In his relentless quest to make everything Star Wars, George and Lucasfilm has teamed with Disney to create Star Wars Big Figs. In a Limited Edition of 600 each, they come in Mickey as Anakin Skywalker, Minnie as Queen Amidala, Goofy as Jar Jar Binks, and Donald as Darth Maul. Each are numbered and will be available this fall at Disney World and Disneyland, although if you just can’t wait, you can pre-order and pay extra for shipping. You really must be a collector as each retails for $200.00, not a small price to pay for the mice, duck, and dog.
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How could we not pay homage to our newest and favest bot? Wall-E debuted today and although we couldn’t make the premiere, we did notice that there are already a truckload of toys and other tie-ins, like this Interaction Wall-E. The little guy’s eyes light up, he moves his head and arms, and has the original movie voice and sound effects. If that isn’t enough, when you talk to him, he responds and, if you are too busy, can communicate with Interaction Eve. At a size of 6.5 x 10.5 x 8.5-inches and a weight of 2.1 pounds, we found one on Amazon for $43.99.
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It’s been a while since we have been to a Disney Park and notice that technology has come a long way. Their Toy Story Midway Mania is a 3-D gaming experience that was created with help from the Pixar folks. The attraction includes an animatronic Mr. Potato Head barker and a swiveling ride that takes you past a series of virtual games. Each of the five is based on a different Toy Story character. While you can’t actually win anything, virtual prizes are awarded. A central PC-based gaming control is run by a computer farm that consist of about 150 computers, including one Windows XP PC from HP for each of the 56 game screens.
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Francisco Guerra, a special effects whiz with the company Snowmasters, has come up with a fine alternative to ugly billboards. His idea, named Flogos, are foamy clouds that can be as large as four feet across and shaped like logos. He does this with a machine that creates and slices them, similar to the Fun Factory used for Play-doh. Because they are made of tiny air-filled bubbles combined with helium, they are also good for the environment. One Flogo can go as far as 30 miles and as high as 20,000 feet, in as little as 15 seconds. The Flogo Machine has already caught the attention of Disney, who will be using one at Florida’s Walt Disney World next month to send Mickey Heads over the park.
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Although the movie won’t be out until June 27, Disney is already promoting it with two toys. The Ultimate WALL-E has 10 motors, a programmable remote with touch programming, and sensors to detect obstacles and sound direction. It is also MP3 compatible with built-in speakers, USB cables, and rechargeable batteries (included.) The robot will be at ToysRUs and Disney Shopping this fall for $189.99.
The iDance WALL-E, with animated eyes, talks and dances. The audio in-jack makes it compatible with iPods or MP3 players. Sound activated, it will be at various retailers this summer for $24.99.
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If you already own an Mplayer, then you might want to get it a friend. The A-DATA Theme Series T703 Mickey Flash Drive is USB 1.1 or 2.0 compatible for Vista, XP/2000/ME, Linux 2.4 or later, and Mac OS 9 or later. With the mini-weight of 20g, feed the Disney authorized gadget’s ear with your SD card, add a photo to its mini-frame, and attach to your cell phone or backpack. Choose from red, white, or purple for the Minnie-mouse price of $33.00 for 2GB or $49.00 for 4GB.
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Remember the iriver Mplayers? In addition to their current players, older Disney fans will appreciate that they are back this week debuting in 7 new styles, three of them in camouflage, and four in Swarovski crystal for the fancy few. Like the original, the mini-players hold 1GB (about 240 tunes) and have a playback time of about 9 hours. Prices for the new line are 13,800 ($138.00) and 14,800 Yen (~$148.00) respectively. iRiver is also offering a 1.1W mini-speaker to go with your new musical toy for 2680 Yen (~$27.00.)
Disney is apparently toying with the idea of a Magic Connection System in its parks. With a Nintendo DS, users can click individual areas and rides and find the waiting time. Check out restaurants by reading their menus. While this is still at the rumor stage, it is reported that people are indeed trying the program out. We think it is a fine idea since we tend to get navigationally challenged at large amusement parks. We would even welcome the idea of adapting the idea at a mall during the holidays, so that we can find out ahead of time if the latest hot Elmo toy is sold out before we get there.
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Okay, the game is Hannah Montana. But subtitled “Music Jam,” this game looks like a portable Rock Band including recording capabilities, four different instruments, wireless multiplayer and some really cool gameplay. There’s really no reason to be ashamed if you end up excited about this game. Except, you know, the teeny bopper license and the fact that any guy over 13 who buys this will get a lot of really suspicious looks from game store clerks.
Still, the guy demoing the game in the video is not a wuss and would totally beat you up, so if he’s comfortable playing it, you should be too.
Or, you could hold out and hope that Disney Interactive wisely re-brands this down the road with something a little less emasculating or at the very least a little less “middle school.”
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It always seems a bit silly to declare a “winner” of E3. It’s just so juvenile. This is a complex industry that can’t be distilled down to the simple question of “who beat whom.”
But we just can’t help it, can we?
Comparing the three keynotes this year, however, really is a grab-bag of possible outcomes. All three offered something interesting, and picking a single “winner” this year more than ever depends how you define “winning.”
My rundown is after the break.