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    Neo•Geo X Supports 4:3 Aspect Ratio

    One of my big concerns about the upcoming Neo•Geo X handheld is that previews had shown games running in a stretched 16:9 aspect ratio rather than the Neo’s native 4:3. According to Gamespot’s video (above) the aspect ratio can be toggled between letterbox and widescreen with a button. Phew!

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    This Is What Neo•Geo X Games Look Like

    That’s what they look like in Photoshop anyway. Customers who pre-order the Neo•Geo X handheld will get a cart containing Ninja Masters. Presumably more games will come out on these SD cards. The official site says that the cards use special formatting, so it might be tough to get your own ROMs to play on the handheld. I’m still on the fence about this one. Future support still seems iffy and the $200 price tag could just go towards a ROM box, which is basically what the Neo X is anyway.

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    Voltes V Proto from Rotobox

    Crap, Rotobox, stop making me want to buy things. The masters of customs continue their machinder tribute series with the Voltes V. The above is the prototype along with a colored mock-up. This one won’t be a one-off so you do have a chance of getting your own 9.5” Roto machinder.

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  • 10/20/12--16:34: Tonight’s Onell Drop
  • Tonight - October 20th 2012 - at 9:30 PM EDT, Onell will be dropping a new round of Glyos figures, including the following: • Armorvor Neo Nebula (Light Purple/Dark Purple with green visor /grey furry head with painted eyes) - $8.00 • Armorvor Verexxan (Grey/Dark Grey with red visor /yellow furry head with painted eyes) [...]

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    A few new preorders of note listed in the last day or so over at ‘Best of’ Minimates Wave 02 Knight Rider – 8″ David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight Alice – Madness Returns- Royal Guard Batman – Killing Joke – ArtFX Statue Mass Effect – Commander Shepard – ArtFX 1/6 [...]

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  • 10/20/12--18:11: Kyudo

  • Filming for Culture Japan at Yashio High School to cover their Kyudo (Japanese archery) after school activities.
    One of the things I admire about Japanese students is the way they spend time after school hours. Many of them practice the Bukatsu [部活] (after school activities) and then some of them head off to Juku [塾] (cram school) and/or go to Arubaito [アルバイト] (part time job) after.

    When I was a student back in the UK I had various part time jobs (mainly restaurant work) and thoroughly recommend all students to gain life experience through work outside of studies. One may think they are too busy with studies to have a part time job but that's the point - learning how to tackle a busy schedule while trying to make some moolah at the same time. Its best to get this experience while young rather than later on in life.

    Studying while trying to make money on the side will teach you how difficult it can me to make a living when you leave school - its not easy! But with your learnings, you will already be a step ahead of your peers and armed with the experience, you should easily be able to deal with the ups n downs of making a living in society.
    Relying on somebody for steady income maybe the easy way out now but it will be tough in the future. The only person you should rely on for money is yourself.

    But as for after school activities - we didn't have them back in the UK and most students just went home to watch TV or go to the arcades to play games like Sidearms - but for me it was more like "watch other people play Sidearms" as the bullies would always take any money I had.

    Kyudo [弓道] is the Japanese art of archery and is literally translated as "the way of the bow." Kyudo is one of the oldest forms of traditional Japanese martial art and is about spirit, purity and concentration.

    Yashio High has a fair share of boys n girls who take Kyudo activity. For the first few months, they practice the strides used to enter the Kyudo hall (dojo) and also use this item you see here to practice the poses needed to shoot the arrow and also strengthen their muscles.
    For this reason, many Kyudo students drop out of the activity as they don't get to shoot any arrows until they complete what may seem like mundane training.

    After the many months of training however, students then get to shoot arrows. Here they line up at the back of the small dojo and take turns to shoot the targets.

    In the dojo there are two sensei and senior students helping the other students.

    The expression and actions of the students change when its their turn to shoot. They stride and position themselves on the shooting spot while continuing to look at their target. Their movements are slow and graceful. They usually carry two arrows as you can see this lady doing.
    The ladies wear a black Muneate [胸当て] which protects their oppai from being struck by the bowstring.

    Then its my turn ^^; Sensei helps me get geared up into my Kyudo-gi [弓道着].

    The black bottoms are called Hakama [袴]. I love the design especially the V-openings on the side.

    My Ninja attire also has a similar design with the V-openings on the side too.

    And now its time for footwear. Shoes are not allowed in the dojo and instead "Tabi" [足袋] is worn. It feels like a hard cloth shoe. Ninja footwear is also Tabi but the soles are made of rubber.

    The name of the school and student is embroidered into the sleeve and hakama. This form of embroidery is called Shishu [刺繍]. Today my name is Yamashita [山下] ^^;

    Folks who are interested in picking up their own Kyudo gear can get along to Hasegawa Kyuguten [長谷川弓具店]. Nearest station is Shirokane Takanawa [白金高輪]
    Address and phone number below.

    Rough cost below:-
    Top, hakama, belt and tabi :15,000 yen
    Kake (glove) : 23,000 yen
    Arrow : 15,000 yen
    Bow : 30,000 yen - 40,000 yen

    Next up is the glove - without it there would be a lot of severed fingers all over the place.

    The glove is called Kake [かけ] and is made of leather. I was given a brand new one which was really stiff.

    Sensei gives me a crash course in how to hold the arrow.

    Kake is the word for the glove but Mitsugake is used to describe a 3 fingered archery glove. Yotsugake would be a four fingered archery glove.

    Tsuru [弦] are bowstrings and these are spare ones wrapped up in a Tsurumaki [弦巻き].

    Kake are stored on these shelves. You can see which ones belong to the ladies as you can see the Muneate - the black breast plate.
    I really like the design of the muneate but only the ladies wear them - would be very odd for a bloke to use one ^^;

    A large percentage of students injure themselves when they shoot off their first arrow - either the arrow clips their cheek or the bow string slaps their face or arm. The medical boxes here are used when such injuries happen.

    Right, I'm all geared up and ready to receive some training. My sensei for the day is the lovely Mayumi-san who you can see here.

    First up, Mayumi-san shows us how its done. She peacefully takes 3 strides over to the shooting spot and positions herself in place. All her movements are graceful and even though there is chit chat going on in the background, you can feel a aura of silence and serenity surrounding her.

    Now we've seen how its done, its my turn. First I need a bow and some arrows. Bows are of different length depending on the height of the archer.

    Arrows come in different lengths and weights too depending on the style of shooting and distance to the target.

    Mayumi gives us a some chalk which makes it easier to handle the bow and arrow.

    Next up Mayumi gives us a crash course in holding the bow, loading the arrow, aiming and positioning myself into place at the shooting spot. The place where one stands to shoot arrows is called Sha-i [射位].

    Now its time to try it on my own. As with many things, it looks easy - until one tries it out for themselves ^^;

    No beginners luck this time round - the only time I managed to hit the target was when the arrow bounced off the grass and hit a different target ^^;

    When I was just about to fire off the arrow, I could feel my heart pumping and hear a piercing silence around me. Kyudo is also known as the Ritsuzen [立禅] or the "Standing Zen" which encompasses everything from the control of breathing, listening, sight and movement.

    Some guidelines on shooting. I really enjoyed Kyudo and would love to find time to learn it. There are not many schools which teach Kyudo as an after school activitiy due to the space that's needed to hold a dojo and shooting range. Many students choose Yashio High School because they have the Kyudo facilities.

    Going to have a look at some more of the students practicing.

    Whenever the arrow hits the target, all the students would shout "Sha!" together. Sha meaning "Shoot" [射].

    After a while the area around the targets become filled with arrows. The students would then shout "Onegaishimasu" which means its safe to go out and retrieve the arrows.

    The Kyudo activity went on until about 19:00 where many of the students then took off to the part time jobs that they had.

    Yashio High School has brought up a load of Kyudo students who have won many tournaments across Japan.

    Then its time to gather for the group photo.


    Sensei looks up some narration that we need for the show.

    Narration is read by our lovely Mayumi-san.

    Kyudo wear is folded up neat n tidy at the end of the day.

    The targets are removed and the earth mound is then flattened out for the next day - this is also the responsibility of the students. Students in Japan also clean and sweep the classrooms too which I think is a great way to teach responsibility and ownership.

    The targets take a rest until the next day ready to be shot at.

    Snap with Mayumi-san at the front of the dojo.

    Back in my days at high school there were no sporting activities at all but we did do some rounders in secondary school. I was also lousy at football - I would always be the last one that each team picked and had the pleasure of the other students constantly aiming the ball at my face to break my glasses - as you can see I had a "fun" time during my younger school days.

    Anyway, what sporting activities does/did your school offer? If they don't, do you do any sports in your own time?
    There is a poll embedded in this article.

    Playing around with the AR Drone at the end of the day. You can see what photos it took in this post.

    Thanks to the headmaster and everybody at Yashio High School - see you again soon!
    Other Japanese high school related coverage below with more to come.

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    Good morning! Today (it was last weekend), during the Games Panel at NYCC, Marvel Entertainment announced new characters and content for the mobile brawler Avengers Initiative and the hit Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance. See below for the full information announced! MARVEL unveils NEW CHARACTERS AND GAMEPLAY FOR HIT MOBILE AND FACEBOOK GAMES   ·      [...]

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    Urban Vinyl Daily has invited 19 talented artists to participate in their first ever UVD Custom Series 1. This 3” Dunny series will contain 100 blind boxes by artists who include: Jon Paul Kaiser, Carson Catlin, RSIN, Fuller Designs, OsirisOrion, Task One, Motorbot, Matt A*, Frank Mysterio, JFury, Cucaracha Borracha,...

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    Top Toys 2012

    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away … LEGO and Star Wars were married and the offspring since that moment has been wonderful. Before we take a look at some of the best LEGO Star Wars [...]

    Top Toys Blog - Top Toys Blog 2012 Best Toys 2012

    Related Top Toys Blog posts:
    1. Top Star Wars Toys for Christmas 2012
    2. Top Star Wars Action Figures 2011
    3. Star Wars Toys Commercial ’77
    4. Best LEGO Toys Christmas 2010
    5. Hobbit LEGO and Other Toys for Christmas 2012

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    Instinctoy is out to release their newest vinyl figure, the Halloween Inc. This Jack-O-Lantern version is set to release on October 28th and features one of the most iconic things you can relate to the spookiest time of year. This release features a drip effect black vinyl body and translucent...

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    Ion Tallman has put together an exclusive Designer Con release of his Tula-Dill figure and her little brother Thistle. Painted by Joey Versaw, this Dreamsickle Edition will be available at the Grenadine Supreme booth #311. These will be limited to only 5 pieces, with no word on the price, but...

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  • 10/20/12--21:49: REVIEW: Plushkies
  • Background The Plushkies are a line of country shaped plush toys that can be described as both collectible and educational. The purpose statement behind Plushkies is as follows: We believe that children who are curious about other countries benefit from a broadened perspective and an appreciation of global diversity. We also believe that the world [...]

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    outsmART Originals has just collaborated with Jon Paul Kaiser to release the all new "Warrior Panda” T-Shirt. This run will only be available for a limited time and will soon end on October 29th. Are you an ultimate JPK fan? This is just for you! Can’t get enough of looking...

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    Paul Kaiju is working once again with Toy Art Gallery to produce the only and more compact Luftkaiser. This 4” release will make its debut at Designer Con as a painted release on a GID vinyl. The Luftkaiser features articulated arms and a set of wings. Find these available at...

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    Top Toys 2012

    We are going to take a look at some of the Best Toys for 4 Year Old Girls. Whether you are buying for your own daughter or someone else, these ideas will help you find the perfect gift for [...]

    Top Toys Blog - Top Toys Blog 2012 Best Toys 2012

    Related Top Toys Blog posts:
    1. Best Toys for Christmas 2012 – Top Toy Reviews
    2. Best Toys 2012: Kmart Releases Fab 15 Christmas List
    3. Top Toys 2010 According to Toys R Us – Pillow Pets Make the List
    4. Best New Toys and Trends for Christmas 2012
    5. Top Learning Toys for 3 to 9 Year Old Boys and Girls

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    Dengeki Festival 2012: Sega-Prize screenshot

    No real surprises from Sega-Prize at Dengeki Festival, much of what was shown is due within the next month or so, but it's hard to complain about getting new looks at some great upcoming figures! More than anything shown there I'm just glad to see new figures for Ben-To! It was a great series that was easily overlooked a few seasons ago. This was our first finished look at the pair of Sen "The Ice Witch" Yarizui and "Beauty by the Lake" Ayame Shaga in Christmas outfits. They'll be out sometime in November. They're shown alongside the recently released figure of Sen laying in her school uniform which is apparently cast-offable to reveal a one-piece swimsuit underneath.

    Of course you can't have Sega-Prize without Evangelion. Evangelion Racing Rei Ayanami made an appearance in her race queen outfit. It's a pretty straight forward figure and I'm sure we aren't too far from seeing a similarly fashioned Asuka. Sega also has a new Versus entry featuring Awakened Unit-01 facing off against the Angel Zeruel. The two will be sold separately, but should be able to be connected by the base.

    Sega-Prize didn't have their upcoming Asuna figure from Sword Art Online on display even though it comes out in December. Too bad, it's looking like it could be one of their best figures ever, but only a poster for it was shown (prototype can be seen here). They did bring back their Accel World Kuroyukihime figure in the black dress holding a butterfly mask. She'll be out in December as well.

    Sega takes us up-close with the soon to be released Nichijou duo of Mio and Yuuko pulling off one of their typical classroom gags. Both come with several props and seem to also have an extra facial expression. They'll be out in November. A set of phone charms from Working'!! were shown depicting part of the female cast as little flower people. These come directly from the opening song Coolish Walk. At first it was thought that these would be trading figures, but here we're seeing them for the first time hanging from bead chain. I don't have a release date on these, but I'm guessing by November. The girls from Sega's arcade mecha battle game Boarder Break are getting the figure treatment in the form of super deformed mini figures. Fiona (with the yellow hair) has been popular enough to receive a trading figure from Takara Tomy in the past and has figures from Orchid Seed and Wing coming next year, but this will be the first time for Burechan, Dabuchan, and Kurachan. They're due out now. Meanwhile Another's Mei Misaki is back again, she's been a popular figure and a very fast seller. If you can find one she should be showing up now. Finally we have Kuroneko from Oreimo appearing in a white top and skirt while holding a straw hat behind her, she'll be out in November.

    That's it from Sega-Prize! Check out the gallery for part of the line-up of figures coming out by the end of the year.

    [via Akiba Hobby]

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    'The Killing Joke' Joker pre-orders may be lethal screenshot

    It only takes one bad day to convince the sanest of men to order a statue depicting a stark raving lunatic... or something like that. Either way, Kotobukiya's ArtFX The Killing Joke Joker statue is currently available for pre-order if you're sane (or mad) enough to want it.

    Recently seen at NYCC (and before that at SDCC), TKJ Joker is based on the cover art from The Killing Joke, which is arguably one of the greatest graphic novels of all time and quite possibly the finest Joker story. And while I may have marveled (or DC Comic'd?) at the prototype of the statue, the painted version seen at NYCC was even more impressive. This 11-inch statue features the Joker snapping photos with a midget in bondage gear between his legs. Does it get any creepier than that, folks? The statue even includes a LED lamp/spotlight which I can only assume makes the statue look cool as hell in a dark room. And creepy, definitely creepy.

    Bat-fans out there can pre-order this statue for US$130. Those that do are encouraged to remember, in the words of R.D. Laing, that insanity is a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.

    [ Pre-order at Big Bad Toy Store ]

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  • 10/21/12--00:03: Ron English Temper Tot
  • Ron English has transformed yet another one of his infamous paintings into a Vinyl art toy! Introducing the Tempter Tot, the baby who had one heck of a hissy fit. This figure stands 8” tall and will soon be found at your favorite toy retailers. Expect a retail price of...

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