March 27th, 2012 by jawajames · No Comments
A number of Star Wars artists and fans have pitched in their talents to help raise money to defray the health care costs of little Princess Leah Esquenazi. As we reported last year, when Leah was just two-months old, she came down with a mysterious illness that kept her mostly hospitalized, and the Star Wars fan community rallied to help her parents offset the costs of her medical bills. Now Leah is over a year old, and continues to require hospitalized ventilator support with the diagnosis of a mitochondrial illness. An ebay auction started on May 25th with over 100 unique and rare Star Wars art pieces and craft items to raise money for Leah’s care. Right now, there are items donated by Matt Busch, Randy Martinez, Amanda Howard, Michael Ramirez, and Joe Corroney.
My friend Lesley, of the 501st Legion’s Southern California Garrison, has been busy organizing the auction, and has a photo album of the donated art pieces. Follow the auction news on Facebook at facebook.com/ArtForLeah. After only 24 hours, there’s already over $1,000 in bids for items. A second group of auction items will going up for bid in a few days. You can also follow Leah and her family via their blog. Check out the auction and find a piece of your own to bid on!
Tagged: 501st legion · art · auction · charity · kids · princess leah
March 21st, 2012 by Dunc · 1 Comment
Not sure if it’s a tee or a onesie, but I’m sure there will be uses found for it. (It’s hard to tell from a phone pic, but in the Facebook comments, Ashley says it’s a light purple.)
Filed: star wars · the clone wars
Tagged: ahsoka tano · ashley eckstein · her universe · kids · merchandise
March 14th, 2012 by Dunc · No Comments
Untruths! An article about Jake Lloyd has been floating around in which claims he called his post-Star War childhood a “living hell.” Lloyd took to Facebook on Sunday to deny it: “The quotes in the article do not accurately reflect my feelings for the time I spent on Star Wars or the time I spent in high school.” The article says the quotes came from “a magazine” and also attributes comments from his mother to a (defunct) domain similar to Sci Fi Channel Australia, which did do an interview with Lloyd (though not his mother) in 2009.
Culture. In The New York Times, Matt Richtel takes a look at how Star Wars is still captivating kids. (Did no one tell him about The Clone Wars, which doesn’t get a single mention?) Last week in the NYT: The New York Jedi. Pity about the headline fail. (Jedi is the plural. Tell your copy editors.)
Interview. George Lucas chatted with Sen. Bill Bradley on his “American Voices” radio program last week. Topics included filmmaking technology,Red Tails, good and evil in Star Wars and education.’
Randomly… Actor Topher Grace (That 70′s Show) edited all three prequels into one 85-minute film. The cut was shown only to “a private gathering of Topher’s industry friends.” There are no plans to show or release it publicly – Grace refuses to do so without permission, which seems unlikely.
Also: Play The Old Republic for free this weekend | Amanda Lucas on ESPN | What Star Wars teaches us about creativity.
Filed: people · star wars
Tagged: amanda lucas · george lucas · jake lloyd · kids · lightsabers · prequel trilogy · the old republic (mmo)
February 7th, 2012 by eliz · 7 Comments
A new occasional feature here will be sharing those things that money (technically) can’t buy (at least not until it is on the secondary market). Some examples: the podracer 3D glasses (though you can buy them if you’re not near a giveaway theater.) Orange Death Star hand fans, Pins, LEGO mini-figs, ghost Obi-Wan figures, and Special Edition Luke figures.
It will not be an exhaustive listing, but when we come across various tie-ins, we’ll do our best to share them with you as well as revisit some from the past from time to time. Why? Because who doesn’t appreciate the free finer things in life?
First up — the McDonalds Star Wars Happy Meal toys for The Phantom Menace 3D rerelease.
McDonalds has had a few waves of Star Wars toys included in their happy meals in the prequel era. The last couple of series were tied to The Clone Wars and were amusing. The 2008 set focused on a cross between characters and ships – best of both worlds for most kids I know.
Threepio Happy Meal toy from 2011
The 2011 set featured lightsabers, a Jedi Mind trick, a C3PO bobble (with R2-KT sticker!) – I still have some of those around and they were great for boys and girls. Who wouldn’t want 3PO hanging around all day?
Starting this Friday (per contacts in my local market, YMMV), you’ll start seeing a new round of Happy Meal toys. I was excited when I first heard about the promotion, looking forward to seeing what McDonalds would come up with to celebrate the movie. McDonald toys have been pretty cool lately with either multiple pieces, built in electronic lights and/or sounds, or just something above and beyond a hunk of plastic. I was thinking maybe Jar-Jar with a long tongue (it’s been approved before), or prequel lightsabers like the 2011 promotion, or ships, or figures with voice chips. Something strongly tied in to TPM at least.
The toys are previewed on HappyMeal.com. (See the screenshot above.) And they appear to be of the Beyblade / LEGO Ninjago (minus the mini-fig) style of tops to compete with and collect.
The holders are light saber hilts, 2 pod racers, and R2. The tops feature pictures of various standouts from the movie associated with the holder model. The one standout is in the shape of R2-D2, with a matching top. R2 fans will enjoy adding it to their collection and if you’re crafty you could modify it to match another of your favorite R2-series droids.
Recently Happy Meals have changed to include apple slices as well as fries as part of the meal to encourage healthier eating. I can’t help but wonder if this decision has affected the budget for the toys. Healthy living is important and as a mom I appreciate the apples being there and not just a choice, but cheapening the toy further is messing with tradition. I’d rather not see the Happy Meal toy go the way of Crackerjack prizes in terms of quality.
Kids are still going to be happy with finding one of these toys in their Happy Meal but there is something far more discouraging . The Star Wars toys have been deemed “boy toys” and have been paired up with Build A Bear as the “girl toy” offering. Why oh why do we continue to have this designation and only for certain partners? The Chipmunks were not divided, Happy Feet 2, Avatar – all these toys were offered to both boys and girls equally.
You’d think after 30+ years of girls vocally loving Star Wars, they’d offer an expanded collection for both girls and boys to play with and share. At least Burger King offered Iron Man jewelry for girls during their promotion rather than assume girls did not want to celebrate Tony Stark. Iron Man 2 even had at least two strong female characters in Pepper Potts and Black Widow. The Phantom Menace has a queen, her bodyguard handmaidens, a mother, and numerous female characters who appear throughout the movie. What a disappointment to not include any of these characters in the Happy Meal toys at all.
Shame on you, Ronald. What a wasted opportunity.
Filed: star wars
Tagged: fast food tie-ins · kids · the phantom menace · we don't take republic credits
February 2nd, 2012 by Dunc · No Comments
Here’s a ‘kids featurette’ for The Phantom Menace 3D. It’s very… Yeah. Every kind of droid, indeed.
Filed: star wars
Tagged: kids · video
February 1st, 2012 by Dunc · 3 Comments
Filed: star wars
Tagged: kids · merchandise · shoes · wacky merchandise
December 1st, 2011 by Paula · No Comments
Remember last year when the Star Wars community rallied around Katie in Chicago who was bullied for liking Star Wars? Everyone wore Star Wars and was encouraged to donate a Star Wars toy in her honor.
We’re going to do it again this year! Friday, December 16th is the day to wear Star Wars in some sort of capacity.
Fans are also encouraged to donate a Star Wars toy to a charity (labeled as “either boy OR girl”). If you’d like to really keep it in the Star Wars family, the 501st is a big supporter of Toys for Tots.
Filed: fandom · star wars
Tagged: charity · holidays · katie the star wars girl · kids
November 7th, 2011 by Dunc · 5 Comments
Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny has posted the last part of his series about introducing Star Wars to his kids, Return of the Jedi. (Previously.)
Filed: star wars
Tagged: kids · return of the jedi · saga
October 30th, 2011 by Dunc · 11 Comments
Sunday reader. Using the Blu-rays, Hitfix’s Drew McWeeny is showing the Star Wars movies to his two sons for the first time. It’s a great story (they’ve seen Clone Wars but nothing else) and probably one of the best articles (and certainly the most detailed) that I’ve read on kid’s reactions to the saga. In order: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, The Phantom Menace, Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith, with the Return of the Jedi entry coming on Thursday. A great read, whether you’ve shown the movies to kids yet or not.
Occupy Coruscant? Twitter’s favorite minions of evil, Death Star PR, takes time out of their busy planet-blasting schedule to debunk Luke Skywalker’s assertion that he is part of the 99%.
Kids. A Yoda backpack helped one flower girl make it down the aisle. (via)
People. Watch Mark Hamill in the opening of Friday’s Chuck premiere.
Spoofs. The Jedi Church. Literally. Well, spoofily.
Tagged: jedi religion · kids · luke skywalker · mark hamill · saga · spoofs
October 3rd, 2011 by Dunc · No Comments
Four-year-old Faris sees The Empire Strikes Back for the first time.
Filed: star wars
Tagged: cute · empire strikes back · kids · original trilogy · video