Thursday, July 28, 2022

Better Site Updates: Hopefully Here to Stay & Pop Complaining

 *Attempts to keep site updated on time instead of neglecting it...accidentally neglects site blog instead* Hmmm. Oh well, I guess better that than the other way around.

Anyway...
The site updates have had better timing lately, and hopefully that can be kept up. Been trying to keep up with the effort to keep it each week and get enough stuff on there. It has had a bit of mail problems also, so if you've sent something in recently, hopefully that can be gotten to as well (but I knoooow there is a huge pile up of things in the mail still--so don't lose hope)

Maybe more UK stuff?
As you've probably noticed, there has been pretty much 100% USA only items for like...a long time. This is because it seems like not only the US is getting tons more stuff, but other countries aren't really sending in items/stuff is only found occasionally like the UK slippers and sometimes a Japan thing.
Upcoming updates though should have more UK items. Remember: it's always the goal for Gear to have the whole world's stuff on on there because Sonic fans are everywhere. 

Odd Aside:
What is the deal with Pops????
It's not a secret that I don't like funko pops much, and I especially don't like any of the Sonic ones, I just think their style doesn't fit with his, and the toys aren't cool or cute looking. However: that IS an opinion. Clearly, loads of people DO like it because they keep doing more and more of these.
But.
From being in a comic store over the weekend, no joke, this thing was SIXTY FIVE PERCENT pops. Out of all the merchandise in the store: comics/action figures/tees/manga/display figures, 65% of the shop was nothing but pops. That leaves all those aforementioned categories to the remainder of the shop. What is even going on with that? There's like huge foot tall ones too? How is anyone supposed to collect them when they're that big or that many? Also isn't that a little risky as a retail shop to have like the majority of your already specialty merch to be that much percent just 1 single thing?
It's bizarre. 
Has any fad item ever lasted this long or caused shops to go this wild? Cause it's not isolated to just 1 joint in the strip mall or the regular mall. Bringing it up because I've seen this same layout in several brick/mortar shops and others have too.

Item of the week:
Sonic & Tails Snow Angels Pin pair. This is TOO cute not to be the item of the week. Using glitter for the snow part is also a perfect choice. The art is great, the execution of it on the enamel pins is great quality, and the theme is super fun and cute. Guaranteed nobody has anything like it and it is just charming. Really, I think they're the best 2 pins out of Pin Kings so far. The others are good, but they are also typical. They didn't go outside of the box until this set. It's great to see a bit of both, so...basically good for Pin Kings, very glad they are on-board with Sonic.

Close second: 
The Firefly-Clean toothbrush. Sonic Hygiene is scarce, but I always like to see it and the tooth brush is fun.

Upcoming updates:
Yes it seems like the chia pet Sonic head is real. It'll be going on. Debatable if it's 'home decor'....but.
More UK items to at least try and provide country variety
It seems back to school is starting up so expect more bags probably
Yes another Pop
Probably clothing...and hopefully all on time.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Movie 2 No Competition Boogaloo

 By this point...
Sonic Movie 2 is out probably most of everywhere (except Russia because they needed to stop being bad and didn't) and it is doing actually quite well! It's now ranked among some of the best/better 'video game franchise is now a movie' box-office. This is probably ok news but I still have not seen it and so other than 'wow its still movie Sonic and now Tails is ugly too but not as bad' and 'yeah its still full of humans and non-Sonic characters', there's no particular comment to be had yet here.

However...
It should also be pointed out that it has literally no competition in its category in the theaters that hasn't been out for a long time already. (There are no other general audience films out now) The only other biggies that are even out now are Morbius (a vampire who somehow wasn't appealing), Ambulance (It's michael bay again but at least this time he's not ruining a transformer), the Lost City which is an adventure/comedy but not a general audiences thing, Batman again, not for kids, and it's not vs anything animated except for Turning Red which has been out for a good while enjoying the success that comes from everyone already seeing it. If you want to take little kids to the theater it is your pretty much single new choice. Is that contributing to the success as well as the 'ending' of the pandemic? You 100% bet it is.

But what does that mean?
It means it'll get a 3rd one, but hopefully it also doesn't make them lazy about it "just throw anything at the screen" because this no competition magical timeslot is unlikely to ever occur again. It was handed success on a silver platter and they need to be super aware of that going forward.
Also in the past:
It also got a huge break in the past because it was literally the last movie (movie 1) released before the pandemic shut everything down, and then of course mega-demand on streaming because of all the closed theaters. For whatever reason this thing's karma or whatever you want to call it has been on overdrive both times basically gifting the movie golden gooses of non competition and serving up audiences on silver platters. (Trolls 2 also was in this benefit-spot but it's spot was less prime)

Back to the Site, however:
Finally seem to be able to be getting the updates going on time again...and have been leaning on them with more than the usual amount of items to try and clear the item bins to make up for it.

Why is it only USA stuff still?
Because no one's sending in anything much from elsewhere. It probably exists but...? Also, it seems like USA released items are getting everywhere else too in a fairly unchanged state which is good. More Sonic available in more places is always a good thing.
There will be some other-country items upcoming though they are vintage.

Movie stuff?
Yes, as things continue to get released or photographed for it, they'll continue to go onto the movie sections of the site. (Even though there's quite a few items it'll just keep sprinkling because I don't want movie stuff to take over any update)

Item of the week:
Has to be Fang Knack the Sniper Weasel plush. A first for any USA release for him, of course it's GE with it doing a good job. But, it raises the question of if he has any actual fans? The gamegear games with him in there weren't top rated and he was never seen since (except the fighters game but that is super duper rare) 
Runner-up: The Franco bedroom stuff. It's great to see actual housewares that aren't just companies spamming generic water bottles and mugs all over the place.To have a Sonic bedroom you actually need more than just a random pillow or blanket and they are delivering. They also make it in here because the price is so reasonable most of the time as well.

Next Week:
The Encyclospeedia finally came out, so that'll be there, some non USA things to try and keep variety up, a de-boxed Omega, and some shoes I want but probably can't have.


Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Sonic Movie Pitch #1 Josh: The Boy Who is More Important Than Sonic!

Q: You yelled about the Sonic Movie, are you going to yell about the movie pitch "Sonic Wonders of the World" from 1995?
A: yes.
A: YES

If you hadn't heard...Recently there was released about 8 pages or so of a movie pitch for a Sonic Movie in 1995. It was to be run past Sega & etc. and if it looked good enough they'd make it at MGM Studios, as is the usual. You can now find the pages freely on Twitter and the internet to read it/it isn't very long, but it involves some history and it's an interesting enough read to see what they were thinking about at the time. Dr. Robotnick's a Bunny! Look out! (no, it never makes sense)
Japan ended up nixing it, VERY VERY fortunately because it doesn't make a lot of sense and it really isn't about Sonic very much. Sonic is a tool used to help a little boy and his stupid parents. The story is about THE BOY and not about Sonic at all. 

Caution: I get mean ahead.
Passes the Bechdel Test? No. Surprised? No.
The sappy theme: Standing up for what you believe in
Yes really...but it doesn't EVER apply to anything in the movie? "Standing up for...not stealing the great pyramids of Egypt" is......stupid? Like? Everyone agrees don't steal those? It doesn't make ANY SENSE. ALREADY! All 90s things tho had to have such themes to get approved 'for the kids'.

But, before getting to the pitch pages there's a few Sonic facts to know about fist:
He had several origins but so far none of them are cannon, somehow?

There's the Fleetway origin where Eggman was good but turned evil
There's the Reincarnation of WW2 Bomber/Test Pilot man
There's the Archie origin where he has parents but they're not special
Each one has problems and no one can agree, so...no cannon.
One of them involves world war 2...which is really creepy and not great because...have you ever even looked up this war? You DONT want that stuff being cannon anywhere near* Sonic. Writing this after seeing a video of an elderly couple driving their car on a suburban street and a tank comes around the corner and hits their car with a shot out of the top gun turret thing is--well it's the worst, war is the worst, and having Sonic be a reincarnation of some shitty white guy who dropped bombs on other people is.....the worst? What kind of a crappy origin is that? 

All origins aside, let's get to Josh! He's Important! He's The Star!
The pitch-notes reveals that it was done to "appeal to a wider audience" than something like SatAm Sonic or AOSTH, and when grownups say "Appeal wider audience" they mean "how can we remove Sonic from the content?" The answer is generally 'fairly efficiently', to have a fairly Sonic-free Sonic movie where the story can be about what 'Sonic fans' REALLY want, which is humans who have nothing at all to do with Sonic! /sarcasm/
Ask fun questions throughout like
What are Sonic's feelings?
What does Sonic think of the situation?
Sonic 2 was out by now so where was Tails? Amy? (Sonic CD)
Why do they have to de-power Sonic at every turn?
Why does Sonic not come up with a plan?
Why does Sonic need Josh to save him?
Where are the robots Robotnick likes to make?
Is Robotnick an evil genius as he is characterized in every game ever??? Or does he have to rely on "Smarter humans" to get his technology?

You can't answer them because the movie isn't about him, his world, or much of anything from it. Sonic is not the hero here. They HAD more characters to work with, They HAD Metal Sonic, time stones, little planet, Tails...Amy...they had whole worlds to work with! And they picked Josh.

So let's get started:
Josh Pinksi (oh boy is this a white kid with yellow hair and blue eyes? Or is his hair brown but the eyes still blue because reasons? Of course it's a boy and not a girl because only boys play video games and girls are stupid! NO GIRLS ALOUD in this movie unless it's mom who's not being fair to you.) 
He:
Likes playing Sonic games, is nerdy at school so nobody likes him, he feels like his parents divorce is his fault even though it's his dad's fault. He is imagining up an origin for Sonic in class (Because remember, HE didn't make Sonic, the games already exist) where he is the mascot of an air-speed record pilot-man because only men can fly airplanes.
His Dad is named Hal (because we love cliches*)
And he can't support his family because he can't keep a job no-matter-what because he is such a wacky 'hare brain computer nerd' so he freeloads off of the working mother always flitting from one project to another that don't pan out or make money, until she divorces him over it.
He's also incompetent at food so he forced her to have a 9 to 5 job AND cook all the meals for the family for free too. The house is 'a mess' of his projects so you know he made her* clean for him also. She was basically his slave in every way but FEEL BAD FOR HIM SHES MEAN OH. 
*Made* Was it going to be presented that he commands her to cook and clean? Of course not but he's characterized as 'burns the kraft-mac dinner' and the house 'a mess' now that she's gone so if she didn't want herself/her child to eat trash and live in a pig pen she had to attend all their needs as well as her job and her own needs and simply got sick of it but they get to paint her as the bad guy because it's ok for Dad to be whoopsie-pants incompetent and never contribute equally or otherwise.

So the dad leaves Josh at home alone after telling him not to ruin his projects so Josh goes and hooks his Saturn up to the dads' project because that totally won't ruin it, and Sonic gets out of the game to have a look around. Now keep in mind this would be like the worst CG ever and would look like trash. The best CG in all the world out of 1995 was Toy Story 1 and you know Pixar wasn't making this movie so the quality would not have been even TS1 level. 
The next thing that comes out is a fuzzy bunny which for some reason then "morphs into Robotnick" who pulls 'a space ship' out of nowhere and ruins the house while leaving. Did they have the term 'egg o matic' by now? Can't tell if treatment writer either didn't have the info or didn't care. 

1. WHY a bunny?
WHY? Why can't Robotnick just....jump out of the TV like Sonic did? Also he somehow knows about the Real World Dimension while Sonic didn't? Don't worry, none of this is ever resolved but the whole 'a bunny' thing makes EVEN LESS SENSE than anything else and is completely unnecessary like....what?? /end bunny tangent. 

Sonic chases Robotnick but finds out that his own attacks hurt him???? And he runs out of energy? And will die here? So they de-power him immediately. Unless he gets IRL Emeralds which are "inside of ordinary rocks" so you just have to break boulders or stones you find on the ground until a gemstone comes out. Also the rocks with emeralds in them are only on the only continent on earth "USAmerica" because other countries don't exist and or matter. Ever. They're also all in the same town! Wow! What are the odds????

Josh blames a burglar for ruining the house, his mom & dad freak out, the mom blames the dad for leaving Josh home alone, Sonic harasses* a woman & now the cops are after a 'blue burglar' and Josh has made his dad's life worse, and broken his whole house because he is stupid. They have to team up in secret to stop Robotnick or everyone will get arrested. 

Notice how we now have like 500 details about this stupid kid, his stupid family, and Sonic is weak and crappy already. How much of these words are ABOUT SONIC? Hardly any so far. You know all these details about IRL, Josh, his parents, his house, magic computers, cops, and maybe magic boulders.

Robotnick gets away, and sets up shop in an abandoned amusement park. He partially (or fully?) robotosizes the bullies from school, lures other kids there with free ice cream and rides and hires the dad, Hal, for his amazing computer systems. No parent ever questions a free amusement park with free food for kids and lets their kids go there unsupervised all the time yay. 

Of course, starving Hal needs a good regular job so he brings Josh (and stow-away Sonic) to the amusement park where it's revealed that Hal's magic computer can make robo-clones of the kids so that Robotnick can enslave them digging for Chaos Emeralds under the park while perfect robo-copies called "Kinderbots" go home with their parents and do everything the parents say as obedient slaves which everyone loves.

1. How are robots somehow WORSE at digging than literal children? Do you want a surly 12 year old with a shovel or a bulldozer? 
2. He can perfectly copy everyone's personality after 1 ride? None of this makes any sense. 

His plan is to steal all the wonders of the world (natural wonders) and digitize them into the game, then charge people to see them because........Everybody knows.....Robotnick's main goal was always to get rich? What???
Sonic & Josh get under the amusement park, are chased by Bullybots (The robotocized kids) and big surprise, Josh gets Sonic-Powers from an Emerald! We can't have SONIC save the day, it has to be JOSH because HE IS BETTER for wider audiences!

So it doesn't work, Sonic uses up all his 'energy' and gets thrown into a dungeon to save Josh who goes to his dad, who blames him for the panic at the park caused by the Bullybots, hands him off to his mom to whom he confesses that Robotnick is going to 'steal the wonders of the world' because he plugged a magic computer into a video game system. She then calls a shrink to try and have him institutionalized because he is stupid and crazy and trying to ruin his dad's chance at a steady job. 
Little kids:
They actually do not have the mental capacity to think hard enough about what other humans may be thinking. He is literally of an age to be too moronic to figure out that his mom would in no way ever believe all this nonsense and he goes to her without proof. It's realistic & in-character that he's stupid enough to do this. An actual point of realism? Wow. 

Now, there are 2 pages missing. 6 and 7 so this is taken from the Kotaku Article in which a person did a summary without criticism or commentary that IS verified accurate...mostly

"In the third act, Josh hatches a plan to get Robotnik back into the game world, inspired by Sonic’s speech about standing up for what you believe in. As Jeffries describes it, “the plan was Sonic was going to be the bait, and they were going to lure the boss back into the game world. But what happens is they do that, but the kids (This isn't accurate, it's Josh and his parents) get sucked into the game world for act three of the story.”

There’s a showdown between Sonic, Josh and Robotnik – with the good guys winning and Robotnik getting away to no doubt come up with a new plan to take over the world. The treatment reads, “Hal, Lisa and Josh step through the vortex. But there’s a sad moment when Sonic decides he must stay behind in the game world. He has to be vigilant against Doctor Robotnik and his nefarious ways. After all, that’s his job.”

The adventure brings Josh, Hal and Lisa closer together, but Hal decides that the XRI is too dangerous to ever use again and asks Josh to put it away for safe keeping. “Josh promises [not to use it again]… but notices on a TV screen nearby: Sonic winks at him, then goes about his gameplay business.” 

The treatment says that Hal & Lisa 'rediscovered each other' and are 'closer than ever' by going into a video game world and surviving it. So she'll go back to being Hal's slave? With the XRI Magic Computer shelved 'for safekeeping' and no more Robotnick Park Job, Hal is back to square one and will continue to freeload off of Lisa and she will return to being enslaved, but be happy about it this time. Happily ever after!

So no matter how salty the people got, it's good they canned the damn thing.
Hal wouldn't have learned a lesson that 'its ok to learn how to contribute to household chores' by being trapped in Green Hill Zone. The obvious "Sequel-Wink" at the end after Hal was dumb enough to give the magic computer to Josh. Notice also how the whole thing starts and ends without Sonic around and the only emotional investment anybody had was with Josh and the fam. Sonic spent part of the movie de-powered, in a dungeon, hiding in a trunk, powering up a kid, and at the end the fight was a 3-way battle with Josh, Sonic vs Robotnick. He destroyed the kids' house, harass a woman, knocked down part of a theme park...and he's the hero? He's a plot device, at the best.

Missing pages:
These likely addressed the kinderbots and the bullybots being stopped somehow but Kotaku missed that bit. Why they had these 'bots' is because it's easy and cheap to put cardboard and plastic over child actors and have them run around pretending. Actual badnicks are hard to make. Kinderbots are just the actors acting 'robotically' because that's even cheaper. 

Bottom Line:
Throw this thing in the bin with Mortal Kombat movie. It would have come out during the Saturn doldrums where things were starting to fall apart. It would have looked like trash with the era's tech capabilities, and it wouldn't have done well with Sonic fans because it didn't have enough Sonic. 
This will update if the last 2 pages get published.

*Don't want the cannon near it:
This is actually really common enough to be a meme even because story writers don't take it into consideration and now we have "Don't ask those silly yellow Minions where they were in 1943!"
or
"Since there's the CARS Popemobile, that means there was Car-Jesus so how did the other cars nail him to the cross? Also don't ask why the Wizarding World somehow didn't do anything about Hitler, Nanking or Pol Pot or Leopold 2 (Don't know that last guy? Don't look him up before lunch hmm.) Don't ask Who Are The Men Behind The Sun anywhere near kids media. Basically authors need to be smart enough to address this or it rips open giant plot holes in everything. And it's not like it's hard to address either.....1 or 2 sentences would even do it in most instances.

*HAL was the name of the amoral computer in Space Odyssey the classic scifi movie. Having anyone in computers/tech named Hal is so trite and stale.

*Harasses- It's written as 'tries to impress a girl' but she starts screaming sooooooo....what was he doing? Why would he try to impress a girl and let Robotnick get away? Makes no sense.

*A slave: If you work all day, hand over all the money you made to someone else, clean up messes of other people, cook for other people, and run their lives/schedules for them, transport them where they need to go, all without compensation that is a slave.

*Bechdel test: an extremely low bar for quality set for books and movies: this one you should look up! It's lots of fun. Play the Bechdel pass/fail with your memory & your friends. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Sonic Mugs - Reorganizing Update

 An update all about mugs?
Actually yes. Housewares / Sonic home decor was getting to be 'more mugs than other things' in a lot of the pages, so it was time to reorganize Gear. It was the same way with Socks where they were just taking over the 'accessories' pages category so they had to be split off.
Why not have them originally that way?
Because when the site was new in the 90s, there wasn't that much of each thing to warrant such specific categories right away. 
Why only mugs this week?
Because there was something like 5 new ones all at once, and to reorganize take a TON of time and is very labor intensive to do. So all the time allotted to the update (and more...) gets used up in having to re sort and re organize the regular Housewares pages (yes all 18 of them) to fit nicely and look good with no mugs at all. (So, copying all mugs and descriptions on to the 4 new mug based pages created) 

I think it was Housewares 12 or 13 or something that's now empty (whoops)
So, it will get filled in with new stuff as it gets found. The mugs area also needs a title card which I did not do yet/so probably next week. While it has a lot of hard work to set up something like a whole new category, it ends up making things easier in the future so it's fine and worth it to do.

Next week's update:
It'll have housewares for sure, to try and fill in the gaps on the pages that had too many mugs. Kohls is also keeping on going with more stuff, so probably that too, as well as some new fakery that's getting into Amazon. (Is Amazon lazy? Is Sega lazy? Who ought to be stopping these obvious ripoffs?)

What else is out?
Well, Jakks let out the EOmega action figure but as usual they're spotty for actually being able to find it. Then Japan has something "Rockin'-Sonic" or something like that...not sure what that's about but there is promo stuff. It seems like with 'DJ Sonic' or whatever they had last year and now this...they seem to be feeling around on his branding a little bit. Not real sure why or if any of it was a success or a not. 

Better deals at 5 Below!
5 Below, a discount retailer in the USA (it has been adding more stores to more states) has started carrying the JP small line figures but WITH accessories from the larger 5 inch line......for 5 dollars! So, this is way better than Target small line where it's 5 and comes with nothing. These will be posted about on the upcoming week too. Hopefully this catches on because it's a much better deal. Also 5B doesn't seem to run out of everything right away like Target does. It's really a good surprise to find this. (Shadow, Classic Sonic, Modern Tails, modern Knuckles)

Update regularity:
With this one and the last one more on time, hopefully update regularity is back on track also.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

So Much Stuff: Nearly Christmas Update

A holiday update where it is time to complain and explain?
Skip the start to get to the site news faster. 

Aaaas you can see, the timely updates didn't stay that timely.
Hopefully maybe that stays fixed now that the holidays are kind of right around the corner. With the 'boom ban' seriously far behind now, it also suffered from some overwhelm where there's just like..floods of stuff coming in, tons of emails that just like...point to a site but then it has like 20 things on it and then "oh heres this item" and then.........it doesn't say where it's from so I have no idea where to put it and it starts the back-and-forth with whoever sent it and drags out everything even longer. Stuff gets lost in the image bins because it's under heaps of everything that came in faster and there's no time to put it all up. 

*You DO have to go and grab images off of sites like...right as soon as you learn about them because too often stuff gets taken down/just disappears so using the time to go grab it all has to be done asap/supersede actually doing the site or it'll just get lost. (A TON of Australia stuff was lost that way) What's worse is those sites where the image has like some kind of stupid 'zoomer' on it that activates when you hover the mouse so you can't click n' save the image you have to prnt scrn then paste, then flatten, then crop, then resize, then save for web/save. Faaabulous process. 

To help with all this, it's 'tee time'.
With companies like Jumping Beans jumping in, as well as Bio World reactivating tees are never in short supply, so for the holidays (at least the start) a whole extra update worth is JUST tees to help clear them out and get them posted while they're still relevant. 
If home decor continues on the trend, I'll end up doing it again with that. I'm trying to wrestle the site back into good condition/update as well as not be terrible. 

Site Email:
It's not kept up with well enough either so if you sent something...it'll get done but the email is also super behind on responding and doing. I also aim to fix that and then clear out the oldest stuff from like months ago that keeps getting buried under like (somehow) 4 new pajama sets every week. 

Item of the Week:
E 123Omega Figure
Gotta be this one! Sure the apron is a 'first thing', but actually getting a good looking figure for another game character beats almost anything. He's an odd choice for them to select after having done Amy because Rouge is arguably more popular than he is, but also Rouge is a girl and "Girls are bad" is what action figure makers always say while somehow never discovering that that is total lies. So then what about Espio or Vector or somebody? They're probably about equal to E Omega, or maybe a little more-so. (Blaze is more popular too but again...girl) I still don't see how in 2021 the 'girls curse' is still a real thing AT ALL.
E Omega is going to be a must-have. Expect him to be hard to get on store shelves and expect the scalpers to come out of the woodwork like clockwork on this guy. Absolutely grab if you see material here. Looks good, first time character, reasonable price...he's got it all. 

Next week:
More than usual of stuff will appear to continue to help try and clear it out

Sonic Movie 2 Ugly Gremlins Boogaloo
There I said it.
Seen the trailer and read a few things that give it a little bit of hope* that it's not "Generic white guy and Sonic is his sidekick vs. Jim Carrey as the Mask but with a mustache instead of greenface". Now that they're adding Tails and Knuckles they're exposing their lazyness which is "Add generic ugly prickly hair to EVERY PART OF EVERY CHARACTER because THAT IS REALISTIC" and then like...no it's not? What are those things on Knuckles' head? They're supposed to be Echidna Quills because that's what he uhhhhhhhhhh is.......yet they're hair covered flesh tentacles because they are lazy. Tails is the same texture as Sonic as Knuckles too. Like? Different animals have different fur?
Idris Elba VA: 
A choice too good for its seat, I think. How they netted that professional guy I will never know. No matter what he's gonna say, it's gonna sound good because that is the nature of that actor. 

What needs to not happen:
Everything doesn't need another stupid "boom ban but this time its movie" where either modern/classic is DISALLOWED from existing or all the merchandise turns to movie-gremlin-crap with their ugly designs and generic no-effort merch. The movie needs to stay isolated to its own whacko self and stop/don't influence normal Sonic things or limit the merchandise/fandom like Boom did.

*Hope- Stuff like they're minimizing the humans/Earth bs more and that actual Sonic characters can appear in the Sonic movie. Now if only they'd think about the designs more. I might yell about this on a later post.