Anime is a hot commodity now, and several streaming services are bolstering their catalogs with series new and old. The classic Robotech series is joining “the Funimation family,” courtesy of distributor Kew Media Distribution.
Here’s the official press release…
Leading global distributor Kew Media Distribution has licensed the highly successful original anime sensation Robotech: The Series and the sequel films Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles and Robotech 2: The Sentinels to Funimation, the global leader in sub and dub anime content and a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television. Upon expiration of existing third-party deals, this expansive agreement gives Funimation all rights (including VOD, EST, home entertainment and merchandising) worldwide, excluding Japan, to over 45 hours of the cutting-edge CGI anime.
Produced by Harmony Gold and Tatsunoko Production, the action adventure animated series Robotech introduced an entire generation of viewers to anime when it first premiered in 1985 and to this day, has a thriving and extensive fan base around the globe.
Separately, the Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Pictures Group is currently developing the eagerly anticipated Robotech live action feature film.
Robotech: The Series starts as the human race finds itself on the brink of annihilation under attack by a fleet of gigantic alien warships capable of destroying an entire planet in a split second. The only hope for survival lies with the secrets of Robotech, an advanced alien technology which has given humans access to powerful robotic systems and interstellar spacecraft.
Produced in high definition 5:1 with digital surround sound, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles film sequel picks up the story many years later with vibrant anime characters voiced by Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and Chase Masterson (Star Trek: Deep Space 9).
Based on the popular series, Robotech 2: The Sentinels is the enthralling film sequel, where two cultures, the citizens of Earth and the planet Optera, come together to determine the fate of their two worlds in a compelling story of love, courage and the pursuit of freedom.
Jonathan Ford, EVP Sales of Kew Media Distribution comments, “Funimation is the ‘go-to’ destination for sub and dub and we are very pleased to have licensed Robotech to this global anime powerhouse where it will join the very best series in the genre. We know this highly-regarded and incredibly popular cult animation series will excite and delight Robotech fans around the globe.”
Colin Decker, General Manager of Funimation, also commented. “Robotech is a beloved and foundational series for fans around the world. We are so proud and excited to connect this iconic series with millions more fans through Funimation.”
What are your thoughts on this? Some Macross fans were a little salty that Harmony Gold has retained to the rights to Macross for years to come. In fact, we had Harmony Gold’s Kevin McKeever on a Robotech Q&A livestream immediately after that controversial announcement at this year’s Anime Expo.
It seems like Funimation gets access to all of Robotech, including home video (blu-ray?) and it will eventually wind up on the Funimation streaming service.
It’s official. We are getting a Stranger Things Season 4.
It starts out as a normal logo and then it appears in the Upside Down and becomes covered in growth.
It finishes by saying “We aren’t in Hawkins anymore.”
Some interesting things people have already pointed out is the “Welcome to Hawkins” sign
The clock on the tree.
What looks like it could be Hopper’s cabin in the background.
The newspaper in the foreground.
The sound of a clock like Big Ben?
This all comes out after it was announced that Netflix green-lit a fourth-season and signed the Duffer brothers to a multiple-year deal for both film and television that was “worth nine figures” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Personally, I think Hopper could still be alive, so I am looking forward to the next season! No date has been released yet.
While Sony definitely had its share of supporters, it seemed as if the vast majority of MCU fans, naturally, wanted Tom Holland’s Peter Parker to stay under Disney’s control… even if Disney was making some pretty unreasonable financial demands of Sony.
And what these fans seem to forget is that Sony’s Spider-Man films really kicked off the current superhero movie craze with the Sam Raimi trilogy (along with the early X-Men movies). In fact, it could be argued that the Marvel Cinematic Universe wouldn’t even exist at all without Sony’s Spider-Man movies being such huge successes in the 2000s.
(Yeah, we’ll just gloss over the Amazing Spider-Man reboot for now.)
Paramount wanted some of that superhero money, and the MCU was born. Disney only swooped in when it was clear there were big bucks to be made off other Marvel properties.
That’s right. Disney didn’t even create the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Mind blown, right?
Original Raimi Spider-Man Screenwriter David Koepp Says It’s “Weird” for Fans to Want Spider-Man to Stay with Disney.
In a recent interview with Den of Geek, the screenwriter of the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man film, David Koepp, had some thoughts on the current situation with Sony and Disney.
Disney wants what it wants, and obviously it’s used to acquiring and controlling. But I understand Sony’s point of view better: ‘But wait, it’s ours. We own it. You can’t just have half of it. You can’t just take it.’ So it’s a tough situation. And I think certainly the last couple of Spider-Man movies have been terrific. But the animated film that they did without Disney’s involvement was, you know, even more terrific. What’s weird to me is those Marvel movie fans who are quick to spring to Disney’s defense like they’re a plucky underdog who needs to be defended.
Disney wants what they want, and they’re rapidly buying up the entertainment landscape. Hollywood is looking more and more like, well, Disneyland.
Now that they’ve acquired Fox (and with it, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four) I have to admit that there’s a bit of satisfaction in seeing them not be able to have that one Infinity Stone that would give them complete control over all of Marvel’s characters.
And yes. Into the Spider-Verse was a damn fine movie, and Venom did much, much better than anyone could have predicted.
Speaking of “weird,” Disney CEO Bob Iger stepped down from the Apple board of directors.
It makes sense. Apple makes high end electronics, so does Sony. It would push Apple to the top of the video game market, and give them a ton of much-needed media for their Apple+ streaming service right out of the gate, as most other content is tied up with Disney, Warner and Universal — all of which have their own streaming apps on the way.
But what happens to Spider-Man if Apple buy Sony?
Well, the word is that if Sony sells to anyone, the Spider-Man film rights revert back to Marvel. Which Disney owns. And bam, Spider-Man is back in the MCU.
So, is this Iger’s own Endgame? Knowing that his friends over at Apple are going to make a play for Sony, and just biding his time?
It’s completely possible.
Forever the sidekick: Is Spider-Man better off sitting out Phase 4 of the MCU?
There’s word that Spider-Man might be better off sitting out the next phase of the MCU anyway. The rumor is that Peter Parker was being positioned to forever stay a teenaged sidekick — first with Tony Stark, and next with Captain Marvel.
Maybe Spider-Man is better off sitting out Phase 4. Honestly, maybe Spider-Man is better off staying out of the MCU entirely so he can be the superhero he was always intended to be.
What is better than Hello Kitty? Hello Kitty wearing a kaiju costume!
Kidrobot teamed up Sanrio to release the epic Hello Kitty Kaiju Dinosaur Cosplay Plushie of awesome (full disclosure I added the “of awesome” part”.)
Apparently I missed it when this plush debuted at San Diego’s Comic Con International 2019 aka SDCC! But she comes with a Comic convention pass laynard that says “Cosplay Con” and “Hello Kitty Worldwide.” She’s a geek like me!
After an outstanding sold out debut at San Diego Comic Con 2019, the Kidrobot x Sanrio Hello Kitty Kaiju Plush is here to conquer the rest of the world with cuteness and destroy your heart with plush perfection! Stomping around in her perfectly constructed dino costume, Hello Kitty in 16 inches tall and ready for a movie, a comic con, costume contest and most importantly your Hello Kitty collection. Rawwrrrrr!
I have been a Hello Kitty lover since I was little! I remember going to store and looking at all the stationary and pens, and begging my mom for it! My daughter also loves her and used to have a bunch of her DVDs. She saw it as I writing this article and had me buy her one too! She did have a cute suggestion for Kidrobot though. Her idea was making this into a backpack to wear to conventions or take to school. There you go!
You can order her right now on the Kidrobot website HERE. She is $29.99 + shipping. I used the Honey App, on my computer, to find discounts and was able to get a coupon for 10% off with code KID10. Not sure how long it will work for though.
The Star Wars x Barbie collaboration is an homage to Star Wars: A New Hope.
This eponymous collection, inspired by the film’s original concept art, re-imagines iconic characters through a distinctive Barbie high-fashion filter.
This collectible Star Wars x Barbie doll captures R2-D2’s look in a geometric ensemble with a dome skirt, bomber jacket and thigh-high boots over silvery tights.
A vibrant blue ponytail and “radar eye” detail complete the look.
Star Wars R2-D2 x Barbie Doll includes a Star Wars doll stand and Certificate of Authenticity.
She has a C-3PO purse! Plus that hair is very long and brushable! Mattel if you want someone to review these please let me know!
These dolls are currently on pre-order via Amazon. The release date is November 18, 2019!
I really do like these and the details on them. Darth Vader screams “The Devil Wears Prada” but it really fits here! The price per doll is a bit high, but when I collected Barbie dolls back in the day, I saw much higher prices!
A billion dollar Star Wars theme park expansion being ridiculed as a “flop” by the media.
A steep decline in Star Wars merchandise sales that even toy manufacturer Hasbro seemingly blames Disney for.
The last theatrical Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, bombing at the box office.
And a vocal fanbase that feels betrayed by Star Wars’ current custodians, and is constantly at odds with the people behind the franchise on social media.
It’s clear we’re no longer living in 1979. Or even 1999.
Welcome to 2019, where it’s obvious to anyone paying attention that Star Wars is a damaged franchise under Disney’s stewardship. And after months of denial on Disney’s part, CEO Bob Iger seems to finally, finally be admitting it.
Star Wars merchandise sales are in decline. Again.
The increase at our consumer products business was due to growth at our merchandise licensing and retail businesses. Growth at merchandise licensing was primarily due to higher revenue from merchandise based on Toy Story, partially offset by a decrease from Star Wars merchandise. The increase at our retail business was due to higher comparable store sales and online revenue.
Go to any Walmart or bargain outlet and take a look at the glut of sequel era Star Wars merchandise they can’t even unload at rock bottom prices.
Or just ask a Toys ‘R Us employee about it. Oh, wait…
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is being called a “flop.” Disneyland’s attendance plummets over the summer.
Despite Disney defenders trying to put as positive of a spin on the disaster that is Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the mainstream media has seen right through it and continues to throw shade at the billion dollar expansion’s failure to draw crowds.
And when there was some pushback from Disney fandom about the validity of people’s claims about the park being empty, USA Today had to step in and provide aerial photos as proof to shut that debate down hard.
But hey, it’s just the jealous naysayers throwing shade at Disney, right?
According to that same third-quarter earnings report, Disney Parks attendance was down overall.
So, no, it’s not our imaginations.
And Disney CEO Bob Iger had to put his own positive spin on the situation. Saying that Galaxy’s Edge will be profitable… someday.
“And so all of those factors [prince increase, fear of crowds] contributed to attendance that was below what we would have hoped it would be. That said, guest satisfaction, interest in the attraction in the land is extremely high, it’s the most popular thing at the park. And so, long term, we build these things for the long term, we have no concerns whatsoever about them. We’re opening Galaxy’s Edge in August in Orlando, the second attraction there will open in December, and, as I said, the second attraction in Anaheim will open in January, so we feel great about the product we’ve created, it just takes some time to, basically for us, to work themselves out in terms of how the marketplace is reacting.”
Kids today love Nintendo. They don’t care much about Star Wars.
Speaking of which…
Kids today don’t care about Star Wars. So why keep insulting their parents?
According to Bloomberg, kids today just aren’t into Star Wars.
Well, not like their parents were.
It’s just another sci-fi fantasy franchise to them, and one that doesn’t seem to hold the same level of interest as Fortnite, Harry Potter or Disney’s other big franchise, Marvel.
Star Wars toy sales popped with 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” the start of a trilogy that united Han, Luke and Leia with a new band of heroes, but have slumped since. “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” last year’s spinoff featuring the backstory of beloved characters, utterly bombed. “The Last Jedi,” the second in the new trilogy, was profitable but fell shy of its predecessor’s performance. The next installment, “The Rise of Skywalker,” will have the very future of the franchise riding on it when it debuts in December.
Attempts to make Star Wars more relatable to today’s youth with all new protagonists and villains has seemingly been met with apathy, judging by the unsold toys clogging clearance aisle shelves.
And old school Star Wars fans were dismayed at how their childhood heroes were sidelined, the victims of character assassination, or killed off entirely.
In the case of the original trilogy’s series protagonist Luke Skywalker, it’s all of the above.
‘The Last Jedi’ irreparably damaged the brand. But Disney will not acknowledge it.
To say that The Last Jedi split the fandom is an understatement. In fact, it could be argued the movie’s terrible treatment of classic characters (and its poor handling of the Star Wars fandom in the aftermath) directly lead to the current state of the Star Wars franchise.
Many fans threatened to boycott Star Wars after The Last Jedi. Yet the internet media pundits laughed it off as just a “vocal minority” of disgruntled, basement-dwelling fanboys.
Months later, Solo bombed at the box office. Toy sales plummeted. The theme park is a ghost town. And there’s a deafening lack of chatter about The Rise of Skywalker from the general public, compared to the previous two sequel trilogy films.
If Star Wars is not resonating with children, then Disney must do what it can to keep the adult fans happy if they want the franchise to survive.
It’s mostly adults who are buying the toys, and certainly adults who are paying the exorbitant theme park ticket prices for their families. And I can almost guarantee you that only an adult would purchase a $200 designer lightsaber.
Beyond splitting the fandom, The Last Jedi weirdly became a litmus test of sorts for a fan’s political affiliation. The fans who loved the film, generally speaking, seemed to be more progressive and those who despised it seemed to be more conservative.
And you can thank the (predominantly progressive) pop culture media outlets for that, as they stoked the fires for months by trying to incite the old school fans with endless article after article calling them misogynists, trolls and worse.
The proof is in the pudding. Or lack of it. Star Wars is not making the money it should be making, and Disney needs to take a good, hard look at why and stop burying its head in the sand and blaming the fandom.
Bob Iger’s acknowledgement that the franchise is in decline is a good first step, but it might be too little, too late.
This mega-sized action figure will be available via Hasbro’s collector oriented crowdfunding platform, Hasbro Pulse. He will cost $574.99 and be available starting in 2021… the 35th anniversary of Transformers: The Movie, in which he was the “big bad.”
Last year, Hasbro used the same platform to crowdfund the massive Jabba’s Sail Barge playset for their 3.75″ Star Wars line.
Here are more photos of this beautiful toy via Hasbro…
The Ant-Man star indicates that he has accepted an offer to be cast in the new movie. He’s a fan of the original. And filming will begin (likely) in the fall.
There really isn’t much to report here other than he will be joining the ever growing list of cast announcements for the continuation of the Ghostbusters series that will be directed by Jason Reitman, the original director Ivan Reitman’s son.
What I do like about this is that Jason Reitman keeps stressing that he wants to make it to honor his father and the fans. I sincerely hope he does! It would be a refreshing change.
The current scuttlebutt about the once mighty Toys-R-Us says the new owners are moving forward with plans to bring the toy store back to the United States by Christmas 2019, but there’s a catch. There will be about half a dozen stores.
Richard Barry CEO of new entity TRU Kids Inc., has apparently been pitching the plan to reincarnate the chain to toy makers. As well as at an industry conference, according to people who wished to remain anonymous because the plans aren’t yet public.
Each of the stores will be about 1/3 the size of what the usual Toy-R-Us stores were. It seems the plan is to have the stores be about 10,000 square feet with extra “experiences” to make them a “destination.” So play areas in an already smaller space. Is this Chuck e Cheese or Toys-R-Us?
Of course fewer than ten stores won’t be enough so there will also be an online store at the ToysRUs.com Url. According to Comicbook.com:
TRU would also be operating an online storefront at ToysRUs.com in order to generate additional revenue, and mitigating costs by taking product on consignment from producers, and paying only when the goods have left the store. This has its own risks, especially in higher-theft areas where Toys “R” Us would be on the hook for merchandise that was never properly accounted for.
Here’s my thing. Toys-R-Us didn’t score points with me for how they shut down and kind of stuck it to their employees. As other news sites have pointed out, they burned bridges with some retailers too and it’s going to be an uphill struggle to rebuild that. Large toy companies lost money from the liquidation and they lost exclusives. I know that the Calico Critters line was once pretty much TRU exclusive went to Wal-Mart already. I’m sure it’s the same for a few other lines.
Plus Walmart, Target, and Amazon and places like grocery stores took the opportunity to jump in and fill the void left by the large toy store.
But as of now the Chief Executive Officer Isaac Larian has indicated that MGA Entertainment (Little Tikes, Bratz, L.O.L Surprise) are willing to work with them. ““This market needs a self-standing toy store, that’s for sure. We will sell them inventory.”
If you thought the market needed you why did you liquidate all the stores and are struggling to find a plan. There are brick and mortar stores that sell toys including the return of smaller independent stores. Their prices aren’t much different that the higher prices Toys-R-Us charged. Plus KB Toys has made moves to return to the market as well.
Personally, I am nostalgic for TRU, but I’m also a bit miffed by their behavior towards employees and toy companies. There still seems to be a bit of a cavalier attitude here. I’m not sure how well this will do. But only time will tell.