UPDATE-The World of Avatar: A Visual Celebration

UPDATE-The World of Avatar: A Visual Celebration

Back in May of 2019 a new Avatar book showed up on Amazon titled, The World of Avatar: A Visual Celebration. At that time it was slated to be released October 1st, 2019. That was later pushed back to October of 2020 due to an Avatar 2 delay. The book has now been updated on Amazon with a current release date of March 1st, 2022. It also has been updated with a three new photos of the books pages, if you’d like to see the original photos and book summary posted on Amazon, check out our previous post from 2019- The World of Avatar: A Visual Celebration

The new book summary has also changed ever so slightly from the previous listing-

Celebrate the first decade of James Cameron’s Avatar and the beginnings of an epic cinematic journey.

Delve into the majestic world of Pandora and discover the incredible wealth of creativity that led this story to become the highest-grossing film of all time and the winner of three Academy Awards.

The World of Avatar celebrates, explores and explains the spectacular world of Pandora – its extraordinary geology, flora and fauna, and the customs and beliefs of its people, the mysterious Na’vi. The book uniquely covers key content from all aspects of the burgeoning franchise. It combines original movie stills and artwork with stunning imagery from Cirque du Soleil’s Avatar-inspired show Toruk: The First Flight; Disney World’s Pandora–The World of Avatar; and the Dark Horse comic book series Tsu’tey’s Path.

Concluding with a preview of a new Avatar era, this rich, in-world guide will fuel excitement for the long-awaited release of Avatar 2 in December 2022.

As it did back in 2019, this book looks like it will be filled with Avatar goodness, I can’t wait to learn more about all things Avatar. I highly suggest pre-ordering now, the price was originally $19.99 back in 2019 but has now gone up to $21.99. You can pre-order from Amazon here- The World of Avatar: A Visual Exploration

Spector Creative on Mattel Avatar Toys

Spector Creative on Mattel Avatar Toys

The Spector Creative YouTube channel run by Scott “ToyGuru” Neitlich, breaks down the Avatar toy line created by Mattel. Scott worked for Mattel for several years and was the brand manager over the DC Universe line, MOTU Classics, and others during his time at Mattel. I’ve heard Scott on various podcasts over the years and always find him insightful and interesting, and I am a fan of his work. From a customer and collector stand point I respectfully disagree with some of his points in his video, however I still think it’s interesting and very much worth a watch.

The first thing Scott mentions is that Avatar didn’t leave a large cultural impact. This is something we’ve all heard and is the general narrative about Avatar. I don’t really buy into that and here is why. Avatar released without a lot of collectibles compared to most sci-fi type blockbusters, see Star Wars for the other end of the spectrum. However that never seemed to be the focus for the brand, the focus was a movie that needed to be seen in theaters to fully appreciate it. They excelled with that singular focus and became the highest grossing movie. After Avatar released and the popularity grew the movie proved it had real staying power at the box office. As a fan I noticed the desire from others to own a piece of the movie by way of collectibles. Over the next couple of years the higher end market tried to capitalize on that, there was a Hot Toys Jake released, Sideshow Collectibles released Colonel Quaritch, Jake Sully, and 3 different Neytiri statue offerings. Before the movie opened Avatar had a video game for the PC and consoles for that generation, and had the Mattel action figure line. For a brand new property that no one knew exactly what to expect I think this was more than adequate for major consumer goods. You don’t want to flood the market and also have the movie flop. To further my point of Avatar actually having a lasting impact, Avatar inspired a succesful Cirque du Soleil show, their own land at Animal Kingdom, a mobile game, and most recently comic books. Avatar has left quite an impact, but for whatever reason that impact seems to be brushed aside because the fans of the movie may not be the biggest consumer of collectibles.

I agree with Scott, Avatar didn’t dominate the toy aisle or have 6 feet of space like Star Wars does, but Star Wars is very established, has lots of collectors, and no one knew how well Avatar would do before the movie released. My small town has 3 Wal-Marts, one Target, and at the time one Toys R Us. The only store that carried Avatar was Toys R Us and I never found the Avatar/Na’vi figures there, they normally had some of the various humans and some creatures or vehicles. So as a huge fan of the movie who wanted to collect this line I was left with the option of eBay or Amazon. Judging from the prices on eBay I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t get my hands on these figures. The 7″ Movie Masters Neytiri was $100 for awhile. So there absolutely was demand for these figures from this movie. I have no idea how long that high demand lasted or if they flew off the shelves everywhere, but from what I saw as a fan it was in high demand for a decent amount of time. However as with anything, once the movie has been out a few months, the hype dies down and people move on. Without comics, tv shows, and other new media to keep the story lines of those characters going, peoples interest moves to other things. It’s hard to compare 1977 to 2021 but Star Wars didn’t have any figures when it first released, but they eventually came and Star Wars has been great about getting additional media out there to keep people spending money. I’ve never been under the impression that was the Avatar goal, as I mentioned earlier, the true goal was to get people in the theater to watch the movie.

The line had two main scales for the figures, it can be a bit confusing, however at the same time it worked pretty well. There were the smaller figures that made up the vast majority of the line. Humans were 3.75″ and the Na’vi/Avatars were 4.25″. The humans and Na’vi/Avatars didn’t work together well in this scale with an average human male being around 6′, and a Na’vi/Avatar being around 10′. By having both the humans and Na’vi/Avatar figures this size they were able to make accurate sized creatures and vehicles for them. Creatures and vehicles would have been very cost prohibitive at the larger scale. There was also the 7″ scale figures, called the Movie Masters line. They consisted of a few versions of Jake, Neytiri, and Colonel Quaritch. The Colonel didn’t scale with the larger Na’vi as he was about 6.25″, but it gave you a chance to have a larger sized figure. The 7″ Na’vi/Avatars scale almost perfectly with the 3.75″ humans and their vehicles. Further proof of this lies in the fact that in 2010 Mattel released an SDCC set called “The Final Battle,” includind in it a 3.75″ Colonel Quaritch with Amp Suit, and a 7″ Jake Sully. This set recreated the finale fight between Jake and Quaritch at the end of Avatar.

Scott also mentions the iTag stands the figures came with, and I can only speak for myself on this. Back in 2009/2010 my internet wasn’t great, it had horrible slow speeds. I wasn’t able to even use the iTag feature because the internet just wasn’t up to it. I’ve seen online videos of how it was supposed to work but I can only imagine how many other people couldn’t ever get their iTags to work due to internet speeds. So personally that’s something I’ve never factored into the line. From what I’ve seen it looked like it could have been a really fun feature.

In regards to figures selling better if the good guys are humans and the bad guys the aliens, I believe Scott and trust the logic behind it. Maybe that helped keep sales down below what Mattel wanted from the line. I’d love to see some actual numbers on how the line did in sales, because that’s something I’ve never seen. Also touching on the role play items, maybe role play items for kids would have encouraged further buying of the main line, but I was never under the impression the action figure line did poorly. To me it looked like it was out, sold with the hype of the movie and then went away, as most all movie lines do. Even with the later success of Avatar having a Cirque show, and a land within Disney, I never expected another mass retail release until we get within a couple months of Avatar 2. The merchandise at Pandora: The World of Avatar seems to sell very well from what I’ve seen, again I don’t have sales numbers on that, but if you visit you’ll feel the same way. On the secondary market Avatar figures prices are really solid, and have only risen over the years as the sequels get closer to releasing.

I have a lot of respect for Scott and his toy knowledge and these are just my thoughts and counterpoints to his feelings on the line. As a collector of this line and someone who has collected the entire line, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge of how it was early on and in the secondary market since.

 

Ad for the figure and iTag feature.

 

 

1/6th Scale custom Neytiri

1/6th Scale custom Neytiri

In May of 2012 Hot Toys released Jake Sully. He was 1/6th scale and in my opinion the most lifelike representation we have received from the movie Avatar for any of the characters. At 18″ tall he felt great in hand, was poseable, had lifelike eyes, and a fantastic paint job.  There was rumor of a future Neytiri release but since it was already two and a half years from the release of Avatar it never came to fruition. That has always been a huge hole in my collection as having this amazing Jake Sully figure without Neytiri is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with no jelly, it just stinks. I have anxiously awaited Hot Toys or the fan community to create a worthy Neytiri to go along with Jake. An Avatar fan by the username of Fierox was the first person I saw working towards that goal. He had been making some amazing 3D models of Jake and Neytiri and was sharing them on his Deviant Art page and on the Avatar Forum, Tree of Souls. Eventually he started working towards taking the Neytiri model and making it a working 1/6th scale figure that could be 3D printed and cast, molded, and possibly sold. I was very interested, however an issue arose that was out of Fierox hands during development, and the project ended up stalling. He had come a long ways and created a unique looking and well designed Neytiri. You can check out his progress posts on Fierox Deviant Art, and on a thread he started on Tree of Souls.

After things didn’t work out with the Fierox version of Neytiri I didn’t see any more attempts by fans until 2019. I stumbled across a 1/6th scale customizer who goes by MB Custom Figures. I saw on his Facebook page that back in 2017 he had created his own 1/6th scale Neytiri, and she looked great. After speaking to MB I found out he was working on updating that figure and working some kinks out. So I followed his work on Facebook and stayed in contact with the hope one day I’d be able to purchase a Neytiri for myself. In September of 2020 MB was ready to take orders and I put my name in for one. He kept me updated with photos, messages, and videos along the journey until Neytiri was finished and shipped. I really can’t express how great she is, the tiny details are incredible, and she looks even better than the Hot Toys Jake. The level of detail and care that went into hand crafting her is evident, and MB was professional and courteous. You can check out MB’s Facebook and see what else he’s been working on and his other versions of Neytiri. I was able to choose between 3 heads, and a couple different versions of her movie accurate looks. I choose to go with a face and look that would match Jake. That is why she has her warpaint look with a subdued facial expression.

Photos ahead…

Hot Toys Jake Sully with Fierox Neytiri (picture from ToS)

Hot Toys Jake Sully

Hot Toys Jake Sully next to MB Custom Figures Neytiri

Avatar: Behind the Scenes

Avatar: Behind the Scenes

This is an old behind the scenes video I came across again recently. I love footage like this that shows some of what was happening behind the camera, and even scenes that never made it to the final cut. It’s also enjoyable seeing James Cameron and others actively working behind the camera. Even if you’ve seen it before give it another watch.

We are now 522 days away from the release of Avatar 2…

Avatar LEGO Ideas- The Illuminated World of Pandora UPDATE

Avatar LEGO Ideas- The Illuminated World of Pandora UPDATE

Last summer we were supporting a Lego set creation by Bulldoozer. If he was able to get his Avatar inspired Lego set to 10,000 likes then he would be able to get the set reviewed, after being reviewed he would have the possibility the set would be produced for sale. Through the support of all of the amazing Avatar and Lego fans out there he was able to reach his 10,000 likes mark. He recently found out however the set wasn’t accepted to be produced. What a bummer, I was really pulling for him, but perhaps this means Disney has good reasons to allow it not to be made. Perhaps they are working on their own Lego sets, or have an agreement with a competitor such as Mega Construx. I thought the public announcement he made was great however and wanted to share-

Avatar: The Illuminated World of Pandora

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

Finally! We just received more information about the previously unnamed Avatar Ubisoft Project during E3. We have a name, we have a trailer, we have some new info, I am beyond excited. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the trailer-

That looks amazing! So some of the information we now have-

  • This game is for next gen consoles, PS5, XBox Series X|S, Stadia, Luna, and PC
  • It releases in 2022 (along with Avatar 2)
  • Confirmed that it is indeed an open world game
  • First person (wouldn’t be mad if they made it switchable between first and third)
  • Will be exploring a previously unseen part of Pandora
  • New flora and fauna

“Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is a first-person, action-adventure game developed by Massive Entertainment – a Ubisoft studio, in collaboration with Lightstorm Entertainment and Disney. Built using the latest iteration of the Snowdrop engine, and developed exclusively for the new generation of consoles and PC, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora brings to life the alluring world of Pandora with all of its beauty and danger in an immersive, open-world experience. In this new, standalone story, play as a Na’vi and embark on a journey across the Western Frontier, a never-before-seen part of Pandora. Explore a living and reactive world inhabited by unique creatures and new characters, and push back the formidable RDA forces that threaten it.”

FilmIsNow Avatar Featurettes

FilmIsNow Avatar Featurettes

The Youtube channel FilmIsNow posted three Avatar behind the scenes videos this past week. I’ve seen a lot of the footage but there was some footage was new to me. I love anything “behind the scenes and making of” that involves Avatar, so I wanted to share.

Enjoy!

 

 

Covid-19 and last years Avatar delay

Covid-19 and last years Avatar delay

This is a letter that was shared by James Cameron back on July 23, 2020. I never posted or spoke on it at the time, what else was there to say? We were in the middle of a pandemic with no end in sight, the sequels were going to suffer yet another delay, and it was a frightening time for many. Almost a year later as I look back I can say I’m glad this delay happened. I want James Cameron, Jon Landau, and the rest of the crew working on these sequels to be able to make them the best possible version that they can. I also want them to be safe, and at that time there were so many questions and very few answers in regards to Covid. I’m thankful with time they were able to overcome and complete the live action and motion capture to Avatar 2 and 3. It’s also nice to see improvements in the fight against Covid-19 with mass roll outs of vaccines. I realize there are places and countries still struggling mightily with the virus and many people have been deeply affected. My heart and my prayers go out to those people affected. I hope by December 16, 2022 that Covid will be a thing of the past and we can gather together in our theaters and watch Avatar 2 in celebration of Avatars arrival and Covid-19s departure.

Oel ngati kameie ma frapo.

 

Avatar.com update

Avatar.com update

Yesterday Avatar.com, the official website for Avatar, released a stunning new update. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out. You can do a bit of everything on there now, from learning Na’vi words from Paul Frommer himself, to planning a trip to Pandora: The World of Avatar, to exploring the fan communities of Learn Na’vi, Kelutral, and Avatar Meet. It’s becoming a truly centralized location of where fans can go to check out everything going on in the Avatar universe, I think it’s fantastic! It’s great seeing the Avatar franchise move closer to relaunching itself in the build up to Avatar 2.

Don’t forget you can follow Avatar at their official channels on-

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Pandora Rising Global Launch is coming

Pandora Rising Global Launch is coming

There is some really exciting news for those of us who have been patiently waiting for Avatar: Pandora Rising to launch. This week a new update was sent to current users and it included some very interesting details. The update shared that on Wednesday June 9th, the current game will be removed from app stores for new players, and the ability to make in-app purchases will be disabled. Following that the next phase of development will be implemented, making some major changes to the game. There is a plan to bring the current players into the next phase of the game, although it’s not specific if you will be able to keep your current progress or not. It is highly encouraged you link your Facebook account and take a picture of your PID in your player profile as a precaution against losing progress. That leads me to believe you will keep your current progress when the game gets it’s official global launch. It sounds like we are getting really close to a point where everyone will soon be able to play Pandora Rising together.

You can read the full update here- https://avatarpandorarising.com