November 30, 2009
Welcome to the 1st Annual Indie Squid Kid Holiday Shopping Guide!
Every day this week I will feature the best new products for the cephalopod enthusiast in your life. In most cases, these will be products that I don’t own (yet…hint, hint) and haven’t previously reviewed. To kick the week off, we start with one of my favorite subjects…TOYS!
Part of Imaginext’s new Ocean line, and of course it’s the one piece I haven’t been able to find yet.
List Price: $6.00 — Buy on Amazon.com (but it will be cheaper if you can find it in a retail store.)
This set combines four different pieces that are usually sold separately. It not only includes the Ocean Squid (see above), but it also comes with a green plastic ammonite (one of the Ocean Boat’s accessories).
List Price: $74.99 — Buy on ToysRUs.com
Spotted at my local Target store, this set includes not only an awesome three-headed sea dragon, but a Tylosaurus (from Imaginext’s discontinued Dinosaur line) and a repaint of Sea Blade the Octopus from their Pirate line.
List Price: $29.99 — Target in-store exclusive.
This is yet another example of something I haven’t been able to track down in the store. Safari’s Incredible Creatures are larger scale (and more detailed) than the Wild Safari line, but are made of softer plastic and are comparable in price.
List Price: $10.99 — Buy on SafariLtd.com
There’s a lot of talk about pirates versus ninjas, but if we learned anything from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, the pirate’s natural enemy is actually the cephalopod.
List Price $39.99 — Buy on Amazon.com
Also still available: Mega Rig Squid Sub
List Price: $19.99 — Buy on PlaymobilUSA.com
List Price: $10.99 — Buy on PlaymobilUSA.com
List Price: $10.99 — Buy on Amazon.com
November 25, 2009
ISK will be taking the rest of the week off as we recover from the Fabulous Festival of Food that is the American Thanksgiving holiday. If you celebrate, I hope it’s not alone on some fishy reality show like our pal Aquaman here.
Also, an octopus wearing a bow tie…not something you see every day.
November 24, 2009
It is not entirely clear to me what’s going on here. Is this octopus being attacked, or is it doing that attacking…with javelins? Maybe the octopus is actually trying to slash its way out of the shirt? It’s hard to say, but one thing I know for sure is that it is very dynamic and exciting!
This shirt is $20 USD and appears to be currently in stock in all men’s and womens’s sizes.
November 23, 2009
All month long Ape Lad (aka Adam Koford) has been remixing Twitter’s new default avatar, and today he has transformed the cute little birdie silhouette into R’yleh’s most famous resident.
November 20, 2009
, originally uploaded by Divine Harvester.
I’m not what the story behind this is, but I like it!
Update: The photographer says that he spotted this sign in the Old Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA.
November 19, 2009
This one-of-a-kind simulated Sperm Whale tooth is 4.5″ long and made of resin. The base is black walnut, and the Egyptian-styled stand is cold cast bronze. On its reverse side there is depicted a mermaid decked out in steampunk gear. Available at Tom Banwell’s Etsy shop for $79.00.
Also available at Tom Banwell Leather is a wide assortment of hand-made leather Halloween masks, and visit his blog for a look at his many other fantastic steampunk projects—masks, helmets and ray guns, oh my!
November 18, 2009
The year is 1939, and a Spanish fishing boat has made a strange catch—a metal man whose glass-domed head contains a floating human skull. The only identifying mark on it is the numeral 13 carved into its forehead. No sooner has this mysterious mechanoid been hauled out on the deck than the ship is attacked by a one-eyed, tentacled monster from the deep. Their new accidental passenger grabs a harpoon (and, later, an anchor) and leaps to the crew’s defense. I won’t reveal how this epic battle ends, but I will remind you that this comics isn’t called “One-Eyed Squid Monster 13.”
Who is Robot 13? Where does he come from? He doesn’t know, but he plans to find out.
R13: Colossus! is the first publication of Blacklist Studios. It is written by Thomas Hall with art by Daniel Bradford (who also did cover version B. Check out more of his work on deviantART!). Issue #1 hit the comic shelves this summer, and it looks like issue #2 just came out.
Look for it at your local comic book shop or order from www.blackliststudios.com.
November 17, 2009
I’m still in an eldritch sort of mood after yesterday’s post about Lil’ Cthulhu, so for today’s T-shirt Tuesday here is another cuddly take on the sleepiest Elder God.
Teach The Controversy is a division of Amorphia Apparel (just like the previously featured Sir Critter). Riffing off of the Discovery Institute’s campaign to promote Intelligent Design, Teach The Controversy has a T-shirt for just about any crackpot theory you can think of—Atlantis, Reptoids, Time Cube, Young Earth, 2012, and much more!
Like all Amorphia shirts, “Cthulhu” is available in a variety of styles and color combinations. The basic tee is $15.99, and for a little bit more you can get it as an American Apparel shirt, as well as a hoodie or a messenger bag.
November 16, 2009
I’m all tuckered out from Action Figure Week (not unlike Lil’ Chtulhu after his big day!), so I’m jumping on this adorable Lovecraftian bandwagon.
P.S. “The Crawling Chaos” is totally going to be Kid Indie Squid Kid’s new nickname! (Once he finally learns to crawl…which should be any day now…)
November 15, 2009
We have arrived at the end of Action Figure Week, and now it is finally time to talk about George Lucas’ favorite cephalopod—Squid Head!
To me (and, I assume, nearly anyone else who was born in the 1970′s), Star Wars toys are the quintessential action figures. I actually don’t remember the first time I saw Star Wars, or when I got my first Star Wars action figure, but in all but my very earliest memories I am already a fanatic, and I seem to have always had Star Wars toys.
Debuting in 1977, Kenner’s 3 ¾” figures were revolutionary, displacing 12″ dolls (like G.I. Joe) as the industry standard, and this size continues to dominate the action figure market today. The original toy line was produced until 1985, and Kenner revived it in 1995. There has been a steady stream of Star Wars figures on toy store shelves ever since.
Squid Head™ (Kenner, 1983)
Part of the first wave of figures for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Squid Head appears only briefly in the crowd of aliens that reside in the palace of Jabba The Hutt. In fact, this figure is a great example of two long-time Lucas traditions: 1) making toys of obscure characters, and 2) giving those characters dumb, yet descriptive, names. And like all obscure Star Wars characters, Squid Head’s back story would be fleshed out over time through the RPGs, comics, and novels of the Expanded Universe.
As it turns out, his name is actually Tessek, and he is a Quarren, an alien species from the ocean planet Dac. Dac is also the homeworld of the Mon Calamari (such as Admiral “It’s a traaaap!” Ackbar). Despite their name, the Mon Calamari are actually fish people, not cephalopods, and the two species have a long history of antagonism, often ending up on opposite sides of various galactic conflicts.
So, even though he is from a species native to the deep ocean, Tessek somehow ended up on the desert world of Tatooine in the employ of Jabba the Hutt…as his accountant. I suppose it is best not to dwell on the unlikeliness of an air-breathing humanoid species evolving from deep-sea invertebrates (presumably) on a planet with very little dry land.
Anyway, getting back to the figure, it is fairly obvious why this guy is called “Squid Head.” His beak-like mouth is surrounded by four tentacles, and two fin-like structures project off either side of his head. The suction cups on his finger tips provide a final squiddy touch. The toy comes with a blaster pistol and a real cloth cloak and skirt (which is held in place with a silver plastic cummerbund).
I lost my original Squid Head figure when I was a kid. I picked up this replacement on the collectors market, so it’s in fairly pristine condition. I do still have the card that my original figure came packaged on (above). It features a nice close-up shot of the Quarren accountant enjoying a tasty beverage on board Jabba’s Sail Barge. As a bonus, you can just make out my sad nine-year old attempts at drawing Imperial Shuttles, an AT-AT walker, and some kind of creature that is maybe supposed to be a Tauntaun.
Tessek™ (Hasbro, 2000)
Even though Kenner began producing Star Wars action figures again in 1995, it would be five years before they made an updated Squid Head. (2000 was also the year that Hasbro, which had owned Kenner since 1991, consumed the Kenner brand for good.) The new Tessek figure was released as part of Star Wars: Power of the Jedi, a toy line that contained a combination of figures from the original trilogy and the recently released prequel, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The new Tessek figure is more detailed than the original and has molded plastic clothes. The colors of this figure more closely match the way the character appeared in the the original movie.
The Star Wars toy line has undergone seemingly constant rebranding over the past 14 years, and Star Wars: The Legacy Collection is the name of the current line (although I think the packaging has been redesigned again). It includes characters and vehicles from all six films as well as the two Clone Wars animated series.
Quarren™ Soldier (Hasbro, 2008)
This figure, the only non-Tessek Quarren figure to-date, is a “realistic” version of the alien warriors as portrayed in the Chapter 5 of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series (2003-2005). In that segment (which is my favorite after Chapter 13, where Mace Windu single-handedly defeats an entire army of droids), amphibious Jedi Knight Kit Fisto leads an battalion of Clone scuba troopers and Mon Calamari knights against Separatist battle droids and the Quarren Isolation League. Here’s a link to the segment on YouTube. I highly recommend the entire Tartakovsky Clone Wars series, which is available on DVD.
There are a few other Quarren characters from the Star Wars Universe that have yet to be given action figure treatment, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.