Tag: lord of the rings

SDCC 08: Sideshow Opens Up For Booth Tour

Year after year, Sideshow brings dozens of amazing collectibles to San Diego Comic Con and 2008 proved no different. Sideshow’s booth was one of the centerpieces of the show, featuring not only their own productions but also the work of several independent studios.  Sideshow will be expanding many of their already-extensive lines by adding new and fantastic figures and collectibles to shelves across the nation.  We spent some time with the good folks at Sideshow and were able to view these new products without the barrier of a glass case.  Read on for all the information about the upcoming G.I. Joe, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Alien/Predator product… and a whole lot more!

The impending 1/6 scale figures alone are enough to empty any fan’s wallet.  With incredibly popular brands such as Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and G.I. Joe filling out the 12” ranks, Sideshow is sure to draft many collectors into their loyal customer base. The previously announced 12” Indiana Jones figure will be joined by Dr. Rene Belloq as well as a Fertility Idol Base (available only in conjunction with the purchase of Belloq).

Sideshow’s Star Wars line will continue with figures from A New Hope, including a Stormtrooper, Darth Vader and a Tantive IV Rebel Trooper.  These are announced on the heels of prequel Jedis Obi-Wan Kenobi (in Clone Trooper Armor) and Ki-Adi Mundi (a Sideshow direct-to-consumer exclusive).

The 1/6 scale G.I. Joe series will begin strong with the upcoming release of Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander; and while I pushed for news on upcoming recruits, our Sideshow tour guides let nothing slip. My money is on either Destro or Flint… but as I said, no other characters were specified for the next releases.

Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft, Sideshow’s premiere video game property in the 1/6 scale, was also on display. True to Sideshow’s portfolio, the character was looking as adventurous as ever (and by “adventurous” I mean “hot”).  The Dead, Sideshow’s in-house 12” zombie line, will also see newly risen & grisly flesh-eaters. Expect to see undead versions of a Street Prophet and a Mall Santa all coming before Christmas.

Not all of Sideshow’s 12” figure collections will add members to their fellowship.  Sadly, no new 12” scale Lord of the Rings figures could be confirmed at the time of the show. Given the investment already sunk into tooling the new bodies for the previously-released Sam and Frodo figures, one would assume that Bilbo, Merry, Pippin, or perhaps even a pre-corrupted Smeagol could be released some point.  However, neither these nor any other new 12″ figures in the LotR line could be confirmed.

Anyone familiar with Sideshow’s work knows that the company has plenty of goodies to offer beyond their 1/6 scale figures. On display at this year’s SDCC, fans got a glimpse of upcoming 1:1 scale prop replicas like the Eye of Shangri-la and Dragon Dagger from The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor as well as the Big Baby from Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. Other 1:1 scale pieces included full scale busts of Hellboy, The Angel of Death (from Hellboy 2), a movie-inspired Iron Man (developed in conjunction with Stan Winston Studios), Predator and Nosferatu.

The Premium Format figure line will continue with stunning multimedia pieces sure to dazzle collectors. From the Star Wars galaxy comes the incredibly detailed Asaaj Ventress from (Clone Wars) and a Tusken Raider (A New Hope). Other popular film characters such as the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Hellboy, Conan, Indiana Jones and a Moria Orc (Lord of the Rings) will expand the Premium Formant line’s movie-based assortment.  Acting legends Bruce Lee, John Wayne, Elvis and an animated Elvira will continue the celebrity-inspired portion of the line.  The 1/4 scale Marvel line will get another mutant in the mix with Mystique and Laura Croft will serve as the first video game inspired figure to get the Premium Format treatment.

Additional maquettes and statues will continue as a large element of Sideshow’s product line.  Fans of the highly-detailed, unique work for which Sideshow is known will have a plethora of polystone to purchase over the next year. While no new products could be confirmed for the Lord of the Rings 1/6 scale line, Sideshow will be producing a pair of Two Towers-inspired statues.  A portrait-inspired Grima Wormtongue standing next to the cursed, enthroned King Theoden and Gandalf vs. Balrog mid-battle were both on display. Several new Sideshow-produced Marvel statues will also be forthcoming as well, including Ghost Rider on a throne, Iron Spider-Man and Rogue.  The high-quality 1:3 scale Marvel bust line will also continue with Sabretooth, Thing and Apocalypse.

Cult classic flick Species will receive its first nod from Sideshow with a 12″ tall maquette.  Sci-fi/horror heavy hitters, Alien and Predator, will be represented with wall-mountable pieces featuring the a version of the creatures from each film (pieces from AVP, Aliens: Requiem, Alien and Aliens were not displayed but are planned for a future release).  Tapping into video game giant Blizzard’s popular licenses, Sideshow unveiled a 1/4 scale Berserker statue (Diablo III) and a polystone Blood Elf vs. Draenei diorama (World of Warcraft). Horror-based statues from Universal’s legendary monster films will also be released the coming year; as will collectibles featuring Sam from Trick R’ Treat.  The numerous additional Star Wars dioramas that Sideshow has previewed over the last several months were also on display, as well as the upcoming FRAMES, a six-book collection of 35-MM prints covering each of the films in the saga.

You can read more of C.J.’s musings on film, toys and music over at stunksstage.com.

Click here to see the photo gallery of our ‘open case’ tour of Sideshow Collectibles booth at this year’s San Diego Comic Con!

McKellen Tips Gandalf’s Hat

While everyone prognosticates the casting of Bilbo Baggins, a crucial player has weighed in on his participation in the trek to Lonely Mountain. Sir Ian McKellen, while attending the European premiere of The Dark Knight in London, confirmed that he will indeed be reprising the roll of Gandalf the Grey, Digital Spy reports.

“Well, I haven’t had the contract yet but it’s everyone’s intention that I play Gandalf so yes, I will be returning to the role,” McKellen said. “Although it’s not until 2010, I’m very much excited about returning.”

Sir Ian went on to speak of his anticipation for working with The Hobbit director Guillermo Del Toro. “Well, if you’re not going to have Peter Jackson, who else can handle the job? To get an international film-maker of his standing who adores the original trilogy, well I don’t think you could possibly find a better replacement.”

Del Toro Gives Hints on Becoming a Hobbit

For many fans who are closely watching every aspect in the development of the Hobbit movie there is one ultimate question. That question isn’t who is going to play Bilbo, but rather, how can they become an extra? In a recent interview, Hobbit director Guillermo del Toro gave some hints about just that.

“We will set some rules and some contests and some fans will definitely get the chance of being extras. Go and apply for those roles!” Guillermo del Toro told MTV News. He went on to joke about some other tips for making it into the cast, “Sleep with a lot of people if you can! That’s a very good piece of advice. But don’t bribe anyone. It will be wasted money”

Check out this portion of the interview.



A Sneak Peek at Pandemic Studios’ ‘Lord of the Rings: Conquest’

The folks at Pandemic Studios (Battlefront, Battlefront II) are getting ready to unleash more battlefield combat goodness- this time in the “Lord of the Rings” universe. Aside from being able to battle as one of the good guys, Pandemic promises you can also choose to play the part of Cave-trolls, the Balrog or even Sauron himself.

“We’ve got a whole level where you get to play as the evil guys, running through The Shire, trampling Hobbits and burning the place to the ground.”
Eric Gewirtz, Pandemic Studios

“Our experience creating massive, rich, action-packed games means that The Lord of the Rings: Conquest will give fans exactly what they want: full control of the blade, bow and magic to fight its epic battles any way they want – even if they choose to play from the evil side,” says Josh Resnick, co-founder and general manager at Pandemic Studios.

From the information that can be gleaned from an IGN interview with Eric Gewirtz, Pandemic’s director on the project, Conquest is an application of the Battlefront model into a fantasy setting. Players are placed within Middle Earth and are allowed to determine who to use when accomplishing objectives and fighting. Similarly, players can choose a character class (Warrior, Scout, Archer or Mage) at the onset of the mission and unlock heroes during play.

The game will also feature a host of creature to ride (including Oliphants!) as well as siege equipment to operate. Catapults, battering rams, siege towers and ballista will be available for your war-making pleasure. Considering the epic scale of Middle Earth’s battlefields, you are going to need them:

“When you play as the Trolls in the game, you can pick up enemy units and kill them and then walk around with them while you’re swinging your club. Whenever you want, you can throw them and they’re all physics-based, so you can throw them into enemy units and they’ll knock the enemy units out like bowling pins.”
Eric Gewirtz, Pandemic Studios

Currently announced list of game levels:

  • Helm’s Deep
  • Pelennor Fields
  • Minas Tirith
  • The Black Gates
  • Mines of Moria
  • Weathertop
  • The Shire

Below you can enjoy the recently released game trailer:

The game is slated for release in Autumn 2008

SDCC 08: Hobbit Panel Revealed

While there has not yet been an official release of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con panel lineup, Kirstin Thompson of The Frodo Franchise, has posted information about one panel for 2008. Kirstin wrote in her June 6th blog,”My friends at TheOneRing.net have asked me to join them on a panel concerning the Hobbit films at Comic-Con!”

While not yet on the Comic-Con list of announced guests, Kirstin included John Howe as an attendee of this year’s event.

Stay tuned to Pop Culture Zoo for updates leading up to the Con (June 24th- 27th) and for live coverage from San Diego throughout the event!