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Tag Archive: Gentle Giant


It’s one of the strangest marketing ideas yet.  And it’s a limited time offer for Valentine’s Day.  This is one of those ideas tailored for Star Wars fans–big fans–of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and in particular fans of Resistance fighter Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran.

Online collectible superstore Entertainment Earth came up with a new promotion, that should get a smile or laugh out of your Valentine if he or she has a sense of humor.  It’s a dozen Roses, but these aren’t the kind with thorns, so there’s that.  No, these are Rose Tico action figures, regularly listing for about $18 retail.  These won’t cost the full $220 for the case of 12 figures.  This is a deal for $19.99 total, $200 off retail, or roughly the original price per figure of Star Wars action figures when they were first released in 1978.  You’ll probably not see another deal like this again.

Sure, twelve stormtroopers might make a more desirable army, but then it wouldn’t be a dozen Roses, would it?  And if you don’t have a Valentine who’d appreciate it, buy a case for $19.99 and hand them out at your shop, at your booth at conventions, or give them out as part of your Secret Valentines.  The character of Rose Tico stands for bravery and devotion to her cause and her friends, and might make a good desk totem as a reminder.

The only place to get the $19.99 deal is at this link at Entertainment Earth.  If you’re up for it, you’ll want to act fast as this deal is expected to sell out.

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With 3D imaging and new technologies arriving each year, one of the attractions that just seems to get overlooked is the statue market.  Sure, Sideshow, Gentle Giant, Weta, and several other companies offered up some incredible figurines at San Diego Comic-Con last weekend, and this year the Sideshow booth had so many new creations it seemed like an endless row after row any figure could get lost in.  Yet for the most part we’re seeing new versions of the same characters we saw last year and the year before.  So it’s more difficult for anything to knock your socks off.  It’s rarer to see someone come up with something new, and it’s the rare realization of a fresh idea with new 3D rendered sculpts that has become the real jaw dropper.

This year that surprise was the unannounced preview of a new series of high-end figures from Gentle Giant’s own brand, the Honey Trap Army A tongue-in-cheek throwback mashing the best of 1960s and 1970s design with the spy movie genre, the first series of four figures was a standout among collectible statue figures five years ago.  With the 2013 convention exclusive (discussed at borg.com here) Whisper character, Gentle Giant interpreted the 1960s James Bond–think Thunderball and Doctor No–and created a deep-sea diving superspy who could probably kill anyone with her harpoon 21 different ways.  Right with her, team member Katya was ready to take no prisoners with her trusty Doberman, Lucky was straight out of the Army special forces, and Derby was something else altogether.  With box art by Kevin Dart, we thought the Honey Trap Army was poised to best the G.I. Joe Adventure Team.  Like many a toy line–as many learned over the past year watching The Toys That Made Us on Netflix–the Honey Trap Army was an idea that went straight to the toy (in this case, a collectible) with no backstory, comic book, animated show, or movie tie-in.

So we were happily surprised to see last weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, overlooked by many, the next series of the Honey Trap Army.  It begins with the new British spy with the best spy name not created by Ian Fleming–Brexit, also known as Dani Mint.  She’s the explosives expert, and brings along the fight of Britannia.  She is joined by a new Russian spy with the simple moniker The Russian.  Don’t let her little dog distract you.  And the seventh member of the Honey Trap Army is Junior.  You can find Junior easily.  She’s driving race car number 88.

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Star Wars Celebration 2017 is almost here.  This year the convention will take place in Orlando, Florida, April 13-16 at the Orange County Convention Center.  Hundreds of exclusive licensed collectibles will be available at this year’s show in light of the franchise’s 40th anniversary celebration.  But Gentle Giant wins the nostalgia award for its choice of throwback exclusive ideas–a reproduction of the Dianoga from the 1978 Star Wars Death Star Space Station playset in a jumbo format.

First unveiled at the Gentle Giant booth at San Diego Comic-Con in 2010, the toy company began to re-create the original line of 3 3/4 Star Wars Kenner action figures in the size of the original large-sized action figures–about 12 inches tall.  The company releases limited numbers of each figure with card backs and packaging reflecting the style of the originals.  The company creates the jumbo figures from digital scans of the small figures.  So if you fondly remember your first figure was C-3PO, you could purchase a giant version of the figure to display, or play with, at home.  We at borg.com awarded Gentle Giant’s prototype, rocket-firing jumbo Boba Fett the best action figure release of the year here back in 2013.

So taking the first Star Wars creature toy ever released and offering it again in this anniversary year is inspired.  The Dianoga was the only included figure in any of the regular release original Star Wars playsets–all others had to have been purchased separately (the only other “monster” from the movie to be made into a toy in the early years after Star Wars would be the Dewback).  The Dianoga came with its own “garbage”–three sheets of yellow, blue, and white Styrofoam broken into bits, to soften the fall of Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca from their famous fall into the trash compactor.  Gentle Giant advertises this new exclusive release, too, will include foam garbage.

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hansolo1_bespin

Hey, it’s the annual Star Wars celebration–May the 4th or May the Fourth Be With You.  So if you see a stormtrooper patrolling your town today you know why.

We found some fun collectibles you may want to check out beginning with John Tyler Christopher’s variant cover for Han Solo, issue #1 (pictured above).  Many Marvel Comics Star Wars monthly series since January 2015 have been producing variant covers to simulate the classic Kenner Star Wars action figures, and Christopher’s is the latest.  Check out his website today for more information on how to pick up your copy.

Toy company Gentle Giant has some cool offerings this week.  Gentle Giant is the company that re-created classic Kenner Star Wars 3 3/4 action figures in a large sized 1:6 scale format.  We discussed the best of these here at borg.com back in 2012. Gentle Giant has great discounts on its Admiral Ackbar, Princess Leia in Hoth outfit, Biker Scout, Wicket Warrick, and the Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot.

Biker Scout Gentle Giant

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Gentle Giant Ant-Man SDCC 2015

As we find every year, Gentle Giant is back again next week with several great exclusives for San Diego Comic-Con 2015–something for everyone.  The finest pieces come from Marvel Studios’ new Ant-Man film and classic Star Wars characters.  The Ant-Man sculpt, shown above, is a top-notch rendering of Paul Rudd’s character in costume.  This statue is limited to only 500 pieces.  It is 4.25 inches tall–not ant sized but big enough to appreciate.

Gentle Giant prototype Boba Fett SDCC 2015

Next is this stunning bust of the prototype for Boba Fett.  Every version of Boba Fett that gets turned into a toy or collectible simply amazes, and this all white version just makes us all want to see this character in action.

Deadpool Gentle Giant SDCC 2015

Deadpool fans will appreciate this interpretation of Deadpool by Gentle Giant artists.  It’s Deadpool as he may have looked in Secret Wars.  This figure stands 12 inches tall.

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Star Wars cosplay

We’ve already shown some photos of a great set of little green army men as well as the best Arrow cosplay from Planet Comicon 2015, but we have a few more images to share.  Not surprisingly, with a new Star Wars film due out by year end, Star Wars cosplay could be seen everywhere this past weekend.  One couple, shown above, expertly recreated the Clone Wars villain Asajj Ventris and Jedi Shaak Ti.

Biker scout PC 2015

It’s hard to beat all the great Imperial armored soldiers that appear at Cons these days.  This speeder bike trooper was no exception.  If you’re not willing to create your own outfit, ANOVOS and other companies now make it possible for anyone to wear screen-accurate Star Wars costumes.

astromech droid PC 2015

Several homemade remote-controlled astromech droids could be found skimming across the convention floor.  Who wouldn’t want one of these at home?  I remember when I first saw an R2 unit at a Con more than a decade ago and it was the highlight of the show.  Now we take these awesome robots for granted.

steampunk Boba Fett

Boba Fetts were everywhere, too, but we really liked this steampunk riveted helmet take on the mysterious bounty hunter.

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Miss Fury Dynamite Comics

We tried on for size almost every new book that was released from comic book publishers like Dynamite Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Archaia/BOOM!, and Image.  We tried to sample the best of all that Marvel and DC Comics had to offer, too, and although we didn’t have enough time to review everything we did try to put out there for your consideration those titles we thought our readers might like to check out, especially those with a sci-fi, fantasy, or retro bent.  Our pull list included issues from Afterlife with Archie to Django Unchained, from Liberator to Larfleezeand from Velvet to The X-Files.  This past month we have reviewed the year-long run of the best of these titles, as we narrowed our selections to 21 of the very best entries in genre entertainment outside of TV and movies, which we revealed here yesterday.  So here are the rest of our picks for the Best of 2013.

Kane Starkiller borg by Mike Mayhew

Best Borg Appearance — Kane Starkiller, The Star Wars.  Borgs showed up everywhere this year, from the lead characters on Almost Human, to Doctor Who, to countless comic book series including Justice League and RoboCop.  Our favorite appearance came from the young mind of George Lucas as he created the original script that would later be edited into the original Star Wars trilogy.  And through Dark Horse Comics’ The Star Wars monthly comic book event we learned one of his best ideas was merged into other roles and one of his best characters entirely cut.   That character was Jedi Kane Starkiller, who would reveal his cyborg chest implants that kept him alive, later to heroically give up this life-saving technology to save his friends.

MissFury001-Cov-Renaud

Best Comic Book Series — Miss Fury, Dynamite Comics.  A uniquely crafted tale, a compelling and seductive superhero, great action panel after panel, sourced in a long-shelved classic character of the Golden Age of comics.  Rob Williams and Jack Herbert’s Miss Fury is a carefully rendered update that rings true to the edgy spirit of the world’s first female superhero.  Beautiful panels set up an ever-changing time and place and pull readers along for the ride.  And stuck-out-of-time Marla Drake and her alter ego Miss Fury could not have looked better, whether carving out her place in the 1940s or as she was teleported into the future.  It’s a series no one should miss.

Clint Barton Hawkeye by Fraction

Best Comic Book Writing – Matt Fraction, Hawkeye.  Last year revealed one of the best comic book series we ever read, focusing on that “other” superhero archer, the second tier Marvel Comics superhero Hawkeye.  Matt Fraction gave us the most interesting set-up and look into the daily life of a superhero who isn’t Captain America or Iron Man.  This year he kept up the momentum in his Hawkeye monthly series, providing stories that challenged readers, each issue taking a different peek into Clint Barton, another costumed superhero called Hawkeye, and their trusty dog.

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Honey Trap logo

What does the Honey Trap Army have to do with G.I. Joe?  Back to that in a minute.

If you’re not already familiar with Gentle Giant, it’s the toy company that creates several specialty collectible toys and busts.  Most are for the serious collector and not something kids will likely ever get their hands on with the company’s large-sized classic Star Wars line offering action figures at $75 and up.  And Gentle Giant handles several franchises, from Star Wars to Marvel to Harry Potter to The Hobbit.

Previously at borg.com we revealed some convention-exclusive figures and the retro-edition, giant rocket-firing Boba Fett may be the coolest large-sized series action figure ever made.  This past week Gentle Giant revealed its first 2013 San Diego Comic-Con exclusive figure, from its Honey Trap Army line: Whisper, variant:

Whisper variant promo

And the limited-to-100 figures edition sold out almost immediately at a whopping $669 per figure.  What’s the Honey Trap Army?  You won’t find a lot of information about them, other than we saw an excellent display of the four initial character figures at last year’s Comic-Con and artist Kevin Dart either created the comic art that inspired the toy line or was inspired by the toy line to draw the characters.  But there is a video with 1960s music and art design to introduce the toy line:

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Every kid who grew up seeing Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back in theaters in their original releases is familiar with the rocket-firing Boba Fett.  First of all, you didn’t watch Star Wars and not at least stare in amazement at your local Woolworth’s or Woolco or Target displays or the Sears Roebuck Christmas “wish book” catalog and drool over the small initial run of action figures.  Then, once your parents caved and bought you even one, there was the little ad for a FREE (!) figure–if you only bought three more–of this mysterious new character with a cameo in the now infamous Star Wars Christmas Special.  Just save those little blue Kenner proofs of purchase.  You wanted to get your four figures fast, because… what if they run out of this Fett guy?  Should I tape these circles to a postcard so they don’t get lost in the envelope?  You wait and wait at the mailbox like the little kid in A Christmas Story.  Finally it arrived, and you have the first discussion with your parents about “bait and switch”.

With less than two weeks until the opening of Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando, Florida (August 23-26), Gentle Giant, the toy company transmogrifying small Kenner classic action figures into giant-sized collectible figures has announced its exclusive figure for this year’s show: Lando Calrissian.  Originally the 3.75 inch figure released during The Empire Strikes Back original run of action figures, this Lando is a whopping 12 inches tall.  Why make small-sized figures bigger and not update the original designs?  Why not?

The Lando figure will be released at $75, similar in price to previous figures in the Star Wars Classic Vintage Jumbo figure line.  The large figures were scanned from the original Kenner figures and reproduced faithfully as a larger collectible.  The Lando includes his vinyl cape and blaster, just like the originals, as well as that classic Lando moustache and charismatic smile.

The figure also comes packaged on a 1981-style, The Empire Strikes Back-inspired blister card, featuring original front design, in a re-sealable plastic outer clam shell to help protect and display the figure.

Gentle Giant is offering a special pre-order opportunity here.  At that price point you might not want to collect the whole set, but if there was a single figure that is particularly nostalgic for you, this may be the way to enjoy it all over again.  And if you really do want to build a complete set, you have another opportunity:  At Gentle Giant’s display at Comic-Con this year, they displayed a giant Cantina Playset, inspired by the Sears Roebuck cardboard playsets of the early days of Kenner Star Wars toys.  For the next four days you can enter a drawing to win that prototype.  All the information is here.  Note that they are not giving away any of the figures, just the cardboard backdrop cantina set.

The 2012 Comic-Con exclusive is still available at Gentle Giant’s website for $80–the large boot variety Snaggletooth figure in jumbo form.  The original little figure was pretty rare and second only in desirability to a Boba Fett with firing rocket, and only included in a Sears Roebuck Star Wars Cantina Adventure playset.  The grail of original collectors, this is another cool figure in the jumbo line.

Unfortunately my favorite figure is already sold out–this Chewbacca figure, but I’m sure a Boba Fett would be fun to get, too.

Or an original Luke.  Or  this Ben Kenobi…

Or… (all the figures so far available in the jumbo line can be found here).

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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