars – Princess Leia, Darth Vader and strangely enough R2-D2.
It’s a surprising announcement considering FOX’s staunch stance on any kind of toy/action figure merchandise for it’s X-movies.
Each pre-order states the following:
WE DO NOT HAVE PHOTOS. WE DO NOT KNOW THE DATE OF RECEPTION, IT MAY TAKE MONTHS TO RECEIVE
The Star Wars collection are currently listing for $220 AUD while the X-Men collection for $103 AUD
Currently, there is no official word from Mattel on these releases and Toys Damaso SL is the only site online with this information.
While this may be the first time Barbie has gotten her pristine plastic hands on these characters, it’s not the first time they have been immortalized in plastic. Princess Leia and Darth Vader have been produced in doll form numerous times over the years through Hasbro. Storm, back in the late 90’s got the 12″ doll treatment thanks to ToyBiz while Tonner doll company released two version’s of it’s 16″ Jean Grey/Phoenix doll. Mystique is the only character never to have been released in any kind of doll format before.
As stated, no official word as yet on release date, availability worldwide or price point.
X-Men Apocalypse is being reviewed and touted as “the X-Men movie for the fans” yet the way it stands, no single X-Men movie has ever fared extremely well with dedicated followers and X-Men’s latest installment isn’t going to change that.
It’s a shame however as the bones for a decent X-Men film are there and unlike Days of Future Past, there’s no real source/story line material for Apocalypse to stay true to…well with the exception of which characters pop up as his loyal horsemen, but it did allow for the writers to be a little bit more creative in this outing. That said, there is a major problem with Apocalypse – there is just way too many named characters to really do everyone justice especially for an X-Men movie where standard scene-hogger Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is literally seen in a single slash and dash scene. Characters with major story lines or backgrounds needing to be fleshed out suffer and feel like stepford wives waiting for instructions on what to do next.
Of Apocalypse’s four horsemen, it’s weather witch Storm (Alexandra Shipp), telekinetic ninja Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Angel (Ben Hardy) that suffer the most screen injustice along with good-gal and fan favorite, Jubilee (Lana Condor) who have either been relegated to single lines of dialogue (Psylocke) or virtually stripped of their powers (Jubilee) and it’s a shame considering the high visibility of these characters in advertising and posters.
With Apocalypse’s (Oscar Isaac) fourth horseman being Magneto (Michael Fassbender), the only true background fleshed out is his, which of course, has been explored in pretty much every other X-Men movie made to date but at least toggles the viewers memory as to a valid reason why Magneto would join forces with Apocalypse. Of the other three, Angel is picked up licking his wounds after escaping from an underground mutant fighting ring, Storm while as a teen thief in Cairo and Psylocke as she works with Caliban (Tómas Lemarquis) secretly transporting mutants underground. There is just not enough between those other characters to really back them to joining Apocalypse, especially with Storm whom we all know eventually becomes a fully fledged X-Man and Psylocke who we never really quite understand why she joins.
On the flip side, re-imagined characters of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan) and Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) are given ample amount of screen time for us to be introduced to and even like. Smit-McPhee’s Nightcrawler is an absolute scene stealer. And of the returning cast, Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique, James McAvoy’s Xavier and Nicholas Hault’s Beast are all there to keep a tie between the old and the new though of all the characters presented on screen during Apocalypse, it’s that of CIA agent and Xavier’s love interest Moira Mactaggert (Rose Burne) that garnered the most unnecessary screen time.
From discovering Apocalypse’s resurrection to informing the X-Men of said event to even joining them to rescue a captured Xavier, Moira Mactaggert is there along for the ride – even at one point, donning the same black leather fighting suit worn by Beast, Jean Grey and the other X-Men while piloting an escape jet.
Apocalypse will however be the one single character to really test an X-Men fans faith in the movie franchise. The comic version of the character presents a grand and powerful mutant, giant in size and ability to cause world wide damage with his special powers, in effect, Apocalypse is quite terrifying…the movie version is like 50% of the way there. His stature is not grand nor immense and he spends a bulk of the movie uttering long and drawn out speeches in a monotonous and robotic tone.
X-Men Apocalypse spends a large bulk of it’s movie building up a story that ends with a massive action sequence but it does so in a long and laborious tone that will leave many wondering when the action is going to come. When it does finally hit, those action sequences however are pretty decent though once again, reliant on the CGI. Some may feel a bit hard done by with Storm but I’ll admit, this is probably the most action scenes we’ve ever had by the character while first timer Psylocke and her electric pink telekinetic sword and whip were actually very cool to watch even if she kind of looks a bit ridiculous in her minimal vinyl outfit.
Yes, X-Men Apocalypse is a ‘movie for the fans’, many will pick up on familiar characters etched into the background, many will wonder why their favorite character was even there to begin with. Heck, I’m wondering why the cheeky nod to another comic based X-Man Dazzler was cut from the final film. I’m guessing another directors cut ‘aka the Days of Future Past Rogue Edition’ will pack even more into an already packed movie.
From Fantastic Four’s Invisible Woman, Uncanny X-Men’s Storm and Phoenix to Avengers She Hulk and Scarlet Witch, Marvel’s female heroines have been at the forefront of the comic world and March will see our super powered femme fatales at the forefront of all of Marvel’s gaming programs. While DC comics are using their female heroes to target young girls and adult collectors in their DC Super Hero Girls line, Marvel are hitting the digital gaming market.
Called ‘Women of Power’ the event will bring “new characters and content” to its portfolio of mobile, handheld, console, and PC games. Peter Phillips, the executive vice president and general manager of digital distribution at Marvel Entertainment, said the event will bring together “some of the most popular heroes and villains” in a “unique way for the first time. By featuring these stories and characters throughout a single month, we’ve lined up one [of] the most exciting events in the history of Marvel games.”
The line-up boasts an impressive number of mobile and console/pc marvel games that will all take part in the event including:
LEGO Marvel’s Avengers: Marvel will introduce Captain Marvel, Moonstone, and Poundcakes.
Marvel Contest of Champions: New event quest featuring Ms. Marvel will become available. Players will also be able to add She-Hulk, X-23, and Ms. Marvel to their team.
Marvel Avengers Academy: Several all-new female heroes will be added to the Avengers Academy student body.
Marvel Puzzle Quest: Marvel’s new Women of Power variant covers will be available in-game.
Marvel Future Fight: A new event featuring Proxima Midnight—one of Thanos’ most powerful generals—will be unlocked.
Spider-Man Unlimited: Notable Spider-Women, including Silk, will get their own “special event.”
Marvel Heroes 2016: The latest installment will add the ability “to team up with fan favorite Rescue and earn an enhanced power costume for American Dream.”
The announced events will kick in from March 3rd which also coincides with Marvels “Women of Power” variant comic covers month for Black Widow #1, Mockingbird #1, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #5, Scarlet Witch #4 and Uncanny Inhumans #6 among others which will be released throughout March.
I’m just going to start off with this brand new trailer that dropped during the Superbowl on Sunday night/Monday afternoon (Aussie time):
Now, how great is it to finally see long time X-Men member Psylocke getting some big screen love?! It seems to be quite clear that Olivia Munn is taking doing justice by our purple haired psychic ninja assassin and killing it in the new promo.
This new clip marks the first time we have seen Psylocke in action who has been AWOL from previous clips released that featured Storm, Magneto, Mystique and the rest of the X-Men cast but the best thing about this is just how possible it might be that Psylocke could be the most comic to screen X-Men character to date….you know….aside from Wolverine.
And speaking of cast, it seems like those familiar with the X-Men comics will be happy to see some of the morlocks appearing in the film with Plague and Caliban both confirmed as characters in the new movie.
Until X-Men Apocalypse premieres on May 27th, here’s some Psylocke love from Psylocke/Olivia Munn and some very happy fans.
CGL Toys are one of those 1/6 scale figure companies floating around that most collectors know of but may have never actually bought any of their releases. For the most part, CGL Toys seem to be focusing their releases on unofficial figures, namely last years very cool Angelina Jolie/Mr and Mrs Smith head sculpt, a Walking Dead Rick Grimes figure and a Heath Ledger/Joker release.
More recently, the company has begun to focus on characters from X-Men: The Last Stand movie (2006) with a Professor Charles Frances Xavier figure and a King of Magnetic Force figure already released. This year, saw the release of the third figure from this line, an X-Men Phoenix Girl figure based off Famke Janssen’s portrayal in the movie.
So let’s get into the figure.
The box itself is rather plain and non informative. There is no product description, photos or any other markings besides a small gold decal on the front which spells out CGL’s letters. The straight forward shoe box design opens up to reveal a padded tray containing the dressed figure, an alternate head and an alternate set of hands. Whereas the Xavier and Magneto releases came with useable extras (a wheel chair and a stand with base), this release see’s no other accessories included, thus explaining the cheaper price for this figure compared to the other releases.
The figure itself feels quite sturdy in design with no loose joints and while I have no idea on the base body used, it is easy to tell that it’s not one of your generic bland bodies. There is decent arm articulation to which I was able to make Jean’s hands touch her head and stay there without much effort and while there is leg and ankle articulation, the heavy boots and tight fitting pants restrict just how much you can move the legs about.
The clothing appears to be of a high standard with quality stitching and decent quality materials used. Nothing feels cheap and nasty. While the design of the coat alters from the promo pictures, the added material strands in front feel a bit more true to what Jean wore in this X-Men movie. The coat is removable though I can imagine trying to take this off would be a nightmare due to the fiddly stitching done on the back of the corset which is attached to the coat. Underneath, Jean wears a top in another shade of red and a pair of pants that match the jacket.
The head sculpts have not altered much from the promo shots. One thing you can say about CGL Toys is when it comes to heads, what you see is what you get. The ‘standard’ sculpt bears minimal resemblance to Famke Janssen and her X-men alter-ego, but it’s enough to possibly be able to put a name to the face for those who haven’t seen the movie since it’s release.
The hair is a slight letdown though as CGL Toys (like most 1/6 scale companies) use acetate which is probably the most horrible material ever used for hair on figures as it’s brittle and thin and impossible to style. Had they gone with something similar to Kumik’s hair, then I could have forgiven the fact the hair is so much shorter than the style Jean had in the movie. The style shown in the promo pictures also differs to the final release which came with wild uncontrollable curls.
The alternate ‘angry’ head which we saw Jean with when she killed Xavier in the movie, is actually much better than the promo photos where the final released product is nowhere near as dark, grey and sickly looking allowing for the red lightning/vein streaks to shine through. If there was one con on the release, it’s that she doesn’t look as angry as she does in the promos! This head also came with the wretched acetone hair in a wild curly style.
This is my first CGL Toys figure and it’s a clean, solid release.
Articulation: 6/10 – plus for arm movement and a minus for lack of leg articulation.
Character Likeness: 8/10 – most elements seem spot on with the movie with the exception of the hair.
Head Sculpt: 8/10 – While not exactly Famke Janssen, there’s enough likeness to acknowledge it’s Jean Grey from X3.
Hair: 1/10 – One point for colour! Recommendation to CGL is to ditch the acetone and move onto nylon or saran hair.
Outfit: 9/10 – quality stuff. Great design, doesn’t feel cheap, no loose threads. Boots too, are heavy and well made.
Overall: 7/10 – should sit well into any X-Men fans collection. Jean/Phoenix is a great character and with the dozens of 1/6 scale Wolverine’s out there, it’s nice to see an X-lady get some love.
Ask any X-Men fan about the comic book series during the 90’s and one of the first things talked about is the kick-ass animated series that saw the ever popular mutants brought to life for the very first time.
Even though the series ended in 1997, the animated series remains a favorite for X-men fans and to this day, retains a very cool nostalgic vibe to each and every episode.
Cut to early 2016, where Canadian animator Joel Furtado drops a sneak peek look at his “love letter to Marvel”, his own take on the X-Men in animated-meets-arcade-game form via X-Men: Danger Room Protocols. An 18 episode animated series that borrows heavily from the original animated series from the 90’s, that will see various and well known members of the X-men pitted against their most dangerous foes.
Check out the very cool trailer and a look at Joe and his plans for the series in the video below:
As you can see, everyone from Cyclops to Storm, Wolverine and Psylocke are all set to feature and battle it out against Mystique, Sabretooth, White Queen and Magneto with episode one featuring Wolverine and Jean Grey and titled ‘survival’ poised to be released on Joes YouTube Channel on Jan 19th – you know, that’s if Marvel and FOX don’t put a complete stop to the project before it ever see’s the light of day.
Either way, we’re loving the look and feel of what Danger Room Protocols is offering and can’t wait for the final product!
Update: Feb 2016 – Sadly, only one episode of this awesome work made the light of day…and for about 20 minutes before Marvel stepped in and shut the project down. watch what creator Joe Furtado has to say about the situation over at his official website.
As a massive fan of X-Men veteran Storm, I’ve been hanging to see just how X-Men Apocalypse director Bryan Singer would present our weather witch in this new film set in the 1980’s. While numerous set photos featuring Jean Grey, Cyclops, Jubilee and Nightcrawler have spread across the net anything Storm related has been kept under wraps….until now.
During the panel for FOX’s upcoming blockbuster movies at this years SDCC, Singer, along with the entire cast of Apocalypse were on hand to show off some rough footage (no special effects) from the film. The 5 minute clip revealed not only what Storm looks like (80’s mohawk and all) but also Olivia Munn as Psylocke and the revelation of the four characters that will play Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen.
While a full reveal of Deadpool’s trailer was leaked, it appears only a short 15 second snippet from the footage has made its way online before being pulled by Fox.
As mentioned, one of the biggest reveals was the announcement of the mutants joining Apocalypse. Angel (played by Ben Foster) – who first showed up in X-Men: The Last Stand is one (we’re assuming as Archangel) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) is another with first timer Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Storm (Alexandra Shipp) taking the last two places.
So we now have our first look at Storm and for the most part, the look is pretty spot on with the punk look she sported for a large portion of the 80’s. I’m much happier with this than I have been for X-Men 3 and Days of Future Past (wtf was with those hair styles?!).
Are you surprised with Psylocke and Storm being announced as part of the Four Horsemen? Sound off in the comments below!
Update July 13th:
The full trailer has now leaked online! Check it out below before it’s gone! Nope it’s gone!
Update: July 17th
Entertainment Weekly gives us the first official look at the cast with some awesome images. Check out Psylocke! That look is on point!
Director Bryan Singer on set with Alexandra Shipp (Storm)
Entertainment Weekly Cover featuring Magneto, Psylocke and Apocalypse
Apocalypse and two of his horsemen Storm and Psylocke
I’m a sucker for games and apps that let my creativity run wild with character customization. I’ve probably spent more than a reasonable amount of time sitting in the character creation of Soul Calibur and Saints Row trying to perfect my character tweaking the eyes and hair and skin colour making sure everything is how I want it to be. Throw marvel superheroes, or more specifically, X-Men heroines to the mix and i’ll be un-contactable for days.
Doll Divine artist Candy’s World has brought those two loves of mine into one very cool and very slick online app that allows users to pretty much create any female X-Men/X-Force/X-Factor character (and more than likely marvel universe character) ever imagined and do them up with your own little twist.
X-Force’s Siryn with a twist on her modern look
Morlock leader Callisto get’s the X-Girl treatment
The layout and features of this app are very easy to use, starting from selecting skin color (Mystique blue is, of course, included) to eye colour, eye liner and eye shape, nose, lips and lip colour to pre-determined face paint. From there you select hair and color – with very cool options that allow you to add various bangs over the top of a base layer and added loose strands before hitting the uniform section. That area will take a bit to understand as the layering options and available items are crazy – but good crazy!
Once your heroine is complete – with power selection too – you get to add a background including an editable X-Men comic cover where you name the comic like I have below with my very own original character named Gravity and save to your desktop!
And one character not enough? X-Doll allows users to create multiple characters within the same base! My main image featuring Emma Frost, Battle Armor Psylocke, Vintage Jean Grey and Muir Island Saga Polaris is a single image!
From the website: Create infinite female character’s from Marvel’s X-Men universe! Now you can finally design your very own superhero costume, customizing the suit, sleeves, collars, waistlines and more! Gear up your hero for battle, empower her with mutations and adorn her with a dazzling array of hairstyles and accessories. When not on duty, you can even dress up your X-Girl in civilian clothing! A truly beautiful dress up game, featuring the flawless artwork of Candy’s World!
The only negatives I have with this app is the inability to save HQ versions of your work (print screen was my best friend here) and if I have to pick, it’s a shame there’s only one pose available for our girls.
While there are thousands of various dress-up doll apps available online, this one is easily one of the best I have ever seen. X-Doll is a free to use desktop based online app via Doll Divine! Make sure you share your creations on Instagram using the #XGirlComic tag for us all to see!
The fun part leading up-to any massive superhero movie is the guessing of which characters will make the jump from comics to the big screen and the upcoming X-Men Apoclypse is playing right into our guessing game.
With the movie set in the 80’s and taking place between Days of Future Past and X-Men 1, younger versions of Cyclops/Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan), Phoenix/Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Storm/Ororo Monroe (Alexandra Shipp) will be joined by British telepath-ninja Psylocke/Betsy Braddock (Olivia Munn) and Jubilee/Jubilation Lee (Lana Condor). Other known X-men characters also appearing include Angel/Warren Worthington III (Ben Hardy), Havok/Alex Summers (Lucas Till), Moira McTaggart (Rosy Byrne) among the usual fare of Magneto, Professor X, Beast and Mystique.
What has fans excited however is the announcement of lesser-known mutant Caliban thanks to an Instagram post by director Bryan Singer…
Caliban has been around in the X-Men universe comics since 1981 and has the ability to sense and track other mutants to which he uses his powers to build up the underground clan of mutants known as The Morlocks lead by Calisto. Does this mean Calisto and The Morlocks could be appearing in Apocalypse? Where things get interesting is (in the comics) Storm defeated Calisto in a hand-to-hand combat leaving Storm the leader of The Morlocks and Caliban was also, at one point, one of the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse.
Other notable X-men have also played in the Four Horsemen including Gambit (Channing Tatum), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Psylocke, Angel, and Polaris leaving us to wonder just how will Caliban come into play in the movie, does Psylocke’s (surprise) involvement and Wolverine and Gambit’s rumored involvement see them playing the Horsemen and will Polaris appear considering she is the daughter of Magneto (Michael Fassbender), half brother to Quicksliver (Evan Peters) and has been a Four Horseman?
No one has officially been announced in the role of Caliban as yet.
How do you think this news will play into the Apocalypse movie? Which X-Men character would you like to see included in the Apocalypse movie? Sound off in the comments below!
Sophie Turner as Jean Grey
Olivia Munn sporting streaked purple hair to play Psylocke
Any fan of the Uncanny X-Men comic series will happily tell a non-fan just how distorted the Days of Future Past movie was when compared to the original story that played out in Uncanny X-men issues #141-142. In the comic series, it was actually Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat (portrayed by Ellen Page in the movies) that actually transfers her mind into her younger self to warn the original X-men of a fatal moment that causes anti-mutant hysteria and not wolverine. In fact, the character of Rogue (portrayed by Anna Paquin in the movie series) isn’t even involved.
That said, fans of Rogue and Paquin were up in arms to find out that virtually all of her scenes from Days of Future Past had been cut due to ‘time reasons’ which resulted in certain scenes to be re-shot and others left on the cutting room floor. Thankfully, director Bryan Singer and 20th Century Fox have heard our plight and a brand new Days of Future Past ‘Rogue Cut’ extended edition is heading our way featuring 17 extra minutes of footage plus 90 minutes of special features.
The newly added material involves the future versions of Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Sir Ian McKellen) rescuing Rogue from an internment camp after the scene where Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) slashes Kitty Pryde. Rogue would then absorb Kitty Pryde’s power and then take over to keep Wolverine’s consciousness in his past body. – The edited released version had Kitty Pryde sending Wolverine’s mind back in time.
The X-Men Days of Future Past Rogue Cut is set for release July 15th in Australia and is currently available for pre-order at all good stockists.