Sunday, February 04, 2018

Tomy Talk Update

Another nice update this time, with some good fresh stuff.
2018 seems to be off to a better start for sure, with the Boom ban fading/gone & actual modern items coming back around. Another exciting page of the Tomy Toy Catalog is up this week so it's time to talk Tomy for a bit.

Metal 'collector cards'- Great.
These make the classic/modern figure pairs more appealing. Something like that hasn't been done before for a figure, so that's even better. Metal is always a big positive because it resists damage and aging better than most things. (Solid glass being like...#1 for age resistance it's pretty much immune to everything and immortal)

Neutral Chao- Pretty good
It's great to see chao (of any sort) getting made, but they really ought to have the yellow blushing for the limbs. Toy Island had it, and theirs was just an accessory. The best way to sell these is of course up for debate because of course you have to put them with a figure, but everybody better be real careful who they buy because you'll get like 6 Sonics and spend too much if they just keep putting him with everything making you buy over & over.

Zavok - Good!
Deadly 6 has some fans, and he looks good here. BUT the question is "will he be big". This villain is larger than the Sonic characters, he'll be really disappointing if he's tiny or the same height as Sonic. Opinion zone:
They're going to cheap out and he's going to be the same size as Sonic because I don't believe they've overcome their laziness or cheapness yet. They're doing better, but Zavok will be a victim.

Infinite- Looks good.
He looks pretty much like the game. The mask could have had metallic paint* (as the mask was metal in the game) but as long as he can stand up ok, it should be fine. He's the size of the other characters so scale won't be a problem. 

Hopefully some of this stuff can start appearing soon.
Figure collectors have been left high and dry for quite a while with disappointing re-releases, expensive Boom stuff, and bad articulation. Their 'posed plush' for Knuckles is pretty good but the Amy not so much. Tomy still seems to be 'finding its legs' regarding plush, BUT they ARE improving, which is good to see.

Item of the Week:
Eggman Wallet! Woo! Seeing a solo-character-anything that's NOT Sonic is always a nice sight. This is the first one we've had in quite some time. It's fun, it's different, it's totally Eggman's style with the slogan & the sign post. Looks good, will satisfy eggfans, this one's a winner.

Next week:
More expensive Segashop stuff for sure. Another Tomy page will also appear.

*Metallic paint: Because Jazwares would've given him metallic paint for his mask.

Monday, January 22, 2018

2018: An All-Right Start

Well 2018 is here & SonicGear is...Still Here.
Fortunately.
However, the Net Neutrality worries are also still here. So why no slowdown? Why no close of Gear? Was all that noise on the blog & in the update spot all a cry of wolf or hoax?

No.
None of that was able to happen because a few good people are actually suing the FCC to get neutrality back. And, as long as courts and lawyers and things are fighting over it, the ISPs aren't going to be able to make good on their sinister plans to ruin pretty much everything except huge companies. And even then, if they shut down all of America's small businesses I have no idea who they expect is going to buy stuff over at Amazon or who's going to afford all that cable TV they're itching to sell.
So, we're safe as long as a bunch of people are arguing. If the good guys lose, it's still bye-bye so be sure to continue to call your senator if you can-especially if you are in Florida or one of the other senate-votes that needs to change.

2017 for merchandise ended on kind of a boring flat note.
Mania had kind of poked around with some merchandise but it didn't bring stuff that really excites the fans like all new cool clothing lines, action figures, plushes, statues or household collectibles. The Boom Ban was still kind of flopping around in effect because even after stuff like that ends, it takes a long time for companies to produce/design/market/then shelf any item.

2018 is off to a decent enough start.
Tomy released their catalog and it DOES include an Infinite figure from Forces & a few things we've never seen before in figure format like Zavok & various expression neutral chaos. They've got some duds like their plush Super Sonic, and some 'cg stand ins' but that's to be expected. On the whole though, it seems pretty encouraging if they can keep the price down and not be obnoxious. Yes, Boom is still in there, they're still trying to make Boom happen. "Now with an Eggman figure we've painted black and also a green one because reasons"

SegaShop:
More like $ega$hop--gee whiz a fan can appreciate what they're doing but nobody's going to appreciate those ridiculous prices. This place will continue to have the items added upon future updates no matter how marked up they are. But, at least it's Modern Sonic & a good enough variety of characters appearing on various categories of items.

Sears: This home of Sonic tees (that were unique to it) continues to become rare-er as more of its stores close leaving fans with no real decent shirt destinations with any consistency. JC Penny may have an item now and then but Sears was the reliable place.

A few more stores like Spencers & Target seem to have a few Sonic homegoods like bottles & cups, so merchandising is clearly continuing. Aside from the bad news about Sears....and if the internet doesn't just up and get killed by jerks, 2018 is looking like it could be a pretty decent time for Sonic collectors.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Net Neutrality Lost at the FCC: What's Next for Gear?

Well, Net Neutrality lost.
But SonicGear is still here...so what's going on! Didn't you say.......
(Site notes at the bottom)

Well, what it means is that the danger has started. As you remember, there was no NN law before 2015. A different agency, the FTC or so, was in charge at that point. There was no big rule to stop monopolies (the ISPs) from doing 'considered bad things'. However, they DID have the power to sue or make a lot of trouble for ISPs who did 'things that are considered bad by everyone but the ISP and share holder'. What did that include?

Blocking Facetime because they had a competing service
Making Netflix not work/load so slow it barely works because you should watch cable instead
Blocking Skype because you're not paying extra to use it

This list goes on and on.
Each time somebody had to stop them before NN appeared in 2015. So, you can see how the previous rules 'didn't hold up the sky' for all us small website & normal consumers, but they DID act like a nebulous floating ban-hammer that could crash down if a ISP stepped out of line and got unfair. So what's different now is that the 'hold up the sky' is gone & basically any ISP is free to do anything bad that it wants to.

So why didn't they?
They seem to be playing 'boil the frog'. Everyone's REALLY aware that they've basically unleashed the beasts. However, if you wait and you chip away the good stuff slowly, as you were heating the water to boil the frog slowly...maybe he won't hop out and you'll get to boil him in the end. That's what they're hoping: all the zany political stuff and big crisis of the day will have everybody forgetting to act up. Then suddenly it's 5 bucks to look at your Facebook.

What This Means Now:
Things continue as usual but under the looming storm cloud. They sure as hell didn't spend all that money to get rid of the rules in order to then continue to obey them. What it also means: Senators & states themselves are fighting back. Lawsuits are opened, and everybody who wrote, called, tweeted, petitioned, protested & whatever else IT WORKED. Those voices got heard and now is when they are mattering as well as before. It basically built up ammo for these law suits and other things to try and wreck the bad decision or get some other rule placed that'll do the same thing.

Want to read up?
Own an Etsy, Ecrater or do you shop there? How about ebay? Indie seller? This article is good for you.
https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2017/12/15/small-e-retailers-could-be-hurt-by-the-end-of-net-neutrality/?utm_source=IRN&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=IRN-2017


If these guys don't succeed, you can likely expect Gear to barely work after about a year from now.
They're going to take at least a year to begin to boil the frog. Other bigger stuff like video sites will get hit first. But photo sites are on the chopping list too. It'll go into the slow lane, because (of course) can't pay, and then if dystopia continues nobody will look at Gear (too hard to load) and it'll just go away for good because the point is people visiting it.

If they DO succeed:
The Sonic merchandise party will continue forever! If there's some specific action to take, when the time comes, it'll go on the blog right here. Because the readers who saw this did take action & it was heard, and it's being used right now to help. So thanks!

Week's notes:
It appears to be some kind of bootleg bonanza. I'm not sure what's causing all the fakery all of a sudden. Sure some of it is wacky ex: curly creep, but we need real cool merch to inspect and collect as well

Item of the Week:
Glittery Mystery Sweatshirt. Glitter is fun! Why wasn't anything else ever this glittery? It seems like an obvious option to spruce up your tees or whatever.

Next week:
Don't know. But next week will exist and that's pretty important.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

SonicGear In Danger: Net Neutrality Needed

SonicGear is in danger.

Why?
Because Net Neutrality is in danger. It's in the news a lot right now because the bad politicians are trying to "hide" a vote to get rid of it inside the holiday so they can get rid of it without the consent of anyone. That's already super fishy, plus, aren't representatives supposed to represent people not hide things from them? But all that's beside the point. What's the danger? Go to the bottom of the post for the 'why', if you think any of this sounds ridiculous.

If Net Neutrality goes away so will SonicGear.
The ISPs like Comcast, Verizon, Roadrunner, ATT and more will CLOSE SONIC GEAR DOWN FOREVER.

But how will they do this?
By demanding money to show SonicGear to people who get their internet through them. If NN goes away, they will be able to say

SonicGear, pay me 50 dollars a month or no one with Comcast will see SonicGear. We'll block you!
SonicGear, pay me 50 dollars a month or no one with Verizon will see SonicGear. We'll block you!
SonicGear, pay me 50 dollars a month or no one with AT&T will see SonicGear. We'll block you!

THEN
To anyone who wants to look at SonicGear (That's you) they will say

YOU, pay me 50 dollars extra a month or you can't visit/look at SonicGear We'll block you!

Well guess what?
Nobody who visits SonicGear has 50 extra dollars per month to spend to look at a website. "Oh But SonicGear Runs Ads! It has money!" Well, no...the only money that comes out of the ads goes to pay the hosting fee for 1&1 to uphold the website and to keep its domain registered. When the companies come along asking it for money, it'll get blocked because it can't pay. And when it gets blocked, nobody will come. And then it'll all be over for good...I guess.

If a law passes...it seems like nobody really can UN-pass it too easily.
Plus, if it's something so dictator that even though pretty much everybody is screaming NO NO NO at it, but they're just going to go ahead and try to do it anyway...what are the odds anybody'd listen in the future?

Look what already happened to Portugal, if you don't believe it
https://twitter.com/RoKhanna/status/923701871092441088

What can you do?
If you don't want to pay to look at youtube, (they'll put it behind a paywall) or SonicGear, or anything else you have to try to do something as soon as you see this post to make them KEEP NET NEUTRALITY

Fortunately, there's stuff that you can do, and it's not that hard. However, and it's a big 'but', you have to do it and also get everyone else you know to do it as well. It doesn't matter if it's like 4 people in the same family, it all counts. Because there's loads of people who want someone else to do it for them, old people who don't know what is the internet & dead people (yes they are actually claiming that dead people are voting against NN) are all not doing anything. If like...literally everybody starts shouting, the bad guys will fail.

Shout now or probably lose it forever because you won't pay another 35/mo for twitter access.

Use this Bot
https://resistbot.io/
(It sends a text for you, it is so simple)

Use this button
https://www.battleforthenet.com/
CALL IT.
They give you a speech to say so you don't have 'phone nervous'. It also auto-does-it so you don't have to look up anything. Also, calling is the best way because they can't say your voice/phone # is fake like they do with emails.

Sign this thing
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/do-not-repeal-net-neutrality

Send a unique email to any of these guys

Because the main man, Ajit Pai won't listen at all. He already says dead people are allowed to vote for him and do what he says. However, these other 4 people aren't as crazy and if one says no, we get to keep looking at the internet and playing video games. So send 'em something, anything you compose yourself that you want net neutrality because otherwise you can't afford it.

Why though?
Because the ISPs told these politicians that they will give them lots of money if they take away the rule of Net Neutrality. Who doesn't want lots of money? But, it jeopardizes pretty much everything here. How many small biz will go out of biz? I guess no more school internet. Schools already don't have a bunch of money, they're not going to double their budget to pay for it. Video games are a pretty big industry right? Well, none of them are going to pay double to let you play. They'll just go away instead/stop existing. 
Also why:
Because ISPs want more money, and if they can pay to have a law written that will give them (they think) more money as outlined in the stuff above, they'll do it. What they don't realize is that they're not going to be able to squeeze a penny out of lots of places, like Gear, without closing them down completely instead. Is Xbox really going to want to give EACH of the 4 big providers 1 million more dollars per month or get blocked? They could...and then double the price of every game, every subscription to Xbox Live Gold and then...who's gonna buy it? Because if you buy it, you've also got to give over an additional 50/moth to the ISP just to play your game.

Yes people will do it.
Richie Rich is always going to exist, and some people make 100 grand/year but like...that's not everybody. If numbers all go dropping off...what's gonna happen to everyone's job? I mean 1&1 is Gear's host, and I'm sure they host millions of little sites, but if all them shut...what happens then? How about closing down ebay or making the fees 50% of everything you sell?
It's like....I'm just some random collector on the internet, but how can anyone not have the foresight to see that closing down the literally worlds' biggest money maker (the internet) is a bad idea? People shop on Amazon BECAUSE they can afford it, this thing is looking to make Amazon be unaffordable as if it won't make a difference if only like 5% of the people can continue buying from it. 

So, either we stand up right now and fix this, or the days are numbered and dwindling for Gear.
Don't let it happen.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sonic Forces - 1 Item Update

Well....
SonicForces came out this week. And there's a grand total of 1 thing on SonicGear for it. The rather strange Hooters Japan Cross Promo. (event, mascot, standee, etc) Yeah hooters. Real odd choice that's asked about in the entry. It's known for wings and beer...not fanchar the ultimate. If anyone was going to be recruiting adults, you'd think it'd be Mania based upon its nostalgia platform.

Why no stuff?
Mania had a ton of stuff, mugs, tees, posters, etc. but Forces has pretty much nothing in the way of merch. Of course, there's speculation galore: being 'they werent sure how well it will do' and 'the boom ban was still in effect'. Remember: merchandise takes a long time from idea to shelf near you. Mania would have escaped the Boomban, but Forces items wouldn't because while it HAS Classic Sonic in it, it would also require Modern and that was a big-boom-no-no.

Not good:
There's always a rise in merchandise buying whenever a game comes out. Mania saw a big rise in SonicGear visitors, and more people are always out looking to buy Sonic things alongside their new game. The whole "Boom=no modern Sonic allowed" boondoggle they created only shoots them in the foot now with Forces. Having nothing to represent Modern Sonic on any tees/toys much puts a damper on that half of Forces where there would have been an opp for more sales.

What happens when they're unsure of a game?
You get nothing but the game. Remember the Deadly Six? They weren't sure what that game would do, so you've got no merch with these colorful villains. You'd think they'd make cool toys but because the game was just sorta lukewarm...nothing really happened.
But then look at Boom.
Someone really REALLY wanted to make Boom happen. And it did, but only with the show. Fans and critics don't seem to be....a fan of any of it's games. So the merch push continues (there's still new tees coming out) but only thanks to the actually funny, fun, well-reviewed TV show.

What about Tomy?
There's toy news in the stock market lately. Specifically that Hasbro seems to be looking to buy up a company. They asked Mattel & they also asked Takara/Tomy. Some of the reasons that are being bounced around by reporters seems to be that toys in general are declining a bit, supposedly because "kids only want phone and pad games". Is that really so? You can't collect a phone game, and collecting seems to be some kind of instinct with some people that's always existed. (if it wasn't toys it was bugs, stamps, books, or rocks, things that have been around for ever)

What does that mean?
Nothing yet. Supposedly TRU may stop carrying their not that successful Boom line. (No surprise, it was costly, broke easily, less fun to play with than Jazwares due to lack of joints, lacked characters variety, etc) But, stay tuned I guess.

Future speculation:
What about VR? VR is coming, make no mistake, right along side AR. What's going to happen to toys once you can literally put a magic hat on and go to another world? It's gonna be reeeeel weird.

DRM
Yes there's DRM on both Mania & Forces if you get them for the PC and that's why a lot of people are complaining (Suspect DRM of messing with the rest of their stuff on the PC/other nefarious things) plus one of them crashed the game for everybody after 1 level of play. Also it got broken off of Mania after something ridiculous like a single week or so, rendering it's point moot. This is also why I have not yet tried either. DRM on the PC? No thanks. I'll wait for consoles.

Will there be Forces stuff?
Hopefully so.
Will reviews continue to be pretty positive?
Hopefully so.
Mania continues to be really well regarded, so hopefully this is a good Sonic comeback!