I visited the Toy Fair New York to visit some of the Blizzard partners in search of licensed products. This year there wasn’t any new products, but at least there were products recently shipped and some are expected to ship on April 2014.
Prior to the event I learned there were no new Blizzard licensed products from USAopoly and Mega Bloks to be shown at the Toy Fair. Thus, I focused my attention on Funko and NECA, who are exhibitors at the event.
The Funko booth #4805 is displaying several licenses in the form of POP Vynil figures, Wacky Wobblers, Plushies and Papercraft. Among their licensed products displayed at the Toy Fair New York are (follow the links for better photos):
This action figure was sculpted by former-McFarlane sculptor Brian Fay who is currently Blizzard Entertainment’s in-house sculptor. I don’t think any photo can do justice to all the details in this action figure.
My sincere advice is that if you really like this action figure, please don’t hesitate nor wait until it ships. Go pre-order it. Pre-orders are like a survey. If it gets great demand, more products are created. It only costs $24.99.
The NECA booth #4802 can be found on the lower floor.
This recreation of Archangel Tyrael‘s legendary weapon was built directly from digital files used in-game, and measures nearly three and a half feet long. It features a pulsing blue LED light in the hilt, simulating the awesome protective powers the sword draws from the High Heavens.
Each El’Druin is carefully crafted of ABS, plastic and PVC in a construction designed for durability and impact resistance. Afterwards, it is hand-painted in gold and silver, using a mix of washes and dry brushing to enhance the detail and the metallic feel. The result is a realistic replica that looks just like the real thing, but is perfectly safe.
The Diablo III: Heroes Rise, Darkness Falls for Kindle is now only 99 cents for a limited-time. A Kindle device is not necessary to read this eBook. Choose the “Deliver to Kindle Cloud” option to read it on your Firefox or favorite internet browser.
A collection of terrifying tales based on the award-winning video game!
A bold demon hunter risks becoming her own worst enemy while tracking down her sinister prey… A haunted barbarian returns to his shattered homeland to face a harrowing past… A lone monk scours evil from an ancient forest where the line between friend and foe has vanished… A gifted but impetuous wizard finds out that great knowledge and power come with a price … A proud young witch doctor makes a chilling discovery that shakes his faith to its core… A desperate playwright embarks down a dark path of madness and depravity in his quest for fame… An unscrupulous wagon driver learns that his sole passenger is harboring a terrifying secret…
These are stories from the world of Sanctuary, a land of mystery and dread that serves as the backdrop for Blizzard Entertainment’s award-winning Diablo video game series. Although these narratives focus on different characters and settings, they are bound together by the web of horror and suspense that is intrinsic to the Diablo universe. In this gothic fantasy realm, terror is a constant. It comes in many forms, from grotesque horned demons to the deepest fears of mortal hearts and minds. Brace yourself for this collection of exciting and frightening tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
The Diablo III: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon has shipped today. This novel tie-in bridges the gap between Diablo III and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. The Prologue starts right away with Tyrael facing his mortal doubts after taking the mantle of the Archangel of Wisdom, and the discrimination of his own angelic brethren while residing at the High Heavens.
Throughout the novel, the reader will encounter iconic heroes of Sanctuary from different printed media: Mikulov from Diablo III: The Order by Nate Kenyon. Jacob of Staalbreak, Shanar the Wizard and Gynvir the Barbarian hail from the pages of the DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice graphic novel by writer Aaron Williams & artist Joseph Lacroix.
Zayl the Necromancer can be found in the pages of Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow (reprinted in the Diablo Archive) and also main character in Diablo: Moon of the Spider — both by New York Times best selling author Richard A. Knaak.
Expect a Blizzplanet review very soon. All these novels (except for the Diablo Archive) are available in Kindle by following the links. However, you don’t need a Kindle device to read them. There is an option to read it with the Amazon Cloud Reader which allows you to read the books and the graphic novel on your PC/Mac internet browser.
Blizzard Entertainment released an excerpt of the upcoming Diablo III: Storm of Light novel by New York Times best-selling author Nate Kenyon.
In this brief excerpt we can see the interaction between the Angiris Council and Tyrael in his mortal form shortly after the Diablo III cinematic finale where Tyrael took his place as the new Wisdom.
According to the Diablo III: Book of Tyrael, the mantle of Wisdom was infused into Tyrael by the Crystal Arch itself — which is something that happened off-panel and not in-game.
The excerpt shows the debate between the archangels of what should be the proper thing to do with the Black Soulstone, and the enigma that it represents. It was forged by a human, and thus the angels can’t predict what might happen if the Black Soulstone was destroyed. Not even the scrolls of fate know.
Tyrael suggests it should be hidden away. The novel gaps the bridge between the Diablo III cinematic finale and the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls cinematic intro. The novel will be available on February 4, 2014.
Pre-order Diablo III: Storm of Light in paperback or as an eBook (Kindle, mobile or PC/Mac).
The High Heavens are healing after the fall of the Prime Evil. The Angiris Council has recovered the Black Soulstone and now stands vigil over the cursed artifact deep within the glimmering Silver City.
Amid these momentous events, Tyrael struggles with his position as the new Aspect of Wisdom, feeling out of place as a mortal among his angelic brethren and doubting his ability to fully embody his role. As he searches within himself and the Heavens for reassurance, he senses the Black Soulstone’s grim influence on his home. Where harmony of light and sound once reigned, a mounting discord is threatening to shroud the realm in darkness. Imperius and the other archangels vehemently oppose moving or destroying the crystal, leading Tyrael to put Heaven’s fate in the hands of humankind . . . .
Drawing powerful humans to his side from the far ends of Sanctuary, Tyrael reforges the ancient Horadrim and charges the order with an impossible task: to steal the Soulstone from the heart of Heaven. Among the champions entrusted with this burden are Jacob of Staalbreak, former avatar of Justice and guardian of the angelic blade El’druin; Shanar, a wizard with phenomenal powers; Mikulov, a lithe and reverent monk; Gynvir, a fearless and battle-hardened barbarian; and Zayl, a mysterious necromancer. With time and the forces of both good and evil against them, can these heroes unite as one and complete their perilous mission before Heaven falls to ruin?
“Then tell us what insights you have gained from Chalad’ar, Wisdom,” Imperius said, his voice mocking once again. “Tell us what to do with the stone. The Council has been divided on this for too long. Or are the rumors among the angels correct, and you have yet to consult the chalice?”
Itherael and Auriel turned to Tyrael, waiting for him to offer a solution. He looked at the soulstone on its perch, imagined he saw a beat of blood-red light at its core. The darkness pervades this holy place, he thought. It creeps in unbidden and corrupts everything it touches.
Tyrael had come to his own decision. But he was unsure about how his advice would be taken by the others and hesitated for a moment too long.
Imperius turned away. “Malthael would have never been without an answer, yet this one is silent once again. I shall speak for him, then. We break the stone at the Hellforge.”
A murmur from Auriel brought a fast response. “We should not risk destroying it,” Itherael said. “It was forged by human magic; its destiny is a mystery to me. Even the Scroll of Fate cannot tell us what might result from such an attempt–”
“It must be hidden!” Tyrael said.
His words rang out, stronger than he might have intended. The others stopped, their attention returning to him. He cleared his throat again, hating how weak it made him sound. A throat made of flesh and blood was not a trustworthy vessel for such a speech. He tried again. “Itherael is right,” he said. “The Black Soulstone’s power is unknown to us. The Horadric mage Kulle forged it using magic the nephalem alone possess. We cannot risk trying to destroy a thing like this; it may even release the Prime Evil upon us once again.”
“Hide it where?” Auriel’s tone had grown cautious, as if she knew what he might say. “We have already discussed shrouding it but could not come to an agreement. It cannot stay in the Council chambers forever.”
Tyrael looked at his fellow archangels, sadness washing over him. He imagined that they viewed him with suspicion, perhaps thinly veiled hostility. Even Auriel’s aura had changed, her wings pulsing softly with a light that mirrored the taint he had seen in the gardens among the trees.
He was not Justice, nor Wisdom, nor was he a man; he was a mortal angel, and this did not fit with the world they knew, or with any other. His vision of peace with the land of men and a new life ending in eternal sleep was swiftly fading.
He had never meant for it to come to this.
“In Sanctuary,” he said finally. “We must hide the stone in a place where neither angel nor demon can reach.”
Sideshow Collectibles is proud to bring you the Diablo statue, from Blizzard Entertainment’s hugely popular action RPG Diablo III. In a brilliant collaboration between the award-winning Sideshow Design and Development and Blizzard Cinematics teams, led by Sideshow Collectibles Creative Director Tom Gilliland and Blizzard Cinematics Creative Director Nick Carpenter, the Prime Evil’s chosen form comes to life, crafted in high quality polystone. The Diablo statue measures over 20 inches tall, hand painted and finished with painstaking attention to detail. Possess it now, before it possesses you.
Product Size: 21″ H (533.4mm) x 9″ W (228.6mm) x 12″ D (304.8mm)*
Product Weight: 11.00 lbs (4.99 kg)*
Dimensional Weight: 35 lbs*
Int’l Dim. Weight: 48 lbs*
Product Sku: 200219
Artists: Brian Fay (Sculpt), Dave Cortes (Sculpt), Blizzard Cinematics Team (Sculpt), Nick Carpenter (Creative Direction), Tom Gilliland (Creative Direction), Anthony Mestas (Paint), Rick Cantu (Paint)
New York Times best selling author Richard A. Knaak launched a Kickstarter to develop a novel titled… Legends of the Dragonrealm: The Turning War.
According to Richard, this is a three-volume saga which answers many questions concerning the Legends of the Dragonrealm and the Dragon Masters that never got answered.
That truly sounds powerfully interesting.
Blizzard Entertainment, Pocket Books/Gallery Books have published in past years several novels based on Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft which tie-in with a Blizzard video game or expansion that’s in development.
That’s a great practice because it allows players to learn what happened in between one game and the next as a bridge to inform and draw the players into an immersive story.
However, a long time passes by between the release of these novels.
Warcraft, for example, is very rich in lore, spanning more than 10,000 years of life-changing events, but most of it is given to the player through an in-game book in a very brief medium.
Who hasn’t read about the Three Hammers War?… where the Bronzebeards, the Wildhammers, and the Dark Irons went into a civil war that culminated in the eruption of the Blackrock Mountains with the accidental summoning of Ragnaros 300 hundred years before the opening of the Dark Portal.
How about the story that led the Darkspear to flee from Stranglethorn Vale?
Or the story about the first humans led by Tyr to safety.
Or how the first Highborne arrived to Tirisfal Glades prior to the founding of Quel’thalas.
The TOKYOPOP Warcraft Legends manga filled a great niche to tell some of these stories, but a novel is longer than a manga. Better yet, novels can extend into trilogies. Or even an entire series of more than three.
Why, oh why–hasn’t Blizzard Entertainment not caved in to the pleas of lore fans?
That’s a question that will haunt me yet for several years. I know the answer down in my heart. Chris Metzen’s plate has been full these past years with multiple games currently in development and other games not yet announced. He’s also co-producer of the Warcraft film. Not to mention the countless meetings he must participate in at each team department. Plus leading a normal life at home with his children and wife.
Micky Neilson, Sean Copeland, Matt Burns and others are busy with other projects too, and the logistics to prepare those stories before it comes to reality on paper is mind-blowing.
Still … I dream. As any other Warcraft / StarCraft / Diablo lore fan out there, I dream. I have always dreamt of the community getting involved somehow in the initial development of Blizzard novels or graphic novels. Even if everyone involved needs to sign an NDA.
The community has been influencing in the past on the forums, or via Twitter. Even at BlizzCon. Heroes of the Storm has been forged and shaped through BlizzCon and by BlizzCon feedback. TheRedShirtGuy (Ian) was very influential with his lore ABCs. Got immortalized as the Fact-checker NPC in Iron Forge. I do have an anecdote that only some fans in the Scrolls of Lore forums know about. Back in 2009, a fan by the username Timolas pointed out the unnamed captain (Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos) who spoke with the emissary of King Terenas in the scene where he recalls Arthas’ troops to return immediately to Lordaeron is named Captain Luc Valonforth. At the time, I think World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King was in beta testing. Pocket Star Books (Simon & Schuster, Inc. Division) had begun printing the novel titled World of Warcraft: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King. I contacted really an awesome editor, Jaime Costas. We had been in contact for a few years. Some of our past giveaways, and interviews on and before 2009 came to happen through her. I infomed her that the captain in the quest titled: The Truth Shall Set Us Free had been given a name in-game: Captain Luc Valonforth. I had read a review copy two weeks before the novel went on sale. As soon as I told Jaime Costas, she edited the scene where the captain talked with the Lordaeron emissary. The novel then was printed with that name. As I was writing this article, I was double-checking some links and found my tale was added (without my knowledge) to the WoWpedia. See how the lore community works? It’s awesome. The original forum thread is here.
Back to the main topic… say some of the most influential lore fans around the community are picked, and invited to a Skype session or chat room with Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson, Sean Copeland or other members of the Creative Team. Prior to the meeting each is sent by mail an NDA that must be signed, notarized, and sent back. Whatever fancy or legal procedure is needed for such a thing.
Those fans then brainstorm with the creative team. Talk about the different stories, and choose one story. Everyone provides an idea, or ideas on what races or characters existed in that time-frame, what possible stories could exist within that sandbox and timeframe.
Then, Micky Neilson (Publishing Lead) posts a Kickstarter to fund the project. Here is where this dream gets interesting. The project is community-driven from concept to execution. We have seen the success of Blizzard novels.
Pre-Order and Kickstarter are basically the same thing. People commits to buy a product they are interested in, and enlist themselves. There is a slight difference, though. When you enlist to a pre-order in Amazon or another retailer you will get that item delivered on release date. On Kickstarter or other type of crowdsourcing the item isn’t shipped if the item doesn’t reach the targeted price goal when the kickstarter expires.
However, the lore fans are there. It has been proved once and again in Amazon and the New York Times best selling lists.
It would be nice for Blizzard to have a Kickstarter-like page on the Blizzard Store or even in the World of Warcraft in-game store, but Kickstarter is more abroad in terms that non-Blizzard fans can also jump in and participate.
It’s all a bunch of dreams. However, they say dreams do come true. Hope the right people read this, and I know they do.
From the World of Warcraft MMORPG series from Blizzard, Illidan Stormrage has been given the Pop! Vinyl treatment with this World of Warcraft Illidan Pop! Vinyl Figure! Illidan stands 3 3/4-inches tall, and makes a great gift for children and adult collectors alike. When you see just how cool the World of Warcraft Illidan Pop! Vinyl Figure looks you’ll want to collect the rest in this line of WoW Pop! Vinyl figures from Funko! Ages 5 and up.
Jinx has several awesome Holiday offers for Blizzard fans. These offers run throughout December 3 until December 25th. Benefit from these discounts while supplies last. If you wish to send a Gift Certificate to a friend or family for the holidays then go to this page and inform about the holiday discounts.