Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: February 2016 (Page 1 of 6)

PopCult at Toy Fair: Hot Wheels

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Img_5950PopCult brings you a musical look at several of Mattel’s new offerings coming up in their Hot Wheels line. Along the way we interrupt the music for some cool demos of their action playsets and show you what you can expect later this year from the world’s leading toy car manufacturer.

One particularly cool new idea is Mattel’s green initiative, where they encourage kids to use the packaging that their playsets come in to build ramps and buildings to create cool dioramas.

Check out the photo essay below for close-ups of the new Hot Wheels.

The Hot Wheels section of the Mattel Showroom

The Hot Wheels section of the Mattel Showroom

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PopCult at Toy Fair: Mattel’s Thingmaker 3-D Printer

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Img_6128Possibly the most impressive thing we saw at Toy Fair, Mattel re-introduced their classic toy, The Thingmaker, as an inexpensive 3-D printer. Check out the above photos and the accompanying photo essay below.

Set to retail for under three hundred dollars, The Thingmaker will come with two different colors of spooled plastic, and will work with a free app (available now) that will allow kids to design and make their own toys.

We were given some samples of what this printer can create, and we were blown away. Thingmaker can create action figures that snap together with ball-and-socket joints, plus all kinds of other cool toys and jewelry.

An added nostalgic treat was seeing the Thingmaker name brought back after all these years. We remember the days of our childhood when we stank up the house cooking Plasti-Goop in little metal molds to make little rubbery toys.

As the year progresses, Mattel plans to add branded content to the app, so that kids can make their own Hot Wheels, Barbie or Monster High toys. This could be a real game-changer for the toy industry.

I can easily see this being the hottest toy of this year’s Christmas season. Thingmaker is due out in August.

These are examples of what kids can make with the new Thingmaker

These are examples of what kids can make with the new Thingmaker

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Monday Morning Art: Leap Circuit

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In honor of Leap Day, our art this week is a digital abstract painting called “Leap Circuit.” It is dedicated to bandleader Jimmy Dorsey, who, if he were still alive, would be celebrating his 28th birthday today. Click to enlarge.

Check back here at PopCult all day long for more of our 2016 Toy Fair coverage. All day today we’ll be looking at what’s coming up from Mattel.

PopCult at Toy Fair: Greenlight Collectibles

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24804186101_b52c027059_bGreenlight Collectibles makes some of the coolest die-cast cars on the market. Greenlight’s Jeff Nelson tells PopCult all about their new line of collectible die-cast cars based on The Walking Dead and also shows off their other cool collectibles based on classic TV shows and movies like Charlie’s Angels, Bullit, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Breaking Bad, Supernatural, and Lost.

You can find Greenlight Collectibles at most major retailers and learn more about their upcoming products at their website.

PopCult at Toy Fair: Lionel Mega Tracks

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Img_6730As your PopCulteer was running on fumes and fading fast on the last day of Toy Fair, he stumbled into the Lionel Trains display and was rewarded with a sneak peak at one of the coolest toys he’s seen in years. Lionel’s Mega Tracks will allow kids (and adults) to build a three dimensional raceway that carries a speedy little car along at an alarming rate.

The beauty of the track system is that it can be attached to tables and furniture and is almost infinitely changeable. The cars hug the track and zip along but can fly off the track if you don’t control your speed.

Lionel Trains are already one of the coolest toys on the market, but we were not able to take our eyes off of the incredible Mega Tracks set. Sadly, we’ll have to wait until August to get our hands on this nifty new toy. The starter set will retail for just under $100 and will include twenty feet of track, a vehicle, and a whole bunch of pieces you can use to construct your course. Read more about it at the Lionel website.

PopCult at Toy Fair: Bif Bang Pow!/Entertainment Earth

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bif-bang-pow-logo-headerJerry Feldman from Entertainment Earth gives PopCult the lowdown on new and returning Bif Bang Pow! products available in 2016. His tour of the booth shows us cool new stuff coming from The Big Bang Theory, Mike Tyson Mysteries, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, and more.

We’ll get to see what the future holds for Bif Bang Pow!’s bobbleheads, ReMegos, and 3 3/4 inch figures, plus all kinds of other cool things to make your life a little bit happier. Everything you see will be available from Entertainment Earth.

PopCult at Toy Fair: INVICTA Challenge

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flash-thunder_package1Jim Murphy, the co-creator of the INVICTA Challenge, talks to PopCult about just exactly what the INVICTA Challenge is and what the future holds for this really cool combination toy/graphic novel/game.

We included the INVICTA Challenge in last year’s PopCult Gift Guide. The first in the series was Flash and Thunder, which brought to life the true story of a Native American soldier during D-Day. Future installments will cover Harriet Tubman, Teddy Roosevelt, the war in Afghanistan, the Tuskeegee Airmen, and the Space Program.

The terrific thing about the INVICTA Challenge is that it makes learning history fun and relateable for kids. It’s great that it’s educational but still loads of fun as a toy and game.

PopCult at Toy Fair: AZIAM Girlz

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slide_5PopCult has a quick chat with Alanna Zabel, the founder and CEO of AZIAM Girlz, a terrific new line of toys designed to introduce young girls to the world of yoga. The product range includes the world’s first yoga dolls which are super articulated twelve inch fashion dolls; also books, plush animals, speaking plush animals, activewear, games, and miniature poser people. It was great to hear about this exciting new toy designed to make yoga fun and interesting for kids.

You can order AZIAM Yoga Girlz, as well as other cool items, at their website.

While we are posting all of our PopCult Toy Fair videos, The RFC Flashback and Sunday Evening Videos will take the weekend off. They will return once our Toy Fair well has run dry.

Robot Invasion on Word Association

Tonight on Word Association with Lee and Rudy on Appalachian Independent Radio the pop culture discussion welcomes our new mechanical overlords, as the topic is TOY ROBOTS.

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Lee and Rudy attempt to address the entire history of toy robots in one thirty-minute program.

LUIGIThey fail at this, but they do so in an entertaining fashion. That’s at 8 PM Friday night. You can tune in at the AIR website or listen right here:

Word Association with Lee and Rudy can be heard Friday nights at 8PM, with replays Satruday at 1:30 PM and Sunday at 9 PM.

Unleashing Lee Harrah on random topics may well be the most dangerous thing that can happen on the radio, listen at your own risk.

PopCult at Toy Fair: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The PopCult Toybox

91491_SqueezeEmsLeo_Inset1Here’s’s a quick look at the upcoming entries in Playmate Toys’ Teenage Mutant Ninja line, including action figures, die-cast vehicles, toy cars, playsets and foam dart blasters.

This is a follow-up to last year’s TMNT clip, which became our most-watched YouTube clip ever. This year we see the new offerings in the Mutations and Heroes On a Half Shell line, a really fun interactive Talking Mikey, Sqeeze-ems and Smash-ems both of which talk, the new T Sprints and Blasters and more.

There’s a reason that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remains a best-selling toy. Check out the video to see why.

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