Where have we been? Looks like even classic toys are taking on a furry angle. Legends of Chima is a new line of Lego toys the world-famous plastic brick system introduced this year. From the Wikipedia entry: “Chima is a land where anthropomorphic animals lived in peace with one another until a conflict caused a civil war with the eight animal tribes: Lion, Eagle, Raven, Wolf, Gorilla, Rhino, Bear, and Crocodile. The members of the factions fiercely battle over a powerful natural resource called Chi, which could allow its possessor to create or destroy.” The toy sets are already available — and a TV series based on the line has already been produced by Prime Focus for the Cartoon Network. Later this summer, a free MMORPG of Chima will be available on line as well.
This is almost impossible to describe, even when you’re looking right at it! Check out this name: Chogokin Super-Combining King Robo Mickey and Friends. Then just check out the picture below! It’s a new toy created in Japan as a collaboration between Bandai Tamashii Nations and Disney. It features die-cast metal characters with names like Jet Mickey, Sky Minnie, Diver Donald, Aqua Daisy, Land Goofy, and Dash Pluto, who combine (along with other accessories) into the massive King Robot to fight… sheesh, we can only guess what! Take a look at the advertisement on Amazon to see more of what the individual component characters look like. King Robo Mickey (etc etc…) will be available internationally this April. Now all we have to do is wait for the TV series…
Pixar story artist Jeff Pidgeon (Toy Story, etc.) is a toy fanatic. Not just a collector – he designs his own. After designing and manufacturing Happy Beaver and Trickster Fox, he has decided to open an online store to sell them and others that he will create. They will also be available at “select boutiques”.
Wired has an extensive interview with Pidgeon and twelve closeup illustrations of his characters from their clay models through their finished forms.
Hot on the heels of the news of Disney partnering with luxury fashion clothes designers to create exclusive duds for attenuated versions of Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Goofy, and other classic Disney characters, comes this news that Disney is also partnering with Japanese toymaker Bandai to smooch said classic Disney characters together into a single “Voltron-style” transforming giant robot – coming in March 2013.
It may sound like a parody, but the Cartoon Brew website has a publicity picture of this “King Robo”. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto (plus Pluto’s doghouse and Steamboat Willie’s riverboat) into one giant robot! Like they say, we couldn’t make this stuff up. Check it out.
Pixar is not the only studio that can make movies about anthropomorphic toys. The Cartoon Brew website announces that on September 7, indy distributor Hannover House will release an English-language dub of Czech director Jiří Barta’s 2009 feature Na půdě (In the Attic) in America, as Toys in the Attic. This is a mixed feature combining stop-motion puppetry, 2D cartoon animation, and live action.
It’s an analogy based on the cultural and political contrasts of the Cold War era; the world of the attic is divided into the land of happy toys in the West and the Land of Evil in the East.
Here’s a phrase we haven’t heard for a while: Battle Beasts. A would-be toy tie-in / collectibles phenomenon / comic book series from the 1980′s, it never took off in the way that similar ideas did about that time. But now IDW have announced plans to bring forth a special 4-issue full-color Battle Beasts mini-series — with a wait-and-see attitude as to if it goes beyond that. “It’s just another average day for Bliss, an ignored linguist at the Department of Defense. However, when Bliss unlocks the secret translation of an ancient scroll, terror rains from the sky… in the form of the BATTLE BEASTS! Unstoppable creatures armed to the teeth, the Battle Beasts are determined to make Earth their own personal war zone. Nothing can stop their merciless carnage. Nothing except perhaps a gentle word from the one woman who can understand them—Bliss!” The new series is written by Bobby Curnow, with art by Valerio Schiti and Dan Brereton. The new series of comics and toys first hit during the recent C2E2 con in Chicago. Check out Comic Book Resources to find out more.
Doc McStuffins is a brand new CGI animated series which is premiering on Disney Channel this coming March 23rd as part of their Disney Junior programming. The show was created by Emmy-Award-winning writer and producer Chris Nee (who also wrote for The Wonder Pets) and it’s directed by Emmy-winner Norton Virgien (Rugrats). The show follows the adventures of a 6-year-old girl who discovers that, using her magic play stethoscope, she can talk to toys… and so, she sets up shop fixing them when they’re having troubles. The show is produced by Brown Bag Films out of Dublin, Ireland, with some animation from Sparky Animation in Singapore. TV Guide on line has some background information on the show and a preview video too.
Update (29 Feb): The initial revision of this article incorrectly implied that Chris Nee was the creator of The Wonder Pets, and cited Sparky Animation as co-producers of Doc McStuffins.
Last month, long-standing manufacturer of animal sex toys Furrystyle was about to give up. To the rescue came former exclusive European distributor YiffyToys, who purchased the manufacturing molds, inherited the name, and took on the tasks of not only continuing production but also introducing new models. Now the move is complete (NSFW, large files).
The company failed to submit their annual business report, due last August 4. After the death of Athus in a vehicle accident, the report remained unfiled, and on November 7 was flagged as delinquent. As this went uncorrected, the license was formally revoked on January 11.
Update (Jan 21): The corporation has been reinstated as of January 19.
Looking to stock up on presents for the holidays? Several furry retailers are participating in 'Cyber Monday', including Rabbit Valley (15% off $100 or more, in-stock only, to Dec. 1, code 'Cyber2011'), FurPlanet (15% off everything, 'FOXES') and FetishZone (NSFW; up to 50% off).
Bids started at $10, but swiftly escalated to over $700, before the bidding spurt that pushed it into four digits earlier today.
PuffyPaws have now put up a timber wolf. The opening price? $1.
The company does not appear to build the toys themselves. Instead, they create designs, make bulk purchases from their manufacturer, and distribute them. Several projects, including commissions, have already been made.
If you haven't nosed around the toy section at your local Target, you may want to! Mattel has put out a line of rather detailed, roughtly 3-inch-high poseable plush figures entitled (I kid you not) "Furryville." While not yet up on the Target website, they were apparently featured in this year's Toyfair.
This in and of itself is no big deal, as there have been anthropomorphic figures aimed at children for a long time (Calico Critters & the Sylvanian series); but this series in particular has a broad range of species...
Christmas starts early at the San Fransisco Zoo, where animals got presents of fun food and toys to unwrap, sponsored by visitors. Frozen fish blocks proved very popular with the polar bears, for example.
The fine folks at MIT surgically merged an Ethernet switch and a teddy bear. The bear now has glowing power/uplink eyes, an ethernet jack in each paw, and a Matrix-style uplink in the back of its neck. It's neat }:>.