Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toy Fair 2012 Exclusive

A few weeks ago at the 2012 New York International Toy Fair, Playmates revealed their full line of new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures, playsets and vehicles to a select number of people who had to RSVP for the event. When guests entered the screening room they were handed a bright green tote bag containing a variety of goodies including a randomly selected Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toy Fair 2012 exclusive action figure. Earlier, Dan Eardley gave us an in-depth look at his exclusive Mikey figure. You can check out the video here! I, however, was able to get my favorite of the Heros in a Half Shell, Donatello!

These figures are amazing and the show is going to be even better! The new style finally gives each of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles their own personalities in regards to their bodies and proportions. Donatello is the tallest and thinest, Mikey certainly embodies the young youth, Raphael is built like a football player and Leo is a lean, mean fighting machine!

They also have varying lengths of masks with Mikeys being the shortest and Donnie the longest. I love this new approach to the Turtles because each of the figures have sculpts unique to the characters. No more using the same tool across multiple characters; each of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has very distinct differences including little toe prints under the foot.

Each of these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toy Fair 2012 exclusive action figures come inside a full color bag depicting all four of the brothers with new show logo. Un-boxing Donatello reveals a vacuum formed/flocked velvet enclosure to hold the figure.

This is the most detailed and articulated action figure I have ever seen Playmates produce! I like to think of these 2012 Toy Fair figures as the middle stage. We had first seen obviously plused up prototype photos with lots of dry brushing and wipes.

These figures do have some extra deco like a different color grip on the bo staff and some texture brushing on the limbs but not nearly as much as the prototypes.

And then there is the retail versions of these figures that won't have nearly as much deco as the previous two versions but will have the same high level of sculpted detailing. I really like the shell on the front of the figure because it is molded out of a flexible PVC allowing it to bend when the legs are positioned.

The belt and Bo Staff holster are one solid assembly fit to conform around the shell of Donatello. I remember early conversations with Playmates where they were debating on whether or not to deco the pupils of the Turtles. At the end of the day they decided to keep it OG and go with the solid white eyes as seen in the original figures as well as the comic series.

I can't wait for this new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sereis from Nickelodeon to start up this fall but I'm even more excited that I can get the rest of the TMNT toys this August!

For all the lastest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles news as reported from inside the walls of Nickelodeon be sure to check out the TMNTmaster on Twitter. Also for detailed coverage of all things TMNT, you can always check out Ninja Pizza and GO GREEN MACHINE. If your looking to see the ultimiate list of updates for IDW's new TMNT comic series, please refer to Rich's TMNT Ninja Turtles Blog. "God, I love being a Turtle!"

The World's Greatest Beer - Trappist Brew Taste Test

Many things claim to be the world's best or greatest, but for the most part they don't live up to their moniker. Westvleteren 12, however, truly is the world's greatest beer. The Westvleteren Brewery was founded in MDCCCXXXVIII (1838). The Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in the Belgian municipality of Vleteren in Germany is where the headquarters are located and the Trappist monks from the Catsberg monastery (located in France and founded the St Sixtus monastery in 1831) still brew the beer to this day. In order to qualify as a Trappist beer there are three key components.

#1 - The beer must be brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by or under control of Trappist monks.

#2 - The brewery, the choices of brewing, and the commercial orientations must obviously depend on the monastic community.

#3 - The economic purpose of the brewery must be directed toward assistance and not toward financial profit.

Trappist breweries are constantly monitored to assure the irreproachable quality of their beers. Out of the 174 Trappist monasteries worldwide, only 7 are deemed worthy enough to have the Authentic Trappist Product logo that indicates a compliance to the various rules of the International Trappist Association. Yes, the International Trappist Association.

It's not easy to obtain a bottle of this Trappist brew as the rules are strict. In the States you have to look to the Black/Grey markets. Over seas not only do you have to order ahead of time by telephone, but your limited to the amount of Westvleteren your able to get. De Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren will take down all of your information including local licence plate number in order to keep you from getting more within the allotted window. Good thing you can get 4 cases at a time per 60 days. When @DOINAGREATJOB told me he had procured a bottle of Westvleteren 12 (a 10.2% ABV introduced in 1940) I knew I was going to instantly want more!

When we popped open the cap I shit you not it smelled like a freshly baked loaf of bread with a mix of plums, raisins and figs. It pours out a dark, murky, reddish- brown color with some yeast sediment swirling around the glass. The taste is incredible! The flavor is not what I expected at first, though I think that owes to just how fresh this bottle is. An older bottle will be more developed than this.

Each bottle cap is stamped with a best before date that really serves as its vintage year. A bottle of this Trappist beer from 1972 has recently sold on eBay for $200.

Once we finished the bottle I immediately broke open my stash of Chimay Rouge Première. Like Westvleteren 12, it too is a Trappist beer (only this one can be found at most party-liquor stores and bars here in SoCal.) The brewery was founded inside Scourmont Abbey, in the Belgian municipality of Chimay in 1862 and not only do they make beer but they also have choice cheeses that are custom aged to perfection.

At this point of the evening I am drunkenly and incoherently rambling about plans for a trip to Europe visiting all of the monasteries and obtaining case after case of the World's Greatest Beer.


DMC x KidRobot - Back to the Future Labbit Custom

Anybody who knows me, knows that when it comes to Back to the Future I'm crazy.. Everything from designing my own Back to the Future 2 Hover Board Skate Deck to creating a custom pair of Nike Mag 2015 kicks before Nike ever did tells me that I have seen these movies way too many times. In fact, I would even go as far as saying that I have seen the Back to the Future Trilogy more times than I've seen the Star Wars Trilogy! (Yes, trilogy) And this is coming from the guy who made an AT-AT Coin-Op Ride that looks like you would find it outside of some seedy bodega on Pico & Sepulveda.

I wanted to create my own version of the Back to the Future Time Machine with a bit of a twist. The Kidrobot Labbit makes for a good car because of it's shape. I hadn't put together a KidRobot custom in a year or so and decided it was time to dive right in on this project. Not only did I want to splice the Frank Kozik Labbit with the DeLorean, but I also wanted to have the figure light-up and make sounds. Not only does it have a tiny Flux Capacitor but I have re-designed the Time Machine so it now runs on Frank Kozik Liquid Labbit nicotine instead of the bio-degradable Mr. Fusion fuel.

Later this week you will be able to see this piece in person on display up at the KidRobot LA location on Melrose.


Ghostbusters App Trap

It's that time of year again! To celebrate the autumnal equinox of 2011 today, I decided to tackle a fun Ghostbusters themed project. Earlier this week, a ghosthead that goes by the name Melnutz on the GBFans.com forums released an Android App version of the Ghostbusters Ghost Trap. You know I wouldn't be satisfied with just the App. I had remembered that CyberDrone had designed a Ghostbusters Ghost Trap papercraft that was really cool and follows the styling of the Ghostbusters film. When the Ghostbusters Ghost Trap App was released I said to myself: "We have to get these two together."

Introducing the Ghostbusters Ghost Trap App custom case, just in time for Halloween. If you can't afford the Matty Mattel Ghostbusters Ghost Trap that is being released on October 17th, this may be a fun project to get you busting some heads! (In a spiritual sense, of course..) It is constructed of black foam-core with the papercraft design glued to its surface. I used an old marker for the handle and cut an appropriate sized opening for my Droid X screen to fit into place. The best part is when you actually catch the ghost in the app. Since the phone starts to shake and vibrate, the trap really comes to life as it buzzes and moves on the table top.

Maybe I could figure out a way for this Ghostbusters Ghost Trap App to interact with the Ghostbusters Nintendo Wii Proton Pack that I had developed a while back. But before that, I think I have to come up with case for the Ghostbusters PKE meter App that was released on the same day. Hmmm..


You can see the Ghostbusters Ghost Trap App in action here.



Nickelodeon will be launching a brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoon and toy line in 2012! The new series will feature all of your favorite characters including some new ones. Nickelodeon has added some top-notch talent to lend their voices to the iconic Turtle brothers. First off we have Rob Paulsen. You may remember him as the original voice of Raphael from the 80's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This time around he is taking the roll of Donatello. So who is playing Raphael now? The one and only Sean Astin! Yes, that Sean Astin. The one who played Mikey in The Goonies. Next up we have Michelangelo played by Greg Cipes. You may recognize Greg Cipes as the voice of Beast Boy from Teen Titans. And Last but not least, we have Jason Biggs of American Pie fame leading the brothers as Leonardo. With this all-star cast and an amazing team of writers and CG animators, this will be one of the best versions of the Turtles to date! The creators have really looked at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise as a whole and have taken the best aspects from each series and mashed it into one set to a contemporary vibe.

As you know, San Diego Comic-Con is only a week away and Nickelodeon is pulling out all the stops to introduce the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the world! Nickelodeon is hosting a secret off-site event for the die-hard Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans who will be at Comic-Con this year. This secret "Mutation in Progress" summit will provide insights and highlights from the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series airing on Nickelodeon in the fall of 2012. These selected fans will also get a glimpse at the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book debuting this August via IDW comics as well as an ultra exclusive look at the new Playmates Toys line coming out for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!! And yes, there will be plenty of pizza available during the presentation.. COWABUNGA!!

Admission to this secret Ninja Turtles summit is extremely limited & the only way to attend is with a confirmed ticket from Nickelodeon in advance of preview. The Twitter account @TMNTmaster will be giving away ticket packages for the fans who participate in daily TMNT themed challenges from now throughout the weekend before San Diego Comic-Con. Follow the TMNTmaster on Twitter for a chance to get your hands on the hottest ticket at SDCC! I've got my tickets! Do you have yours? TURTLE POWER!


Transformers 3 Kids Meal Toys @ Burger King - July 2011

Finally!! I've been waiting so long to share this promotion! Break out your 3D glasses because a while ago I had set up my 3D rig-out and took some photos of the toy collection. As an added bonus, I have also attatched two of my original sketches of Optimus and BumbleBee for this program that I had drafted up with the team when we first came up with the idea.

Last year I had the privilege of conceptualizing and designing the kids meal toys for Burger Kings Transformers 3 Kids promotion with my team. We came up with a program that is not only collectible, but also transforms and has a feature that speaks to each of the character respectively. We have called this program the Transformers 3 Dark of the Moon Flip Out collection.

With Transformers 3 Dark of the Moon, The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets. This movie is going to be incredible.

There are 8 toys in all (four Autobots & four Decepticons) with an Autobot and Decepticon sharing a like feature. At first it looks like a collectible robot mask. You can open up the front of the mask and flip out the body. Optimus Prime and Megatron have sound chips in them, Soundwave and Ratchet Glow in the Dark and Shockwave and Iron Hide project their logos. The coolest toys in the collection though are BumbleBee and Starscream. The function is activated by a push button on the back side. Once the button is pressed, both halves of the robots helmet open up and reveal the body on its own. It's very impressive in person. Enjoy!


Dude Lebowski Sketch

Continuing with my late night sketch fest, I give you Dude Lebowski from The Big Lebowski. Jeff Bridges has so much character in all of his facial expressions that make it fun to draw him. Decided to go with more of the goofy grin he gives when he realizes he is late on rent.. Enjoy!

"It's like what Lenin said... you look for the person who will benefit, and, uh, uh... You know what I'm trying to say..."