star wars toy documentary

One of the best/worst things about being a Star Wars fan is the merchandise. There’s just so much of it. You can try and avoid it, tell yourself you aren’t going to buy it, but eventually someone is going to make that exact piece you’ve always dreamed about and you have to have it. That’s because, in one of the most famous business deals ever, George Lucas turned down a significant chunk of his salary on the original film in exchange for rights to any Star Wars sequels and merchandising. Before the movie came out, that seemed like a no-brainer for the studio. This movie was never making money. Now, over 30 years removed, merchandise makes way more money than the movies, to the tune of billions of dollars.

Toys are at the center of that empire of Star Wars merchandise. Toys you almost certainly owned as a child and beat into submission as you saved the world time and time again. Toys now sold in specialty shops for so much money you kick yourself for destroying them in your childhood. And when there’s a topic so specific yet so universal and fun, it’s bound to prompt a documentary.

Enter director Brian Stillman and a film called Plastic Galaxy, which “explores the groundbreaking and breathtaking world of Star Wars toys. Through interviews with former Kenner employees, experts, authors, and collectors, it looks at the toys’ history, their influence, and the fond and fervent feelings they elicit today.” Um, yes please.

The film is currently streaming exclusive on Vimeo. Below, watch a trailer and learn more. Read More »

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Guardians of the Galaxy vinyl

The fact that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was such a big box office hit was a huge surprise on its own. It was only eclipsed by the success of its soundtrack. The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack hit #1 on the Billboard charts and is certified Gold, with sales over 500,000. Pretty impressive for an album consisting only of previously released songs. In fact, it’s the first such album to ever hit #1.

Now, the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack gets taken up a notch. Mondo is releasing it on vinyl with art by the awesome Tyler Stout. The Guardians of the Galaxy vinyl is currently available for pre-order and comes with a randomly inserted handbill.

Below, see the front and back cover art as well as all the handbills. Read More »

Removed at request of the artist

Fan art isn’t just for the consumers, its also for the creators. Joshua Viers, a concept art illustrator who formerly freelanced at Industrial Light and Magic, sent us a look at a serious of Star Wars concept art illustrations he has created just for fun. Sorry, these aren’t for Star Wars Episode 7 or a new video game, although they have the professional quality and polish of something you’d find in the real thing. Hit the jump to see more of Joshua Viers Star Wars concept art.

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Joshua Budich anime art

If you’re in the continental US, it’s hard to get closer to Japan than San Francisco. That makes the Bay City the perfect place for artist Joshua Budich‘s first solo show Otaku Obscura, a tribute to the art of Japanese animation. Opening October 4 at Spoke Art in San Francisco, Budich has created 28 brand new prints based on some of the most famous and popular anime of all time. Films like Akira, My Neighbor Totoro, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Princess Mononoke and Cowboy Bebop.

Below, we’ve got just some of the gorgeous pieces of Joshua Budich anime art that’ll appear in the show including a /Film exclusive. Check them out below. Read More »

Guy Predicts ‘Game of Thrones’ Ending Using Math

Game of Thrones statistical analysis

George R.R. Martin‘s apparent willingness to kill off any character at any time means Game of Thrones / ASOIAF is a more difficult storyline to predict than most. But that doesn’t stop fans from making their guesses anyway. Now, one of them has come up with a particularly unusual approach to the Game of Thrones prediction problem.

Richard Vale, a statistics lecturer at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury, has used math to try and figure out which characters will live or die in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. His results should should cheer up some fans and depress others. Hit the jump to see what he found.

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Cool Stuff: U-Command Wall-E Remote Control Toy

U Command Wall-E Remote Control

More than almost any Disney character in recent memory, everyone wants a Wall-E. He’s cute, he’s got personality, he’s helpful and he cleans up after you. What could be better than that?

Unfortunately, we’ll never own an actual Wall-E because they don’t exist. He’s a figment of the imagination of director Andrew Stanton and hundreds of other talented people at Pixar. There are some cool Wall-E toys though, and fans have even taken it upon themselves to build ultra-realistic versions of the robot.

Disney has now done something right in the middle, releasing a “U-Command” Wall-E, which is remote controlled by an infrared waves. It has all kinds of articulations in the hands, face, voice controls and more. Check out the U-Command Wall-E Remote Control video below. Read More »

Groot

Each of the Guardians of the Galaxy were lovable in their own special way, but if we’re being honest the real heart of the team was Groot. The taciturn tree-creature was equal parts badass and sweet, and his adorable dance moves made him the must-have toy of the season. Too bad Disney’s been dragging its feet on actually putting out said toy.

The good news is that the company is getting closer, as Dragon Models announced today that it will release a 7″ Groot toy. This one looks a lot more like the Groot of the film than that earlier Funko bobblehead did. The bad news is that it’s still not really the Groot toy we want. Hit the jump for details on the new Groot toy. (Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet. Why haven’t you seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet?)

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Tom Whalen Bust'd header

Philadelphia-based artist Tom Whalen just keeps getting bigger. But, for his latest show, everyone is getting smaller. Whalen is extremely well-known as one of the work horses for Mondo. If there’s a Disney property being turned into a poster, Whalen is usually doing it. But he’s also tackled such iconic films as RoboCop, Terminator 2, The Iron Giant and Army of Darkness this year alone. His bright, geometric style is recognizable and universal, leading to a steady rise in ppopularity

Even before that though, Whalen was working for Gallery 1988 and this week, they’re giving him a solo show. It’s called Bust’d and is comprised of 35 8×8 inch art prints showing the busts of character from all walks of pop culture. There are big, recognizable characters, fun supporting characters, characters from movies, video games, anime, there’s something for everyone. Plus, the size and cost makes them incredible easy to frame and affordable for everyone.

We’re excited to exclusively debut just a handful pieces that’ll be in the show, which opens Friday October 3 at Gallery 1988 West in Los Angeles CA. Check them out below, along with more specifics. Read More »

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