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    By now, the Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) animation studios are synonymous with the Transformers movies directed by Michael Bay. If you have ever wondered what it is like to work behind the scenes at ILM, a new article by the Philippine Daily Inquirer shares the insights of Gem Ronn Cadiz, a young Filipino animator at Lucasfilm Singapore who shares how he came to work on the Transformers Dark of the Moon and the current production Transformers 4 Age of Extinction. Read his insights on training and what it takes to animate the big bots.

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    LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. is the national prizing sponsor for the PBS Kids Writers Contest. The contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on and active learning. PBS stations throughout the U.S. will collaborate with schools, public libraries, and other community-based organizations to present the PBS Kids Writers Contest in local [...]

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    She's really real! Good Smile Company announced they'd acquired the Cardcaptor Sakura licence what seems like an eternity ago, and after promising a Nendoroid of lead character Sakura Kinomoto, went almost entirely silent. But now that Wonder Festival is opening its doors, Kahotan has tweeted out the first official picture of Sakura, while also confirming she'll take the prestigious spot as the 400th (!) Nendoroid in the line. We've only got this one picture for the moment, but look! Nendoroid sized Kero! Dear god let me give you all my money GSC.

    [via Kahotan's Twitter]

    Nendoroid #400 is Cardcaptor Sakura screenshot


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    WonFes has brought me yet another toy of my dreams! Kill la Kill's Ryuko Matoi is now confirmed to be coming as a figma, and in her awesome battle outfit none the less! Anything with Ryuko is amazing in my book, but I'm a big fan of Ryuko x Senketsu for my OTP, so I love seeing her in her fighting look.

    The Wonderful Hobby Life For You Twitter feed is where this image came from, so be prepared! You're going to be seeing a lot of amazing things coming soon, I can feel it! Of course we'll be bringing you more info on the figma as it comes to light!

    [ Update: Even more excitement!! Satsuki will also be receiving a figma with her in wearing Junketsu! Now you'll be able to have a full out showdown between her and Ryuko! This is unconfirmed so far, and was found on My Figure Collection. ]

    Kill la Kill's Ryuko figma confirmed! Satsuki as well? screenshot


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    Poe’s Pick of the Week > S.H.Figuarts Super Mario It’s the Super Mario figure you’ve always wanted. At $24.99, it’s one of the less expensive S.H.Figuarts figures, and there are two separate diorama accessory sets available as well. Click here to order! Rest of the new in-stock and pre-orders items after the jump! New Pre-orders […]

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    It was pretty obvious from the teasers that Good Smile Company posted the other day that Ryuko Matoi from the already beloved Kill la Kill would be getting a Nendoroid, but GSC has hit fans with an amazing surprise at Winter WonFes. Not only was Ryuko unveiled in her full, already painted glory, but we got to see a prototype of her best friend and greatest character of all time Mako Mankanshoku!

    Needless to say I think a lot of people are going to be extremely excited about this. Ryuko is cool and all but Mako is practically a living Nendoroid in the show anyway, and I'm super excited to see what sort of crazy accessories GSC comes up with for her. Look to be seeing a lot more of these two in the near future.

    [via Twitter

    Nendoroids Ryuko Matoi and Mako Mankanshoku announced screenshot


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    Your kids are your life. You are constantly doing everything in your power to keep them safe, especially when it comes to the car. When you go somewhere, you always have them buckled up according to guidelines and you drive extra cautiously. But, unfortunately, there are a lot more ways for kids to get hurt… [read more]

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    What I have wanted the most for the longest has been the upcoming Legacy Dragonzord. I was never able to get one as a kid and I refused to pay the nostalgia prices for one. With the announcement back at New York Comic Con, I was ready for it to be released already. With the Legacy Gold Morpher and Dragon Dagger already released, it will soon be time for me to finally have a Dragonzord.

    With release, albeit unknown, coming soon, Bandai UK is showing off what will be the Legacy Dragonzord. It's everything I saw at NYCC, but now displaying the fighting and Mega Dragonzord modes. What's noticeable, and new, to me is how the staff is done with the chest and tail. It's much larger thanks to the new tail, perhaps even a bit too big but I don't really have a problem with that.

    You can check out the images of the new in comparison with the original in the gallery below. It really shows how much 22 years means in terms of toy development. I just can't wait for it to be honest and I'm just waiting for the option to pre-order. Let me re-live my childhood already, Bandai!

    [Images via Bandai UK]

    Legacy Dragonzord closer to being reality with these pics screenshot


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    Pebbles’ line of plush toys is available for purchase in the U.S. for the first time since the brand launched. The line of handmade products are knitted and crocheted toys made for a safe and tactile experience for babies and young children. The products are now available in specialty and gift toy stores nationwide. The [...]

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    Happy New Year!  No, Steiffgal hasn't completely lost track of time! The world has just welcomed the "Year of The Horse," according to the Chinese calendar.  This equine event starts from Jan. 31, 2014 - the Lunar New Year - and lasts through Feb. 18, 2015.  For people born in 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, and 2002, the next 365 days are yours! (Everyone else click here to find out which animal corresponds to your birth year.)  

    According to Chinese tradition, people born in a horse year... "have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented, earthy but stubborn. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are popular among friends, active at work and refuse to be reconciled to failure, although their endeavor cannot last indefinitely."  

    In honor of this "mane" event, Steiffgal thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of Steiff's horses from the early 1950's through 1970's.  So saddle up and let' see what makes these pretty ponies so interesting from the design and product development perspectives. 

    Read more here:
    This fabulous filly is Steiff's 14 cm Fohlen or foal. She is standing, unjointed, and made from lovely tan velvet. She has a short tan mohair mane and tail. Foal's face is detailed with black and brown pupil eyes, a brown airbrushed nose and mouth, and sweet brown-grey felt ears.  This sweet baby horse was made in 14 and 28 cm from 1952 through 1961. The 28 cm size was the same pattern but produced in mohair.  

    It is no surprise that this early post-war horse has her design origins in the 1930's.  Her pattern has clear similarities to a foal pattern that Steiff introduced in 1932.  The original foal was produced in 22, 28, and 35 cm in wool plush through 1943.  This pattern is shown here on the left; the photo is from the 1892-1943 Sortiment Book by Gunther Pfeiffer. As soon as the factory reopened for business after the war, foal was produced in 28 cm in artificial silk plush in 1948, and then in wool plush in the same size from 1949 through 1951. 

    Let's rein in the discussion with this next Steiff pony.  Here we have the company's 12 cm Pony, who is standing, unjointed, and made from tan mohair which has been airbrushed with brown spots.  Her tail and mane are made from longer mohair, and her ears are made from felt.  Her face is detailed with brown and black pupil eyes and black airbrushing to indicate her nose, mouth, and other facial contours.   She is ready to hit the trail with her red saddle, halter, and reins.  Pony was produced in 12 and 17 cm from 1951 through 1976; the 12 cm version was also is made on blue wheels from 1954 though 1957 and then again in 1960.  

    Like foal, is quite possible that this design is also based on a pre-war design called Spielpferd, or play horse.  This early brown and white pony was produced in 18, 23, and 29 cm in artificial silk plush from 1938 through 1943 and also featured prominent red riding accessories. This pattern is shown here on the left; the photo is from the 1892-1943 Sortiment Book by Gunther Pfeiffer.

    This next generation Steiff horse is quite the barn burner!  And, as far as Steiffgal can tell, his design is original and not based on a legacy pattern. Here we have Steiff's 22 cm Shetland Pony named Sheddy. He is standing, unjointed, and made from white dralon which has been detailed with chocolate brown airbrushed highlights. He has a short tan mohair mane and tail. Sheddy's face is detailed with black and brown pupil eyes, a black airbrushed nose and mouth, and sweet felt lined ears.  Overall, he was produced in 22, 35, and 50 cm from 1960 through 1974.  Sheddy was so popular that he was also made as a 55 cm rocking pony from 1960 through 1969 and as a riding pony on wheels in 60 cm from 1960 through 1976. (And just in case you are wondering, the Steiff RCA Electrola Fox dog in Sheddy's photo is not taking a ride on him - he just happened to get caught in the photo in a silly sort of way!)

    There's no horsing around when it comes to Steiff's century-plus long relationship with the upscale toy retailer FAO Schwarz.   As a matter of fact, the two companies have been doing business together since around 1906, when FAO Schwarz began featuring Steiff's Teddy bears both in their window displays and sales shelves.  As part of that partnership, Steiff began regularly creating a series of exquisite special editions for FAO Schwarz from the 1950's onward.  This fully accessorized pony is a great example of one of these products.  Pony is standing, unjointed and attired for a full day of fun and play. According to the original FAO Schwarz catalog, she is described as, "... a handsome 8.5 inch steed covered in tan and white mohair plush with flowing white mane and tail. Complete with brindle, saddle, and saddle blanket. An FAO Schwarz exclusive. A toy to excite your child's imagination, to give fun-filled hours, and provide fond memories that happily can last a lifetime."  Pony was produced from 1963 through 1972.   
    Giddy-up and check out our final Steiff stallion under discussion today. Here we have the delightful and popular 25 cm Spielpferd Ferdy or Play Horse Ferdy. Ferdy is standing, unjointed, and made from lovely chocolate brown mohair. He has a long white mohair mane and tail. His face is detailed with black and brown pupil eyes, a black airbrushed nose and mouth, and sweet brown mohair ears. And like many members on his family tree, he is ready to ride with his red brindle and reins. This sweet treat was made in 18 and 25 cm from 1965 through 1978.
    Winston Churchill once said, "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle." Steiffgal hopes it is the same with you in regards to this review of vintage Steiff horses... and wishes everyone a very auspicious Chinese New Year!

    Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures? Let's talk! Click here to learn more.

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    Everyone’s favorite building block toys came to life when ‘The Lego Movie’ premiered on Feb.

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    With a week to go before Travelling Circus opens at Rotofugi, the previews are coming quicky. One that caught our eye is Chris Ryniak's new Golden Spicy Stinky Ginger sofubi produced by Tomenosuke + Circus Posterus. This one looks to be translucent orangish vinyl with gold glitter and several sprays....

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    Dear friend Simon Farnworth has set up an excellent doll community at Part of this fashion doll haven is the annual Fashion Doll Awards - this is their 3rd year running. As a member of that board (and thus having had a vote in selecting the nominees) it is my pleasure to inform you that the public vote for the awards is now open. You can go here to cast your vote; results will be announced on the 8th of March. Congratulations to all the nominees and may the best one win. Here are the nominees (click on the photos to see them bigger):

    1. Best Playline Fashion Doll

    Apple White 'Ever After High' by Mattel

    Barbie 'Birthday Wishes' by Mattel

    Lena 'Prettie Girls' by One World Doll Project

    Midge 'Life in The Dreamhouse' by Mattel

    Monster High Lagoona '13 Wishes' by Mattel

    2. Best Collectable Vinyl/Plastic Fashion Doll

    Emma 'Deja Vu' by Tonner Doll

    Poppy Parker 'Sweet in Switzerland' by Integrity Toys

    Elise Jolie 'Midnight Star' by Integrity Toys

    'Coach Barbie' by Barbie Collector

    Vanessa Perrin 'Out Sass' by Integrity Toys

    3. Best Resin/Porcelain/BJD Fashion Doll

    Gene Marshall 'Phoenix' JAMIEshow Dolls USA

    Natalie 'Holiday 2013' by JAMIEshow Dolls USA

    Sybarite 'Madame V' Superdoll Collectibles 

    Apple Nougat by DollChic 

    Cherub 'Inamorata' Emiliacouture

    4. Best Male Fashion Doll

    Alejandro 'Havana Nights' by JAMIEshow

    Jay Gatsby by Tonner Doll 

    Lukas Maverick 'Beauty' by Integrity Toys

    Ken 'Tailored Tuxedo' l by Barbie Collector

    Peeta 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' by Barbie Collector

    5. Best Celebrity Fashion Doll

    Peeta 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' by Barbie Collector 

    Jennifer Lopez 'Red Carpet' by Barbie Collector

    Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford 'Mommie Dearest' by Integrity Toys

    Katniss 'The Hunger Games- Catching Fire' by Barbie Collector

    Poppy Parker as Corie Bratter 'Barefoot in the Park' by Integrity Toys

    6. Best OOAK Fashion Doll Artist

    Emilia Nieminen of Emilia Couture

    Peewee Parker

    Mario Paglino & Gianni Grossi of Magia2000

    Nik Moronese & Marie Lebreton of ninimomo

    Noel Cruz

    7. Best Fashion Doll Accessory 

    Headspinner by Superdoll_Collectibles

    Jem 'Stage Essentials by Integrity Toys

    Silkstone Dress Form by Barbie Collector

    Urban Vita Environment Show Case by Horsman Ltd

    'Winter Weekend' Barbie Fashion by Barbie Collector

    8. Best Fashion Doll Designer/Manufacturer

    Charles Fegen & Desmond Lingard for Superdoll_Collectibles

    David Buttry for Integrity Toys

    Paul Pham for Dollcis

    Robert Best for Barbie Collector

    Robert Tonner for Tonner Doll

    9. Best Online Fashion Doll Retailer

    Angelic Dreamz

    Barbie Collector

    Fabric & Friends

    Marl & B 

    My Favorite Doll 

    10. The 2014 Fashion Doll Innovations Award: Best Make-Up

    Fashion Royalty by Integrity Toys

    JAMIEshow by JAMIEshow Doll USA

    Numina by Dollcis 

    Poppy Parker by Integrity Toys

    The sYbarites by Superdoll_Collectables

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    [at Fox Business] - After a horrible Monday, the market rebounded and more than made back its early losses. Unfortunately, the comeback feels too far, too fast.

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