10/25/2014

We loved Inception, a thoughtful and also exciting look at the world of dreams and reality. That's why we found Between the Lines: Inception so fascinating. It's an in-depth look at the history of surrealist cinema and the different references to classic films embedded in Inception. We have to admit, we're not die-hard film buffs, so a lot of this was new to us. Watch this short film to explore the influences and inspiration behind this classic sci-fi adventure.



What did you think of surrealism and Inception?

[Via io9]

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10/24/2014

Richard Nixon was the President of the United States from 1969 to 1974. For some, he's a bold president who worked to improve relations with China and oversaw the first successful moon landing. For others, Nixon is a symbol of corruption for his role in bugging political opponents, and covering up a break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at Watergate. He died from a stroke in 1994, but his legacy lives on. Here are five sci-fi movies where Nixon played a vital role.

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past

In Days of Future Past, Wolverine travels back to 1973 to change history and prevent the rise of mutant hunting robot Sentinels. It's Nixon who sets the Sentinel program into action and unveils the Sentinel prototypes at the White House. But when Magneto takes control of the Sentinels, the Xmen have to save Nixon from assassination.

2. Watchmen

In an alternate 1980's, costumed superheroes change the course of history. Dr. Manhattan single-handedly wins the Vietnam War, giving Nixon enough support to get elected for four more years. Nixon's reign of terror continues unabated, the Watergate scandal is never exposed, and his nose is even bigger.

3. Doctor Who

In the two-part episode, "The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon," the Doctor travels to the 1970's to investigate the mysterious Silence. There, he enlists the help of President Nixon, who's been getting mysterious calls from a little girl. Nixon sends an FBI agent to investigate and even brings in Area 51. 

4. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

So it turns out that the Moon landing in 1969 was really just a cover-up to investigate a crashed Autobot ship on the dark side. Yeah, that makes sense in Michael Bay's world. Nixon is there to congratulate the astronauts, and set the mission into motion. It's a brief but memorable scene for the fact we see a live Nixon in the same shot of stock footage of the real Nixon, and their movements don't match. Bay spared no expense on this one.

5. Futurama

In the year 2999, Earth has the technology to revive the dead or at least their heads. That's how Nixon ended up in a museum of presidential heads, and managed to steal Bender's body so he could get elected president of Earth. But he's gone ruthless and crazy, and continues his madness in the year 3000 with his headless vice president, Spiro Agnew. He is not a crook's head!

Which was your favorite Nixon?

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JOHNNY DEPP’S DUMB HATS, RANKED (via /Film)
How can Arnold Schwarzenegger play a 67-year-old Terminator? What are some of the birthplaces of superheroes? Why is Richard Pryor from Superman III one of the worst supporting characters in superhero movie history? What movie will have the most visual effects of any movie in history? Who is cast as playing Robin in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Read on to find out.

I'd love to hear what you think of the Internet's greatest moments in this week's "Geek Bits."

Links


10. Confirmation That Jena Malone Will Play The Carrie Kelley Version Of Robin In Batman Vs. Superman (Bleeding Cool)

9. The 10 Worst Superhero Movie Supporting Characters (via SuperheroHype)


8. Where Do MARVEL Characters Come From? (via He Geek She Geek)


7. James Cameron Told ‘Terminator Genisys’ Producers How To Fit In Arnold Schwarzenegger (via /Film)
(Source)
Cameron told Deadline
"I wasn’t interested in producing it or working on it actively, but I did want to put in a good word for Arnold. I pointed out that the outer covering (of the Terminator) was actually not synthetic, that it was organic and therefore could age. You could theoretically have a Terminator that was sent back in time, missed his target, and ended up just kind of living on in society. Because he is a learning computer and has a brain as a central processor he could actually become more human as he went along without getting discovered."

6. You can already buy the TARDIS' latest look (via io9)

This past weekend's episode of Doctor Who, Flatline , saw The Doctor's timeship display a new ability to protect itself from imminent destruction - Siege Mode, which turned the TARDIS into a teeny, nigh on invincible Gallifreyan cube. Now you can buy a Siege Mode TARDIS of your very own!

5. Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Adds Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sebastian Stan

Scripted by Drew Goddard and based on the book by Andy WeirThe Martian centers on astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) who is accidentally left behind on Mars by his crew. As he struggles to survive in space, the NASA crew on Earth scrambles to find him. Speaking to EW, Scott described The Martian as “quintessential Robinson Crusoe.” The film has also been described as a cross between Apollo 13 and Cast Away.

4. Female Director Wanted For ‘Wonder Woman;’ Here Are 5 Great Choices (via /Film)


3. Today is a good day to not die, but ogle this wonderful Worf figure! (via io9)


2. ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Will Have Most Visual Effects of Any Marvel Movie (via Screen Rant)
According to Marvel producer Victoria Alonso, ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ will set a new record for visual effects shots in Marvel movies.

1. Hold On to Your Fez, Doctor Who: AMC Is Going to Run BBC America (via io9)


What do you think of this week's links? Which is your favorite Johhnny Depp hat? Are you ready to watch Doctor Who on AMC? Do you want Worf on your shelf? Which female director would you want for Wonder Woman?

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10/23/2014

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) - Ultron (James Spader)
What did you miss in the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer?

Yesterday, a leaked version of the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer got online, so Marvel decided to release a high resolution version of the trailer to get ahead of any negative feedback. It's pretty awesome and has a lot going on. Here's the trailer, in case you're not one of the 11,000,000 people who have watched it already in the last 17 hours.



Update: Added one more

If you're not familiar with the movie there's an FAQ at the end

*** SPOILER WARNING ***


Things You Missed


Here's what you probably didn't notice:

1. Pinocchio
During the trailer we hear a child singing "I've Got No Strings to Hold Me Down" which is a reference to the song from the Disney movie about a puppet that becomes a "real boy." The lyrics are "I've got no strings / To hold me down / To make me fret, or make me frown / I had strings / But now I'm free / There are no strings on me." It's a reference to Ultron feeling that he's under Stark's control, but is freeing himself. The first time we see what looks like Ultron he's connected to cables and is dragging them like a puppet. The trailer ends with the last line from the song, "I've got no strings to hold me."



You can watch a much less creepy version of the song below:


2. Secret Wars
We see a scene where Captain America's shield lies broken next to him. A model of the broken shield was shown at Comic Con. The first time the shield was broken was during the limited series Secret Wars back in the 1980's.

While the cinematic universe version says that it's made out of vibranium which is stronger than steel and weighs only one third as much. It's completely vibration-absorbent. The only catch is all the vibranium known is in the shield, so they can't make anymore. There is some speculation that Black Panther has a cameo in Avengers 2 and, if true, it would mean that Captain America has to go to Black Panther's homeland of Wakanda to get more for a new shield.

Note: German Lussier from /Film pointed out this could just be a dream by Scarlet Witch.



3. Nick Fury's Homeless Look
Samuel L. Jackson shows up as Nick Fury which is a reference to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In Captain America 2 Fury fakes his death and goes undercover. And, in Agents of SHIELD, it's established that he's no longer head of SHIELD. His role isn't going to be very big in the movie. Jackson said it's just a cameo saying, "I'm just kind of passing by... Because, it's another one of those 'people who have powers fighting people who have powers'. That's why I didn't get to New York in The Avengers. There's not a lot I could do except shoot a gun."

4. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are Working with Ultron
When we first see the twins Pietro Maximoff and Wanda Maximoff they're part of a Hydra experiment, but it's clear from several scenes that they're working with Ultron. This matches the characters first appearance where they were working with Magneto as a part of the "Brotherhood of Evil Mutants" in X-Men #4 (1964). This was confirmed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Entertainment Weekly saying, “They’re on Team Ultron, which makes things really hard for the Avengers because all of sudden they’re dealing with powers that they’re not used to. With the [first] Avengers, everybody pretty much had the power of being able to punch somebody. And now we have a woman who can get inside your head and move objects, and a boy that can move faster than anything, and a robot [Ultron] who can self-replicate and is out of his mind. So all of sudden, it’s a darker, weirder, tougher world that they’re living in.”


We also see glimpses of them as part of a riot which might be a flashback to explain why they volunteered for Baron Strucker's experiment. They have a grudge against the Avengers. Joss Whedon said, “Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver hate them with a fiery hate…”




5. Black Widow Riding an Electric Motorcycle
Set pictures from Seoul, South Korea shoot for Avengers: Age of Ultron show Scarlett Johanson's stunt double riding Captain America's motorcycle. Harley-Davidson's made their first electric motorcycle and it's being showcased in the scene where she rides out of the Quinjet(?). Captain America always rides a Harley. In First Avenger he rode a 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA Liberator Army motorcycle. In Winter Soldier he rides a Harley-Davidson V-Rod, a 2012 Harley-Davidson Softail Slim and a Harley-Davidson Street 750.

6. Scarlet Witch Doesn't Have Control Over Her Powers
In several scenes (a bunch actually) she's seen screaming and using her powers when she's angry. This is a reference to her character's early days when she doesn't have much control of her powers. Taylor-Johnson said her powers are "psychological" while Elizabeth Olsen said, “The reason she’s so special is because she has such a vast amount of knowledge that she’s unable to learn how to control it. No one taught her how to control it properly. So it gets the best of her. It’s not that she’s mentally insane, it’s just that she’s just overly stimulated. And she can connect to this world and parallel worlds at the same time, and parallel times.” It looks like after working with the Avengers she gets control though.





7. Hulk and Black Widow Share a Moment
In one scene we see Hulk and Black Widow touch hands. She might be the only one that can calm him down in a rampage.

8. Captain America Goes Back to the 1940's
In one scene we see Captain America at some kind of function. He's wearing his outfit from the present, but everyone else is dressed in clothes from the past. Is it time-travel? Maybe. But it could also just be some kind of hologram or dream sequence. This is most likely where Haley Atwell, who played Agent Carter in Captain America and has her own upcoming series, appears. She confirmed she has a cameo in Avengers: Age of Ultron.




F.A.Q.



Here's a primer to cover a few of the well-known items.

Here's the official synopsis:
Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk.  Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.

Who's talking? The voice we hear is Ultron (James Spader). He was created by Tony Stark to become a world-wide police force to protect the world. He gets a "god complex" and decides to take things into his own hands.

What's With All the Robots? Ultron is able to replicate himself and creates an army of evil robots at his bidding.

Who Are the Avengers? The movie stars Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk\Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle), Clint "Hawkeye" Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).

What's with the Giant Iron Man? That is the "Hulk-Buster" armor that Tony Stark built as a modular add-on to his armor.





What do you think of the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer? Are you looking forward to the movie? Did you notice anything that I missed?

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Why is Quicksilver in Two Movies? "X-Men: Days of Future Past" and Avengers: Age of Ultron"?

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10/22/2014

If your hand is damaged or deformed and you need a prosthetic hand, you have a serious problem. But children who need prosthetic hands have even more serious problems. Prosthetic hands can cost over $8,000, and might not be covered by insurance. On top of that, the children can outgrow the hand quickly, leading to additional expenses throughout their lives. That's where the e-NABLE Organization has changed everything. It's a group of volunteers around the world who use 3D printers and CAD design to make custom prosthetic hands for a fraction of the cost; often less than $50. They'll even print the hand and ship it to children who don't have access to a 3D printer. That was the case for Keith Harris, a boy whose birth defect caused his fingers on his right hand to fuse together and not fully form. Thanks to e-Nable, he was able to get a robotic hand in less than a month. They even covered the $45 cost.


But Pat Starace took this movement to the next level by creating a prosthetic hand that is not only functional and cheap, but also extremely cool. He created a 3D prosthetic hand design based on Iron Man's gauntlet. It can not only grasp objects, but incorporates lights to simulate Iron Man's lasers and thrusters. Frankly, it looks so cool that I want one.


This video goes into the process in more detail


What do you think about eNable?

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Static (Source)

Find out about the upcoming live-action Static Shock show. While Marvel is basking in the glory of it's upcoming Netflix series based on Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and The Defenders, DC has launched their own short-form digital platform. Variety reports that the newly named "Blue Ribbon Content" division will launch original programs and new shows from Warner Bros. Entertainment’s "collection of intellectual property." One of the first properties announced is a live-action series based on co-creator Dwayne McDuffie's Milestone comic character Static (also known as Shock Shock). Virgil Hawkins is a teenager who gets electrical powers in an accident and becomes a superhero while fighting the struggles of all young black men. It sounds a lot like Spider-Man, but very different. "Like any other awkward 15 year-old, Virgil Hawkins worries about pocket money, getting beaten up, and drugs." Dwayne McDuffie said, "But recently, he's had even more on his mind: stuff like his powers, his secret identity, and drugs. Because, when innocents are in danger, and Virgil can slip away from class, the geeky youth becomes Static, the dashing, adventurous superhero!" While the character has a successful animated series, named Static Shock, this is the first time he's appeared in live-action.

Here's how Warner Bros describes the Static Shock series:

Writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin (Best Picture Oscar® nominee for producing Django Unchained, writer/director of House Party, executive producer/director of acclaimed TV series The Bernie Mac Show) leads the creative team behind a live-action adaptation of Static Shock, featuring the African-American super hero Static, aka Virgil Ovid Hawkins. Static Shock is based on the Static comic co-created by the late Dwayne McDuffie with co-writer Robert L. Washington III and artist John Paul Leon, which was originally published by the DC Comics imprint Milestone Comics and, later, by DC Comics. Milestone Media co-founder/comic book artist/TV producer Denys Cowan (the original Static Shock animated series) is collaborating with Hudlin on the new Static Shock. The aforementioned animated version of Static Shock previously aired for four seasons during the Saturday morning Kids’ WB! programming block on The WB Network from 2000–2004..

Here are some other highlights from the press release:

Bruce Timm is coming back with a new Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles series:
This animated shortform series from Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett (producers of the legendary Batman: The Animated Series) will debut on Machinima in 2015. The series is based on Justice League: Gods & Monsters, an original animated film executive produced by Timm and co-produced by Burnett that will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment later in 2015. Chronicles explores a newly conceived reality in the DC Universe where Justice League members Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are much darker versions of the Super Heroes that people think they know.

There are also a couple of other projects in the works including an untitled Mortal Kombat series:
The next generation in the Mortal Kombat franchise to be released in association with the upcoming “Mortal Kombat X” videogame, slated to bow April 14, 2015. Blue Ribbon Content and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are teaming on the series, which will showcase some of the franchise’s popular characters and introduce a new generation of fighters.

Another surprising announcement is a series based on the old Gremlins knock-off Critters, which I always enjoyed.
Series based on the New Line Cinema cult classic movie franchise, with a new batch of alien pests descending on the planet. Written by Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath (“Teen Titans Go!”).

There's also a virtual-reality entertainment experience called “Batman: The Animated Series Experience” where people can explore the Batcave.

This is very exciting news and I'm sure if McDuffie were alive today he'd be overjoyed to see how his character is coming to life.


Are you looking forward to a live-action Static Shock series? What about Mortal Kombat and Justice League? Do you remember Critters? What DC character would you like to have they're own series?


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10/21/2014

Stan Lee is a giant in the comic book industry, influential in the creation of such classic characters as Spiderman and Iron Man. However, it's admittedly been a while since he created any characters which have truly caught on. Sketch comedy show Key & Peele imagines a pitch meeting where Stan Lee arrives to introduce characters that have an uncomfortably autobiographical theme.

What did you think of the video? What other characters could Stan Lee create? Let us know in the comments!

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Game of Thrones Khal Drogo (Jason Mamoa)/Aquaman (Source)

How is Jason Momoa preparing for his role as Aquaman? We already know the schedule for upcoming DC superhero movies has a lot of diversity and that includes an Aquaman solo film. Up till now the "The King of the Seven Seas" has been portrayed as a blonde and blue-eyed Atlantean, but now DC is switching things up by having the Polynesian actor Jason Mamoa play him. Aside from various animated appearances in shows like The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure and Superfriends the only live-action television appearance was in several episodes of Smallville played by Alan Ritchson. Aquaman can breathe underwater, swim as super-speed and manipulate marine life. Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa was born in Honolulu, but was raised in Iowa.

Now that the news has broke Jason Momoa can finally talk about his role as Aquaman and confirm his appearance in Justice League. At the Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta last weekend Jason Momoa spoke about being "Jason Momoa: Aquaman" and ComicBook.com reported on his responses. Here are some highlights:

On his denials about playing Aquaman Momoa said,
"Listen, I was asked to play it. You know, you audition and stuff like that, but the fact is you've just got to keep it quiet. You know what I mean, I was just trying to respect Warner Bros. and everyone's wishes. I'm really, really happy that I don't have to be quiet anymore, because that's really hard for me."

He actually studied marine biology in college and here's what he said when asked if that would help him talk to fish:
"No, but I've rode some dolphins before, so I can pull on that. Yeah, I did go to school for Marine Biology, but the cool thing is…the greatest thing for me is that Polynesians, our gods, Kahoali, Maui, all these water gods, so it's really cool and a honor to be playing a [water] character. And there's not too many brown superheroes, so I'm really looking forward to representing the Polynesians, the natives.

"My family are some of the greatest water men on earth. I'm not, but I'm going to go train with them. But it's really an honor just being a Polynesian. And water is the most important thing in this world and we all know it. It's cool be a part of DC's universe. I'm really excited to be with Warner Bros., and hopefully everyone likes it. And Zack Snyder's a genius, so I'm really excited to be hanging out with him."

Momoa is a comic book fan but said it was hard to read up on him before now:
"It's really hard because you do these and they're like, 'Why's he looking at Aquaman? Why's he looking at this one?' So you can't really like research too much. When I was growing up, I really liked Spawn and Lobo. I read stuff like that. Lobo I was a big fan of. I didn't read a lot of Aquaman, but I am now, and I will do the research."

Here's what he said about the Aquaman solo movie:
"I don't know the director. I know about as much as you guys know. I know the Justice League will come first. That's really what we're going to focus on. I'm not sure if it will be [set] prior to Justice League or post. I don't know too much about it. It will probably be where he came from. It will probably be his whole origin story I would think…I mean I don't even want to get quoted on this s***. So I know we're going to do Justice League first.

"I don't even know when we're shooting yet, but it will be like 2016 or 2017, so there's plenty of time."

What about romance in Justice League?
"I don't think there will be a romance any time soon in Justice League. I think we're going to be kicking some a**. But I don't know for sure, because there's no script yet."

While he accidentally confirmed his role in Justice League he was tight-lipped about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
"I really wish I could say something, but I don't even know.. I found out some of the characters that are in Justice League that are casted that I didn't know. So you found out when I found out. And that stuff is pretty tight-lipped so I don't have anything to give."

While talking about his career and directing debut Momoa said, "This is what's great about Aquaman is that I can go do the artistic things that I really, really want to do, and also do, I've got this TV show that's great writing, and I can go save the frickin' universe with my trident."

What do you think of Mamoa as Aquaman
? Are you excited to see another superhero played by a minority?

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10/20/2014



Here are the greatest Star Wars toys that no one wants you to have.

Ever since the first movie was released back in 1977 Star Wars toys have delighted children for generations. Twentieth Century Fox offered toy licensing rights to Mattel, Hasbro, and Mego, the biggest action-figure makers in the country and all of them turned down the opportunity to profit from a "space opera" by a little-known director with a cast of unknown actors. Boy, do they regret that decision. As wonderful as the Star Wars toy line is, however, every now and then a toy gets banned. Here are the most amazing ones you'll never own.

1. Boba Fett Banned by Kenner

Source: http://www.maximumawesome.com
In 1978 the Star Wars toy line was a success making Kenner over $100 million. In anticipation of Empire Strikes Back Kenner released a special limited-edition mail-in action figure of Boba Fett with a working spring loaded missile launcher. At the same time, the Battlestar Galactica television show - which George Lucas unsuccessfully tried to sue - spawned a popular toy line by Mattel. One of Battlestar Galactica's most popular toys was the Colonial Viper which featured launching missiles. After a tragic accident with a toy missile, Kenner stopped all orders of the toy and revamped their Boba Fett toy to have an immobile missile. Although Kenner denies the toy’s existence, to this day a few people got heir hands on the unmodified ones and they're worth a fortune.

2. Star Wars Kinder Surprise Eggs Banned by Everyone

Kinder Surprise is a Italian chocolate egg that has a toy hidden inside a plastic container and is banned in the U.S. and other countries. The earliest sets were only sold in Germany and Italy, but now they're sold all over the world.  The candy is popular and a hot collectors item by adults and children alike. In 2013, they released a limited edition Star Wars collection with ten toys; Jango Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Count Dooku, Padme Amidala, R2-D2, Jar Jar Binks, Darth Vader, Clone Trooper, and C-3PO.

Although the candies have choking hazard warnings in several languages there have been two confirmed deaths caused by them. The UK Department of Trade and Industry said, "The child’s tragic death was caused by the ingestion of a small part of the egg’s contents. Many other products and toys with small parts are available in the market place. If we were to start banning every product that could be swallowed by a child, there would be very few toys left in the market”. On the other hand, the United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act bans the products saying "that a confectionery product with a non-nutritive object, partially or totally imbedded within it, cannot be sold within the United States, unless the FDA issues a regulation that the non-nutritive object has functional value and is non-injurious to health" and the FDA says "The embedded non-nutritive objects in these confectionery products may pose a public health risk as the consumer may unknowingly choke on the object”.


The toy ban is pretty serious business too since over 60,000 Kinder Surprises are seized at American airports every year. In January 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) threatened a Canadian guy with a $300 (Canadian dollars) fine for carrying one across the U.S. border into Minnesota. Again, in 2012, CBP held two Seattle men for two and a half hours after they found six Kinder Surprise eggs in their car returning from a Canada almost fine them US$2,500 per egg. While some, like Jennifer Ashton who’s daughter died from swallowing one of the parts, consider the toys dangerous, there is a vocal movement to have the ban on Kinder Surprise lifted. For example the Canadian site A Creative Revolution pointed out that the “tragic” deaths “have been few over many years and millions of eggs [sold]. The wrappers contain warnings in many languages, and the toys and the plastic capsules have been altered over the years to be more safe.” The toys are a beloved memory of from childhood all over the world especially England, Germany, China and Canada and they have fond memories of struggling with the egg, chipping teeth and almost choking on the parts. A year ago some activists started a “We the People” petition to get the White House to look into reversing it’s ban but, not unlike the request for a Federal Death Star program, didn’t get enough signatures. For now the candy\toys are still banned, but a black market for Kinder Surprise is still going strong.

3. Lightsaber Banned at Woolworths

While it's admirable that a store is trying to protect children one store went too far. Back in 1978, toy lightsabers were basically balloons with flashlights. Now they're very sophisticated. They're so realistic that a British Woolworths (remember them?) banned the sale of lightsaber toys to anyone over the age of 18. They reasoned that it's really hard to tell that the giant, glowing, green lightsaber isn't real and could be mistaken for a weapon.

4. Bootleg Star Wars Polish "Uzay" Figures Banned by Lucasfilm
Source: http://www.uzaystarwars.com/head-man/
Star Wars toys are so popular that it's no wonder that other countries flooded the market with knock-off versions of the toys. Lucasfilm takes it very seriously and has aggressively pursued many illegal toy makers to protect their Intellectual Property. Howard Roffman, President of Lucas Licensing, which oversees the global Star Wars merchandise business said, "When companies...try to make a profit by confusing fans and flagrantly violating our trademark rights, we have to take action. We owe it to our fans – as well as to companies like Hasbro and Master Replicas, which are producing excellent authorized toy and replica lightsabers – to stop this type of unlawful behavior." Knock-offs can be big business and one guy was arrested for making ¥5 million (currently about US $46,765) selling bootleg One Piece figures online.

None are rarer than the knock-offs from Poland known as "Uzay" figures. Besides being extremely shoddy they feature hilarious names, descriptions and packaging that included gourds, calculators and bizarre themes. To us, the funniest is the cryptically named "Head Man." Is he named that because he's the head of something or just because he has a bizarre head? Is it the garbage can lid shield? We'll never know. What we do know is that he sells for $7,000.

5. Star Knight Banned by Lucasfilm
Source: starwarsbasemalaga.blogspot.com
In the world of illegal bootleg Star Wars toys, one of the greatest is known as "Star Knight". It answers the common question: what would happen if Darth Vader became a policeman and rode a motorcycle? This 9 inch tall had Darth Vader riding a police motorcycle for some inexplicable reason. The motorcycle has bump-n-go action, lights, sounds, and a voice chip. When you turn it on the lights and sirens start and the cycle rolls forward. Then the motorcycle will stop, and Darth Vader will yell "HALT!" and then start shooting his machine guns. A more elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

6. Overheating Lightsaber Banned By the Government
Source: http://www.ebay.com
Who knew lightsabers could burn people? Back in 1999, Hasbro made a line of awesome toy lightsaber toys based on the Star Wars Episode I movie. They made a "Darth Maul Double-Bladed Lightsaber" that has two retractable red plastic "light blades" on both sides and a metallic-gray hand grip. The blades extended to a whopping 5 feet long. They also made a Qui-Gon Jinn Lightsaber which also has retractable green "light blade" that extended to about 3 feet. Both Lightsaber toys lighted up when struck against anything and gave off a crashing sound. They also made a cool energy "humming," "charge-up" sounds just like the real thing. Unlike the real lightsabers (if there is such a thing) they ran off two “C” batteries.

The CPSC told consumers to “stop using these Lightsabers immediately.” Why? It turned out there was a faulty spring in the toy. The spring in the battery compartment could dislodge causing the batteries to overheat or rupture. In fact, it did and burned a bunch of people. There were 38 reports of Lightsaber batteries overheating, including six reports of batteries rupturing. People complained about minor burns and eye irritation. Hasbro recalled around 618,000 Star Wars Lightsaber toys for repair and sent out kits to help fix it.

The other option was to do what we did as kids: take a broom handle and make “whoo-whoo-whoo” noises while pretending to decapitate our friends.

What was your favorite Star Wars toy? Which banned toy would you like to have?

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