Painted Diablo III Overthrown Diorama Pre-Orders

The Painted Diablo III Overthrown Polystone Diorama screenshots are now available, and better yet, you can pre-order this awesome statue here.  It is slated for delivery on Q4 2009.  Impress your friends and fellow employees by displaying this diorama on your desk or living room.  If you think for $299 it is too pricy, it indeed is. However, the FlexPay option allows you to acquire it in three easy payments:

Oct 10, 2009 $100.00
Nov 10, 2009 $100.00
Dec 10, 2009 $99.99

Click the Pre-Order text within the image and choose the normal diorama or the limited edition which includes the interchangeable helmet.  Select the FlexPay link from the pre-order page if you prefer to pay in three easy installments.

Within the world of Sanctuary in the Kingdom of Khanduras, barbarians are an ancient class of legendary warriors. Barbarians are known for their immense size, relentless fury and two-weapon fighting techniques and dwell upon their sacred Mount Arreat. Though once misunderstood to be simple and aggressive invaders, they are a noble, proud people, upholding great tradition – protecting Mount Arreat and the mysterious artifact it holds.

Sideshow Collectibles and Blizzard Entertainment are proud to introduce the Diablo III Collectible series with this epic first release. The Barbarian Statue depicts the warrior class in fine form, wielding dual-axes in the heat of battle. Each piece is hand-cast in high quality polystone, individually finished and hand-painted to exacting standards, complete with individually assigned edition numbers on the bottom side of the base. Don’t miss this opportunity to begin your Diablo III collection with the limited edition Barbarian Statue.

If you placed a pre-order when we displayed the unpainted prototype of this item, you do not need to place an additional order.

License: Diablo III
Product Type: Polystone Diorama
Product Size: 18” H (457.2mm) x 12.5” W (317.5mm) x 13” D (330.2mm)*
Product Weight: 15.00 lbs (6.8 kg)*

   

   

   

Painted Diablo III Overthrown Diorama Unveiled

As promised last week, Sideshow Collectibles has unveiled the fully painted version of the Diablo III Overthrown Polystone Diorama and it just looks awesome.  The pre-order pages have been disabled, but they plan to re-launch them on June 18 with various photos of the diorama from different angles.  Stay tuned for further updates on our front page.  In the meantime, Sideshow Collectibles is offering a Wallpaper in four sizes. Read our recent interview with Sideshow CEO Greg Anzalone and Production Manager Brant Bridges.

Echoes of War Standard Edition Re-Release on June 16

The Echoes of War: Music of Blizzard Entertainment was so very welcomed by fans that EMINENCE produced a new round of copies for sale.  Pre-orders are now available with $ 5 discount savings if you do so before June 16th.

I wrote a review of this product a few months ago if you want to check out what this product contains.  We had a giveaway of the Legendary Edition. The publisher EMINENCE will provide us new copies to giveaway to fans. Stay tuned for details on how to participate.

Blizzard Quote:
ECHOES OF WAR: STANDARD EDITION RE-RELEASE

Sideshow Diablo III Overthrown Nearing Final Stages

I had a few words with Sideshow Collectibles President and CEO Greg Anzalone and Production Manager Brant Bridges tonight and there are good news for those hardcore Diablo III fans that are into collectibles.  The Diablo III OVERTHROWN diorama is nearing its final stages. We will show you the photos once the painted version is ready.  New products based on the Blizzard games are not out of the question, but nothing as soon as we wish.

Below is an image of the unpainted Diablo III diorama.

What’s the Sideshow Collectibles background?

Greg: Sideshow was born from the belief that we could create more interesting, more detailed, more highly collectible limited edition figures, for a global audience.  Our belief has been proven true, but we continue to be surprised by the global appeal of our products.

Medievaldragon: Are there plans to introduce more dioramas based on the Starcraft II, Diablo III and World of Warcraft licenses?

Brant: Yes, we are hoping to do more Blizzard products.  Nothing in the immediate future, but we do have some ambitions.

Medievaldragon: What is the status on the Diablo III OVERTHROWN diorama (Barbarian) The final painted version hasn’t been unveiled yet.

Brant: You’ll see screenshots of the painted OVERTHROWN diorama soon. It’s KILLER.

Medievaldragon: Are you eventually developing a polystone diorama for each of the five Diablo III classes?  i.e. the Witch Doctor and the Wizard?

Brant: It’s possible, but not definite.

Medievaldragon: How was that first approach between Sideshow and Blizzard Entertainment?  The first product was the exclusive Tychus Findlay Terran Marine diorama—already painted by the time Blizzard officially announced StarCraft II, which means you were already on this at least a year earlier.

Greg: Our guys are Blizzard fans and play WoW more than they should because they’re dragging their sorry asses to work in the morning with a videogame hangover.  So it was only natural that we explore other potential products.

2009 NYCC: Metzen & Neilson Pocket Books Signing Video

Many Blizzard fans attended the 2009 New York Comic Con for the opportunity to meet the thundergod Chris Metzen (Senior VP of Creative Development) and Micky Neilson (Senior Writer & Voice Director) during the Simon & Schuster book signing session.

There were a lot of happy fans handing over their copies of World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon, the Comic Book Vol. 1 hardcover, even the Wrath of the Lich King Collector’s Edition Art Book. I remember one of the fans brought the wall-mounting accessory of the Frostmourne sword replica to be signed. It was a fun experience to both Alliance and Horde players; and the developers were quite satisfied and passionate about the fans’ reactions.

Blizzplanet and WorldofWar.net was there to interview both Blizzard developers, and to record most of the book signing session. Below you can watch all three videos.


Video # 1

Video # 2

Video # 3

Echoes of War Now Available On iTunes

Blizzard has announced the Echoes of War soundtracks are now available on iTunes store allowing you to purchase individual tracks or the whole album.

Blizzard Quote:
Head on over to the iTunes store to get your copy of one or all of the 15 unique arrangements from Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment. This new album was recently released on CD, and has now been added to iTunes as well. It features 90 minutes of music in all, based on tracks from our games, including the upcoming StarCraft II and Diablo III. Individual tracks are available on iTunes for 99 cents each. For more details, check out the Echoes of War site or head to the Eminence Online Store to order a physical copy.

Warcraft Pocket Star Book Editor Marco Palmieri Laid Off

The economic recession across the United States is seriously affecting every industry: from General Motors and other Automobile manufacturers down to book publishers and beyond. Sadly, I have to inform that my personal contacts at Pocket Star Books and Tokyopop have been laid off. I had heard a few weeks ago that Tim Beedle (Starcraft/ Warcraft manga editor) and Susan Hale were no longer at Tokyopop. I don’t know the perks, but now I have figured out it is due to lay offs.

Today, after visiting Keith R.A. DeCandido’s blog, I found out that Marco Palmieri was among the 35 employees laid off by Simon & Schuster on December 3.  He was the editor of all Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo novels, and more notoriously known as editor of 65% of the Star Trek pocket star books published in the past 11 years. It is a very sad day for hundreds of writers, including Richard A. Knaak, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Christie Golden, Jeff Grubb, Graham McNeill, and Aaron Rosenberg who had the opportunity to meet and work with him. I am still in shock. I sent him an email just a day ago on Saturday not even knowing he may not even be able to read it from the office.

In my email I was letting him know the URL to the Night of the Dragon review and to ask a few things about the Starcraft Ghost: Spectre. I am really saddened to hear about his sudden departure. I have been in contact with Marco Palmieri for about two or three years. He would ship review copies of most Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft pocket star books to my home. The latest ones Diablo Archive, World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal and World of Warcraft: Night of the Dragon.

I have no words to thank him for his great support to keep fans updated with lore and upcoming books. Thanks to him,  Blizzplanet has been the main source of Blizzard novel news for other fansites, fans and even wiki enthusiasts in the past years. I had the opportunity to hand-shake Marco Palmieri this year at the New York Comic Con and to thank him face-to-face. I was looking forward to meeting him again on 2009. I will get in contact with the new editor, but it will not be the same without Marco. I am not the only one with that sentiment. All of the Blizzard novel writers feel the same way. We hope Marco Palmieri finds a new job doing what he does and loves best. Not only for him, but for his wife and two children. Best wishes to the other 34 employees who were laid off too.

The next Warcraft novel is expected to hit bookstores on April 21 as a hardcover (retail price: $ 25) under the title World of Warcraft: Arthas, The Rise of the Lich King—by Christie Golden. Hopefully, the layoffs won’t delay the release dates and script proposal and revisions for upcoming books.

Source: Keith R.A. DeCandido’s blog

Diablo Archive – Diablo: Demonsbane Review

After receiving the Diablo Archive, boasting 752 pages, just recently, I decided to read through it backwards starting with Diablo: Demonsbane by Robert B. Marks (of Garwulf’s Corner fame).

I am sure the Diablo Archive will be a jewel among my Blizzard novels collection. Better to have four Diablo novels on a single tome, than have invididual books all around the place unable to find them at times. There is one thing I disapprove from the Diablo Archive however.  For such a big tome, and quiet heavy in weight, the cover designer Richard Yoo or whoever chose the cover material should have gone for thick cardboard material. This huge archive is no pocket book. It is about two inches thick. The cover material is made of the same material as any other pocket book with the same thin thickness. The result is a jellyfish-effect when you handle the heavy book around. I usually read on my bed. At times when I am uncomfortable, I usually lie on my back and rise the book above me in the air. The weight is almost unbearable after 20 minutes, but the material doesn’t help. Enough with the material rant.

What can be found inside is worth the nuisance. For years, I have heard of Diablo: Demonsbane. A lecture painted in myth. Something I knew existed, but couldn’t reach. It was a few years ago, when I first heard of its existence. It was released on 2000 in ebook format. I have a lot of Warcraft RPG books in ebook format, and even purchased Warcraft: Of Blood and Honor as an ebook.  But for some odd reason I never got around reading Diablo: Demonsbane, even when I craved it more than any other book. Curiosity compels one’s craving. I have never read a review of Demonsbane, or heard what it was about. I just knew it was the first of the Diablo stories ever released.

I reported about the first printing of Diablo: Demonsbane on paper two years ago on July 2, 2006. It was titled Blizzard Legends Vol. 1.  It contained a printed version of three ebooks from each game franchise: Warcraft: Of Blood and Honor (by Chris Metzen), Starcraft: Uprising (by Micky Neilson), and Diablo: Demonsbane (by Robert B. Marks).

However, it is now with the release of Diablo Archive that fans have the opportunity to get this craved story more broadly as it comes bundled along with Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow, Diablo: The Black Road, and Diablo: Legacy of Blood.

Personally, I was expecting something different in Diablo: Demonsbane. More of a dark fantasy meets Lord of the Rings with some fancy Shakesperian old-english language accent. Part of the myth I envisioned for lack of any knowledge of a Demonsbane’s summary.

I started reading on Sunday evening and couldn’t stop reading. It caught my attention. It is a short novella spanning through page 685-738. According to the epilogue, these events take place on year 302 and seem to happen during the Sin War.  Right at the end when I read the epilogue, it made me wonder.  Did Diablo: The Sin War somehow retconned Demonsbane? I have no idea. What I do know is that none of the events of the Sin War trilogy seem to be mentioned in it. Nor did the main character in Demonsbane show up in the Sin War trilogy.

Which book comes first in the timeline is also a mystery to me. One thing does gets mentioned that might help those who have better knowledge of the timeline than me.  Sarnakyle the Kejistan mage of the Spirit Mage Clan mentioned he was among the party of mages that killed Bartuc the Warlord of Blood at Viz-jun two years earlier.

The story is centered around Siggard, a warrior who fought at Blackmarch with the Entsteig’s army. They had fought demons there led by the favored archdemon of the Lord of Terror: Lord Assur. This archdemon has a peculiar glyph of invincibility that makes him feared by the Vizjerei Mage clans. There is however one thing that may kill him, and that would be spoiling it. I did see it coming when I read what could kill him, but was unsure as the requirements for it to happen were not clear at sight, specially with the interaction of Siggard with the other characters.

Ever since the Night of Souls through the events in Brennor, it kept bouncing around my mind why Siggard can’t remember anything about Blackmarch until certain point as if he had magically forgotten. As I was reaching the last pages of the story, it was more evident my suspicions were right, but the idea resulted contradictory. Making me doubt.  Robert B. Marks wrote here a very nice story, and wrapped up with a surprise few could have seen coming. It keeps a fast pace, while adding elements of suspense. I enjoyed the read and don’t regret it. One well-known character appears a couple of times, but heavily weights on the outcome of the story: Tyrael.

I will be reading through the Diablo Archive in upcoming days. One thing I am glad of doing, however, is to have started backwards, reading Diablo: Demonsbane first. It is a pity this story was brought as an ebook and as a short novella. As an ebook, it didn’t get the attention it deserved in 2000. And as a novella, it was too short. The story was worth an entire book of 378 pages. I hope the author writes a continuation of Siggard’s adventures.  Otherwise, I would like to read a new story from him again. Take note Blizzard. Cheers, Robert B. Marks.

Go grab your copy of the Diablo Archive.