Thursday, July 19, 2018

Far Cry 5 - Lost On Mars review: "For goodness sakes don’t buy this"


I can imagine a meeting in which a group of Ubisoft suits got together and meticulously went through all the reviews of all the previous Far Cry games, and created a chart that featured the aspects of said games that were most frequently complained about. Then the boss suit said, “We must make a game that uniquely focuses on these features! But much, much less funny than ever before!” That’s how I see things having gone down.

Many of the newly-revealed NECA toys are available for preorder

Golden Girls, Karate Kid, etc.  My post about the SDCC toy reveals has also been substantially updated.

"A paid influencer who surged to the top of Marvel Strike Force’s leaderboards with a roster of maxed-out characters will have his account erased"

"This follows a week in which the influencer’s unrealistic progress and previously undisclosed relationship with developer FoxNext angered the playing and paying community."

Art roundup

"America's most popular doll is being counterfeited. L.A. toymaker MGA wants to know who's doing it"


The counterfeiters leverage the fact that customs officers don’t have the capacity to stop every shipment entering a U.S. port of entry.

“If we stop every single container, the economy would collapse tomorrow,” said customs spokesman Jaime Ruiz.

To get customs officers to check a specific container suspected of containing counterfeits, companies typically must hire private investigators to ferret out the tracking number.

“It’s very difficult for the company to successfully get that information unless they can really infiltrate into the counterfeiting chain, which is really hard to do,” said Daniel Chow, an Ohio State University professor who has testified before the U.S. International Trade Commission about Chinese intellectual-property infringements.


In March, a private investigator hired by MGA went to TomTop’s Industry office, and while there, took photographs of a TomTop employee seated next to an L.O.L. Surprise! box. MGA hoped this would be enough to prove that TomTop had counterfeit L.O.L. Surprise! dolls at its Industry warehouse.

The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Collector Edition includes a zombie mystery box with "an eerie skeleton exterior and frightening sounds and lighting"

Available for preorder:

The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Mystery Box Edition comes loaded with a plethora of collectible items - including a collectible Mystery Box, 4 Exclusive Zombies Figpins, an Exclusive Zombies Puzzle, Darkhorse Zombies Comic with Exclusive cover, 3 Zombies lithographs, a Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Pop Socket, collectible Steelbook, 10 physical Specialist Icon patches, and additional digital content for the ultimate Black Ops fan. Pre-Order now while supplies last.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Mystery Box Edition Includes:

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4 GAME - Black Ops is back! Featuring gritty, grounded Multiplayer combat, the biggest Zombies offering ever with three full undead adventures at Launch, and Blackout, where the universe of Black Ops comes to life in a massive battle royale experience.

COLLECTIBLE ZOMBIES MYSTERY BOX – Inspired by the in-game Zombies Mystery Box, this collectible box features an eerie skeleton exterior and frightening sounds and lighting.

ZOMBIES HEROES FIGPINS - Get the exclusive set of our new Zombies Heroes featuring Scarlett Rhodes, Bruno Delacroix, Diego Necalli, and Stanton Shaw from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies.

10th ANNIVERSARY ZOMBIES PUZZLE – This 1,000 piece puzzle features unique art celebrating 10 years of Treyarch Zombies history.

DARK HORSE ZOMBIES COMIC ISSUE #1 – This first issue of the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies Dark Horse Comic comes with an exclusive cover only for the Mystery Box Edition. The comic series will unveil details about our Zombies Heroes’ backstories.

ZOMBIES LITHOGRAPHS – These three collectible lithographs commemorate Voyage of Despair, IX, and Blood of the Dead, three Zombies Experiences in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

POP SOCKET – With its intimidating skull logo, this limited edition Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Pop Socket is the perfect way to show off your Black Ops fandom.

COLLECTIBLE STEELBOOK - Limited edition steel game case featuring unique art.

LIMITED EDITION SPECIALIST ICON PATCHES - Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 reintroduces the fan-favorite Specialists, each with their own unique weapon, equipment, and icons. This set of collectible patches is inspired by each of the 10 Specialists’ in-game icons.

BLACK OPS PASS* - The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Black Ops Pass includes “Classified,” a bonus Zombies experience, available at Launch, 4 additional all-new Zombies experiences, 12 Multiplayer maps, and 4 exclusive Blackout characters.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The DC toys just revealed at SDCC are available for preorder

Figures, statues, etc. (I've substantially updated my post on the new toy reveals at SDCC.)

"To cash in on Kindle Unlimited, a cabal of authors gamed Amazon’s algorithm"


The fight over #Cockygate, as it was branded online, emerged from the strange universe of Amazon Kindle Unlimited, where authors collaborate and compete to game Amazon’s algorithm. Trademark trolling is just the beginning: There are private chat groups, ebook exploits, conspiracies to seed hyperspecific trends like “Navy SEALs” and “mountain men,” and even a controversial sweepstakes in which a popular self-published author offered his readers a chance to win diamonds from Tiffany’s if they reviewed his new book.


The top authors can drop $50,000 on a single ad campaign that will keep them in the charts


The per-page payment model was actually an attempt to crack down on a previous strategy of capitalizing on Kindle mechanics.


The romance authors Willink was discovering didn’t go in for clumsy stuffings of automatic translations or HTML cruft; rather, they stuffed their books with ghostwritten content or repackaged, previously published material. In the latter case, the author will bait readers with promises of fresh content, like a new novella, at the end of the book.

Every time a reader reads to the end of a 3,000-page book, the author earns almost 14 dollars. For titles that break into the top of the Kindle Unlimited charts, this trick can generate a fortune.

Of course, you might be wondering if any readers actually read through all 3000 pages. But authors deploy a host of tricks in service of gathering page reads — from big fonts and wide spacing to a “link back.” Some authors would place a link at the very front of the book, to sign up to a mailing list. The link would take them to the back of the book, thus counting all pages read. It’s not clear whether any of this actually works.

Golden Girls, Ace Ventura, Shape of Water, and Karate Kid figures by NECA

A post shared by Jeff Saylor (@figures_dot_com) on

SDCC toy reveals (to be updated)

This is only a small sampling of the new reveals--many, many more toys revealed at the links below.

Dark Horse.

Hot Wheels.

Marvel Legends.

Star Wars. More.


A post shared by Jeff Saylor (@figures_dot_com) on



Storm Collectibles.

A post shared by Brock Otterbacher (@brockotter) on

Mondo. More.

Jurassic Park.

DC Direct. More.


Doctor Aphra and droids.

Nacey - I Own It (the song from the new commercial for Nike and Dick's)

And another good recent Nike commercial by W+K, championing Chinese soccer:

Annihilation poster by Rory Kurtz and Mondo