Celebrating the 150 year history of FAO Schwarz

If most of my readers are like me, they grew up in an age where toy stores were their own cottage industry.  K-B Toys, Child World, Children’s Palace, and Circus World all took up residence in our young minds, and thanks to the popularity of the film Big, FAO Schwarz was another one of those toy retailers that left an indelible impression.

I still remember my first visit to an FAO Schwarz store…not the 5th Avenue one in New York City that is so recognized, but a store in Boston that was like a toy mecca for a kid like me growing up in rural Vermont.

Pronto.com has designed a great infographic of the great history FAO Schwarz and they passed the info along to me, so I’m sharing it with you.  It’s a really cool look at a great toy store, and our friend Joe makes an appearance.  Click the read the rest of the story link below for this cool image.

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G.I. Joe: Retaliation 2013 Calendar IN STOCK and on sale

We saw a sneak peek of this calendar several months ago, and I just got word from Calendars.com that it is now officially in stock!  Not only is it in stock, but it’s on sale for $7.49.

Featuring the familiar Roadblock, Cobra Commander, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow…errr…  Clutch… and…uh… Mouse!  Yes, that’s right, no Duke and no Flint, but we’ve got Clutch and Mouse.  Not to mention “Special Ops”.

Sarcastic humor aside, awesome to see some G.I. Joe: Retaliation material for sale, and you bet your ass I just bought mine.  It’s a 16 month calendar, so maybe there are some other characters that didn’t make the “back cover” cut.

Check it out here on Calendars.com!

G.I. Joe: Retaliation producer Di Bonaventura talks movie delay, 3D conversion

Slowly but surely we’re drifting closer to March, 2013, and every day we move closer, the promotional train will start revving up again. I think the more we see the name G.I. Joe: Retaliation in the public eye the better…we were getting some great word of mouth and some terrific response in the summer, and I can only hope these events kick back up again for the release in March.

For now, Collider has spoken with Lorenzo Di Bonventura, one of the producers for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and because Collider is awesome, they made sure to get some G.I. Joe questions in there.  The questions focused mainly on 3D conversion and the film’s delay.  When talking about the 3D conversion itself in relation to the delay, Di Bonventura said:

“We learned a lot about 3D—I personally learned a lot about 3D inTransformers. The conversion part of the 3D process is night and day, you know, every three, four months it’s better than it was before.  It’s amazing how fast that thing has changes.  And originally we didn’t really have the time or the resources to try to figure out how to shoot it in 3D in the time frame that we were originally talking about, you know, starting in August and releasing in June.  So this delay has allowed us to go at it now.”

…and he brings up a good point.  Many folks have forgotten that G.I. Joe: Retaliation was initially slated for a later release, but got pushed up to meet the spot for the vacated Star Trek sequel.  I can imagine that much compressed timeline meant that real time 3D wasn’t an option.  In talking about director Jon Chu’s experience with 3D:

“Jon [Chu] has some sequences that are really, there’s a phenomenal—for G.I. Joe fans it’s going to be one of the really great scenes for them, because there’s a fight between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow in a hallway that is so perfect for 3D I can’t tell you.  It’s going to be like one of the coolest fights ever in 3D, because there’s so much about it that’s dynamic.  That’s going to be really fun.  And you know people have seen bits and pieces of the Himalayan sort of rock climbing thing, it’s almost 3D without having turned into 3D, so I can’t wait to see that.  That one’s going to be like what the hell?”

Interesting.  All of the footage that we’ve seen so far involve some scenes from that hallway battle, and they certainly don’t seem like a showcase fight between the two, but thinking about 3D and those throwing stars flying around…that has the potential to be a very cool sequence.  Certainly when thinking about 3D, I usually think about a much broader expanse, but in that tight area, there are some pretty neat things that could be done.

Lastly, Do Bonaventura talks about the delay itself:

“When you’re planning yourself all towards one direction, you know, you definitely go, ‘Whoa, what the hell?’ But the second—here’s a sort of simple way for me to look at things: if the studio wants to spend money on making your movie better, let them… I find it hilarious when people fight that, you know? I’m like, ‘Great, you want to spend a lot of money and try to make our movie a bigger success? Okay! That sounds good.’ And Jon got that too. The first moment you’re sort of going, “Whoa! Uhhh, wait.’ Then you realize, ‘Oh okay, great, let’s do that.’”

Yeah, that’s a pretty good point, too.  Sure, it feels like a gut punch, but Paramount is investing some serious cash to push the film back and to invest some more money in 3D conversion and possibly some reshoots.  Obviously they have some faith that the end result will be worth it.

Check out the article at Collider right here, and big thanks to them for asking some G.I. Joe themed questions.  I think we’re all keeping the candle lit for another 4 months.  It’ll be here sooner than we think!

Thank you to all who have, and who continue to serve

Whether spending the actual Veterans Day remembering yesterday, or whether you’re taking a day today to think about the men and women who have served our country, the important thing is that you take a moment to remember folks who have given their time and their lives to defend our country and preserve our freedom.

Less than a week after an election that has elicited such an antagonistic response throughout the United States, hopefully any anger or conflict has been replaced, if temporarily, with remembrance for the most important part of that day.  The fact that we, as a democracy, are permitted to make our voices heard, no matter what that voice might say is a true credit to the men and women who have fought (and died) to give us that  voice.

To all those who serve and who has served…  a sincere thank you.