Come on ladies, give in to the pink side. This Gentle Giant, Ltd., scaled replica of Darth Vader’s helmet, made exclusively for the San Diego Comic-Con, shows a lighter side of the Sith lord and is perfect for the ladies who want to serve the Empire without sacrificing style. The helmet was released to raise breast cancer awareness and to show Vader is committed to vanquishing his enemies, 10 percent of every sale will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
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For the musician or hard core music fan with a shelf or desk to decorate, come these amazingly realistic mini Fender guitars. About one-third the size of the real thing, they can also be wall-mounted to show the works of art they truly are. The guitars come in a multitude of colors and you can also pick up a display case for six of the nine models if you’re a serious Fender aficionado. Oh, and they only look playable with their genuine wood necks, steel strings, and movable switches, so don’t drive yourself nuts trying.
3 Faces of Danzig [Spencer Gifts, Hot Topic, comic book/specialty stores and Chaser website - $75 each]
For those very bad boys and girls who just love their ‘Evil Elvis’, their horrorpunk goth metal legend Glenn Danzig, here is a tender offering: dolls. That’s right; soft (squeezable) vinyl Danzig dolls. The spirit of daddy Danzig is captured here in these three 10” dolls, representing various incarnations over his prolific, broad, nearly 30-year singer/songwriter career: Danzig with no shirt on, but wearing that big-ass belt buckle and the instantly-recognizable upside-down cross medallion (from the album, Lucifuge); his Samhain stage (from Initium), covered in icky fake blood, and Misfit, looking pretty evil but at least not topless, but wearing a skull and crossbones t-shirt (from Walk Among Us). In these latter two dolls, you get that oh-so-cool Devilock do, too. Lest one feel overcome with Ozzy Osborne-like emotion when cuddling a Danzig and feel compelled to bite… beware: these dolls pose a choking hazard.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Kubricks [Rockstar Games - $35.99]
The mere existence of a product like this is bound to have you feeling warm and fuzzy for the holidays. Have you ever seen a “Kubrick”? It’s like a little posable Lego dude, painted up to look like a given character. Medicom Toys worked with Rockstar on these, and, well, you almost have to see them to believe them. Of course, Tommy Vercetti is bound to be a popular figure, but even more popular will be one Ms. Candi Suxx, the adult film star here given endowments worthy of Picasso. If your target gamer has every game he or she could ever want, if there’s no peripheral that must be had, if the Playstation 3 is hopelessly sold out, well… think of these Kubricks as an investment—maybe by next year they’ll be going for exorbitant prices on EBay. Besides, the fully-posable nature of the figures means that you’re only a step away from modeling Hot Coffee, Vice City-style… and who wouldn’t want that? [Rockstar Games]
Roboreptile Robotic Reptile [WoeWee International Ltd. - $99.99]
This is a kind of freaky beastie boy / grrr grrrl toy in that it doesn’t always do what you expect—or demand—of it. That must be the “fiery personality” mentioned in the press sheet. I tell it to leap back on its hind legs, it snarls at me, takes a few menacing steps forward, and then leaps back on its hind legs; I tell it to “feed” and it sometimes roars, sometimes squeals, but always makes this funny little bone crunching sound while “eating”, and then, quite of its own accord, it may (or may not) waggle its tail and shake its head, clearly “happy” with the imaginary, bloody meal just imaginarily ingested. Sometimes I tell it to eat, but it refuses—with a snarl. Roboreptile is simultaneously sophisticated in its behaviors, and with its sensors that will help it back out from under a sofa, but also clumsy, in that it’ll whack its head around a bit, before it figures out how to get out from under a narrow plant stand.
Roboreptile is about two feet in length—that’s the size of my cat, stretched out—a cat that, to my perverse glee, Roboreptile will stalk with little prompting. One drawback: it can’t leap up on the bed after the cat. It can, however, throw what looks like a tantrum that it can’t leap up on the bed, flinging its long head and tail about and screeching. So perhaps you can image that if Roboreptile doesn’t want to eat, you shouldn’t try to make it eat. And if you haven’t “fed” it in a while, don’t expect it to cooperate with your remote controlled demands until its eaten. And that unpredictable “sass”, if you will, is what really makes this a cool toy. Set the controls down and walk away; you’ll hear it snapping and growling, raring and lunging, roaming about of its own accord.
The Roboreptile is expensive at $100; as demanding of your wallet as it is demanding of your attention when it’s turned on. But it’s so freaky cool. [Amazon]
// Notes from the Road
"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.READ the article