Excellent! But let me be the first to say that Optimus without Cullen and Megatron without Welker is just strange.
Excellent! But let me be the first to say that Optimus without Cullen and Megatron without Welker is just strange.
A quick note for all would-be interviewers looking to get in a word edgewise with veteran Transformers voice actors Peter Cullen and Frank Welker when you've got them both in the same conversation: give up now and just let these two talk. The men behind Optimus Prime and Megatron have not only worked together for decades on shows outside of Transformers, but are good friends as well, with an easy rapport that you catch almost immediately when they get on the phone. The duo is indispensable to the 25-plus year old franchise, and it would be difficult to image what shape the the two men in their respective roles.
December 6th will see the DVD release of Transformers Prime: Darkness Rising, the Shout! Factory disc collecting the first arc of the new Hasbro-produced CG series on The Hub. Once again pitting the Autobots against the Decepticons in their seemingly eternal struggle, the battle returns to Earth with Megatron planning to escalate the conflict using the "blood" (as much as giant robots can be said to have blood) of ultimate franchise baddie, Unicron.
With the disc on the way next week, we thought we'd chat with Welker and Cullen--or at least let them talk while we listend--about the legacy of their characters, the unique working rapport they've developed over the years, and how innovations in CGI has allowed for more drama in Transformers.
Looks like the gang's all here! Both the grape soda-chugging Dreadnoks and the Sergeant's own Slaughters Marauders are going to be fighting their way into the current G.I. Joe line as part of two box sets, available exclusively through our friends at Big Bad Toy Store! During this year's New York Comic Con, the internet rumors were proven true as both gangs of hard-hitting warriors were shown off to the masses at the Hasbro booth.
Check out this exclusive video interview with Hasbro's Derryl DePriest about the fan-favorite sets, followed by a few close up photos from the NYCC G.I. Joe display!
Hasbro scored the license for Marvel action figures a few years ago from Toy Biz, and has really taken the ball and ran with it. At this year's New York Comic Con, the display cases filled with tiny Marvel Comics' brawlers was constantly surrounded and we fought our way through the masses for our talk with designer David Vonner regarding their Marvel Universe, Marvel Legends, and the Avengers movie-based lines.
During New York Comic Con, Activision and developer High Moon Studios debuted the teaser trailer for their latest Transformers game, the ominously-titled Fall of Cybertron. With a Fall 2012 release date, the game is still a ways off, but at least we have some plot details courtesy of its Wikipedia entry:
Fall of Cybertron continues the story from Transformers: War for Cybertron with the civil war between the Autobots and the Decepticons over control of their home world, Cybertron... Fall of Cybertron depicts the final battle between the two robot factions which results in the destruction of their home world, forcing the Autobots to seek refuge in our galaxy, the Milky Way. The game will include the Transformers character Bumblebee and at least one of the Dinobots: their leader, Grimlock. Other characters confirmed include Optimus Prime, Jazz, Cliffjumper, Shockwave, Megatron, Starscream, Vortex, and Bruticus.
This is High Moon's third go-round with the franchise, following this year's Dark of the Moon and last year's War For Cybertron. But to my mind, they should be best known for their quirky, and insanely fun FPS featuring vampires in the Old West (and Rose MacGowan, apparently), Darkwatch, a game whose lack of a sequel remains one of the true failures of the current console generation.
So Hasbro has some of the sickest Star Wars products out there--and plans for even more! Let's get the show started!
First off, check out these totally cute and adorable fighter pods:
The Avengers is shaping up to be next year's biggest blockbuster and Hasbro has plans for action figures of the film's mightiest heroes and big villain. We've shown you the 6-inch versions of Captain America, Hawkeye, and Loki, but now we've got photos of the rest of the 6-inch line along with the 3 3/4-inch figures on display at New York Comic Con, so take some time off from watching the film's trailer on repeat and check out the cool plastic icons below!
New York Comic Con has just begun, but already the toy reveals on the floor are causing a big stir among the fans that are crowded around the displays, drooling over the nice new plastic masterpieces they hope to add to their collections. Hasbro is showing off their figures from Marvel Legends Series 2, which were previously announced at San Diego Comic-Con. Needless to say, we were excited, but managed to steady our shaking hands enough to snap photos of what look to be a damn fine assortment.
This year's New York City Comic Con is upon us and with that comes the unfiltered joy of exclusive toys! We previously showed Hasbro's Compound Hulk NYCC-exclusive from their Marvel Universe line as it was announced, and now we've got the big guy in our grubby mitts. Let's take a closer look at the man men that make up the Compound Hulk!
At Hasbro's private party Wednesday night, among the pulsing music and purple-tinged lighting of the Yotel's lounge stood 3 new figures from their upcoming Marvel Legends sub-line of movie based characters from The Avengers: Captain America, Loki, and Hawkeye! While there weren't many details to go along with the figures, other than their 2012 release date, the incredible sculpts speak for themselves. As such, we're gonna let the photos do most of the talking on this one.
By Elizabeth Keenan
Every hero has a nemesis. In the world of 1980s cartoons, He-Man battled Skeletor, GI Joe combated Cobra Commander, and Optimus Prime routed Megatron. And Jem and the Holograms faced rival band the Misfits every week.
The Misfits, led by Pizzazz, weren’t just mischievous, though one of their songs was “Makin’ Mischief.” In fact, they were sometimes downright evil—in the first episode, the Misfits nearly run Jem and the Holograms off a cliff, showing no remorse. As the series went on, one of the Misfits, Stormer, showed a more sensitive side. Not so with Pizzazz: she was revealed as a petulant, spoiled rich girl Phyllis Gabor, whose father showered her with money—but not love, leaving her constantly craving attention and power.
Patricia Albrecht, the speaking voice of Pizzazz, tells MTV Geek what it was like to play a truly, outrageously evil character in the show.
Geek: What was it like playing the baddest of bad characters on Jem?
Patricia Albrecht: I call it, “the Alexis Carrington of cartoons.” It was very fun. What a great way to spew expletives—that were never recorded. What a great way to be the antithesis of who I usually am in real life. It was very fun. It was very wild. Great way to be angry and petulant spoiled and act out all the sides of a human being that are not politically correct.
Geek: What are some of your favorite moments from the series?
Albrecht: The whole experience was just fun. We got to come in and read through the script. What was really fun was to see the storyboards laid out as we are rehearsing the script and seeing just the pieces of pictures and then reading the lines and having Wally Burr, our director, explain a little more about what was going on, and then bringing that to life. And we got to record for the most part ensemble. That adds so much to the energy of the episode. If you work together, it has a great theatrical sense. For the most part we did record from top to bottom, which was nice too. Read More...
If you're an Eighties girl like me, Jem And The Holograms was the cartoon of choice, and Jem dolls a must-have on the holiday gift list. Compared to Barbie, the Jem line of dolls from Hasbro looked like Amazons -- 12 inches tall with wild, colorful hair and the latest punk 1980s fashions. Here's a trip down memory lane with ten of the coolest toys associated with Jem
10. Jem Clones
No list of truly outrageous Jem toys can be complete without those faux Jems your parents bought you by accident. You asked for Jem and the Holograms -- you got Barbie and the Rockers. Or the similar-looking "space age" Spectra line of Mattel dolls with the shiny plastic bodies. Or even one of the dozens of dime-store no-name Jem dolls with crappy guitars (and arms and hands not articulated to hold them). Jem -- I just want JEM -- is that so hard? (sniff!)
9. Jem Rockin' Roadster
By Elizabeth Keenan
If you were a girl growing up in the 1980s, Jem and the Holograms was probably as big a part of your Saturday morning as Transformers and G.I. Joe were for your brother. Every week, pink-haired Jem, the alter-ego of music heiress Jerrica Benton, battled the evil Eric Raymond and his musical protégées, The Misfits, for control of Starlight Records.
With the help of super-computer/synthesizer/hologram projector Synergy, Jem and the Holograms (Kimber, Aja, and Shana) always did what was right in the face of Eric’s evil and The Misfits' mischief. Along the way, Jem/Jerrica helped raise a house full of foster girls, who were in constant financial and mortal danger, and managed a confusing love triangle involving her alter-egos and boyfriend Rico.
Samantha Newark, the speaking voice of Jem/Jerrica Benton, tells MTV Geek what it was like to be part of the legendary, outrageous cartoon.
MTV Geek: So, just to get this out of the way, how many times have you been asked if voicing Jem was truly, truly, truly outrageous?
Samantha Newark: If I had a dollar for every time I get asked that! But you know, I never get tired of it. Jem has been so wonderful to me, and such a wonderful thing in my life. I love it. I’m not tired of it, at all.
Geek: How did you end up as the voice of Jem and Jerrica?
Newark: I was the actor that did Jem and Jerrica’s voice, their speaking voice. I get asked about that a lot, because the casting was so clever. It was meant to be that nobody really knew it was two different people. So all the music and musicians and songwriters, the music world was actually in New York. That was in place before I auditioned for Jem’s speaking voice. I remember when I first auditioned for it, I was really excited that Jem was a singer because I’m a singer. But how wonderful that both Britta [Phillips] and I got to do what we love for a living. We’re both really excited that we got to do that.
Geek: What were some your favorite episodes from the series?
Newark: I love the episode “Out of the Past” that delves into Jem’s mom, and how Synergy came about, and the lost tapes. That’s one of my favorite episodes. Read More...
You’re going to read this in a second, but when I notified my social networks that I was talking to Christy Marx – the animation veteran who’s worked on G.I. Joe, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, and most notably, created ‘80s music toon Jem and the Holograms – they all freaked out. The series, which ran for three seasons, and has been off the air for decades, returned to the Hub to massive ratings, and now, the complete series is coming to DVD with a chock full of extras.
Clearly, the fan base for Jem is still there. And luckily, the charming, funny Marx is still totally into the truly outrageous series as well… as I found out, she’s got ideas for a rebooted version of the series, and more than anything, she still loves the show just as much as the fans do:
MTV Geek: When I was getting ready to do this interview, I posted on Twitter, Facebook, etc that we were chatting, to see if anyone had questions for you… And people freaked out—
Christy Marx: [Laughs]
Geek: I know! But it wasn’t just people nostalgically remembering the show, it was people really, honestly liking the show. What do you think it is that’s been so lasting about Jem?
CM: It’s interesting that people have such an incredibly strong connection. I’ve been on an e-mail list with a group of fans, and I’ve heard a lot of different personal stories from people about the show. It just connects with people on real, basic human, emotional level. I think that’s because I would never write down to anyone. Just because the show was for kids, I would never write down. I would write the kind of deep, rich story that I would like to watch – just trusting it would communicate to the viewers, and it did. The characters were rich, and deep, and had a lot of life to them, a lot of threads… It was like a big, grand soap opera for kids. Read More...
New York Comic-Con is beginning to give SDCC a run for its money when it comes to exclusive toys. Hasbro has just announced their NYCC Exclusive from their Marvel Universe line of figures: Compound Hulk! While this figure is based on a throwaway concept from issue #30 of the Marvel comic, that's what makes it the perfect exclusive. It's a cool looking figure that fans can get excited for, but won't be slitting each others throats over like they would might do if it were a much-needed main character for the line. Compound Hulk is gonna retail for around 11 bucks and will be at Hasbrotoyshop.com's booth #302. Read More...