Saturday, 31 May 2014

Indy Interviews - Jon Anthony/Minnesota Anthony

There will be two posts a week on Indy's Temple and I've started a new feature where I will be interviewing various fans, cosplayers and such in the Indy fandom. You can message me here or at exulted_unicron@hotmail.com if you want to be a part of this blog.

Now, without further ado, I am pleased to present the first of many interviews at the Temple, Minnesota Anthony.

Hello Jonathan. Welcome to Indy's Temple and thank you for joining us for an interview

Jonathan Anthony: I'm thrilled to be here, Aaron.

Aaron Wood: for those readers that have been following my blog, I've posted some work by Jonathon on her before. The Treasure Trade piece that he co-wrote with Samuel Inglis

Jonathan Anthony: Oh, I forgot about that thing....I hope everyone enjoyed it.

Aaron Wood: it was one of the popular pieces around the holiday period. So, lets start there. So, give us a little on how you came up with Gulliver Crow and his exploits

Jonathan Anthony: It really was born out of my passion for Indiana Jones. I've always wanted to make my own adventure hero in that vein, and I'd come up with a concept for a character that I then shared on a whim with a close friend of mine, Mr. Inglis. He proceeded to, purely for fun, tell me his suggestions, and at the time I was so impressed by them that I requested we collaborate to write stories with Crow as the hero. So that's how it began.

Aaron Wood: will we be seeing Crow anytime again soon?

Jonathan Anthony: At this time...I really can't make promises. I'd love for him to appear in some form or another someday, but since that initial time, me and Samuel did write a couple short stories as well as a rough draft of a novel starring Gulliver. However, we both began to be occupied by our own personal lives and obligations, and so the partnership dissolved, and with it, the Gulliver Crow series has more-or-less been abandoned. But if I can find a good excuse to revive the guy in a future story, in a different context...I would totally do it.

Aaron Wood: sure sure. We have fans out there that want the triumphant return of Gulliver Crow. Now, speaking of Indiana Jones, you have a fairly successful youtube series called Minnesota Anthony

Jonathan Anthony: Yup. There's a decent following.

Aaron Wood: so, give us some background on the idea and character of Minnesota Anthony

 Jonathan Anthony: Now, that was also rooted in love for Indy. You're gonna hear that a lot in this interview... I basically had wanted to join the online video blog scene, but had difficulty really coming up with something unique enough to justify the effort. And then I realized: nobody's giving the adventure movie genre its due. As far as I knew, there were no YouTube critics who focused on that. So, I decided to break some ground.

Now, as for the character, I originally wanted Minny to be the sole star, and pretty much base my reviews off the template of The Nostalgia Critic. But as I wrote the first episode, which was a review of Raiders of the Lost Ark, I found it hard to properly make him interesting enough without devolving to the generic 'yelling, over-the-top critic' template. So I wanted someone for him to interact with, to butt heads with. So I invented a 'twin brother' named Donny, who accompanies the reviews soley to provide a differing viewpoint, cynicism to counteract Minny's optimism about the film the video discusses. And that chemistry I think is what gives the reviews some energy and life and a sense of humor that it couldn't have otherwise.

Aaron Wood: a lot of people will want to know. What's your Indy gear?

Jonathan Anthony: Its sadly just a mish-mash of what I can scavenge. I've never had the money to buy a truly high-quality costume, so my current Indy gear consists of: a brown leather jacket, which you can get anywhere, a cream-colored long-sleeve button shirt, dark brown pants (I prefer this as its the color Indy had in Raiders), whatever brown boots I can find, a large, brown woman's purse which is the closest thing to a satchel I can use, and I do actually have a pretty good replica Indy fedora, bought from a Western clothes store during the time of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull's release. Otherwise...I lack a pistol and holster to complete the ensemble, and even if I did, I wouldn't include that bit much anyway. Just would be too cumbersome at a con or some such.
[5/30/2014 8:14:12 PM] Aaron Wood: and I assume they wouldn't really be seen on camera during your reviews, right?
[5/30/2014 8:16:19 PM] Jonathan Anthony: The reviews usually featured me and Donny, who did have his own special look to differentiate us, seen only from the head down to the mid-torso, as 'we' would be sitting in front of the camera. I would sometimes have bits where you'd see Minny up and walking around, but not too often, and usually just to help with a visual gag, like when I re-created an infamous moment from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for that review...

 Aaron Wood: I'll include a link to the show in the notes. Now, you said you've worn it for conventions. What has been the reaction from people regarding the costume both at conventions and online?

Jonathan Anthony: Thanks to the costume not being exactly a high-quality replica, I've never gotten a tremendously impressed reaction, especially if showing it to fellow Indy fans. But I did recently attend a convention here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I was one of very few people dressed as Indy, and I did get some excited folks asking for pictures and complimenting me, which was very nice.

Aaron Wood: it's a great thing as an Indy fan when you get complimented and asked for photos. Now, this next part is a chance for you to show yourself to the fans. so, how did you get into the fandom and aside from Indy, what else are you interested in?

Jonathan Anthony: The memory is a little hazy, but I think the first Indiana Jones movie I saw was The Last Crusade. And I was perhaps around nine or ten years old. It was on television, and my father was flipping through the channels, and I spotted what I thought was Han Solo wearing a hat. I asked him to stop, and we thankfully were not too far into the movie. So I watched it, and had a great time. From that point, I saw all the other movies in reverse order of release, and all on TV too, going from Temple of Doom to Raiders. But with Crystal Skull, that was of course when I was old enough to see it in theaters, and saw it, I think, five times. It was really around KOTCS' release that I fully embraced a passion for the movies, and at that point really dived into the fandom. So that's that.

As for what else I like, I of course love action and adventure stories, not just in movies. The Dirk Pitt novels and work of James Rollins have always been enjoyable. I also adore science fiction, and fantasy is sort of a case of....it has to be damn good, otherwise, I have trouble connecting to it. But yeah, lots of speculative fiction, and general love for art and entertainment. Oh, and writing my own stories, of course.

Aaron Wood: speaking of adventurers, is there any love for a certain Mr. Drake?

 Jonathan Anthony: Oh, of course. I've never completed Uncharted 1 and 2, thanks to various crappy excuses, but I did play Drake's Deception the whole way through, and that truly is a masterpiece. As a game, its a great time, but as just an adventure story in its own right....one of the absolute highest works in the genre, seriously. What a damn great story and characters.

Aaron Wood: i do agree with some that Deception did seem a bit Last Crusade inspired.

Jonathan Anthony: I got that too. The whole sequence of Kid Nate was very reminiscent of Last Crusade's opening with River Phoenix as Young Indy. That, and the game's story is very much an exploration of Nate's relationship with Sully, who for all intents and purposes is his father now.

 Aaron Wood: now, before we wrap this interview up. Is there any spoilers or teasers you can give on what we can expect from Minnestoa Anthony in the near future?

Jonathan Anthony: There's definitely plans swirling in my head. Most of them are dependent on factors such as money, resources, and if there's sufficient demand for Minny to justify the effort. I can make no concrete promises, but I'll at the least say: if Minny does come back, I plan to shake things up a little. The best shows need some rejiggering to stay fresh, after all. So keep an eye out, folks!

 Aaron Wood: I'm sure we'll wait the return of Gulliver Crow and Minnesota Anthony with baited breath.

 Jonathan Anthony: The pressure is on...

 Aaron Wood: so, which has been your favourite review to do so far?

Jonathan Anthony: All of them have had fun things about them, but perhaps my favorite one so far was for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. That review utilized a gimmick that took a lot of hard work to pull off, and I think resulted in a really fun, outrageous and clever video with some of my most imaginative editing and acting of all the reviews. Definitely a memorable shoot, that one.

Aaron Wood: sounds like that's definitely one for the to watch list. So, anything you're looking forward to reviewing?

Jonathan Anthony: I hope to finish reviewing the Jurassic Park films (I do consider them adventure movies by technicality), and I'm also hoping to get to the point where I tackle Pirates of the Caribbean, Tomb Raider, Stargate, National Treasure and Spielberg's Tintin.

Aaron Wood: we're looking forward to seeing those sometime soon.

Jonathan Anthony: Thank you, they should be fun!

Aaron Wood: I'd like to thank you for joining us here in the Temple. It's been fun and a pleasure to talk Indy and Minnesota Anthony with you

Jonathan Anthony: And vice versa. I had a great time Aaron.

And as promised, here's a link to Minnesota Anthony's youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1KvabsGMOo&list=TLzsdJtEaYhC-qYNmyI7oXq3tQJNHbe8Qo

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Indy Reviews - Disney exclusive Collectable Figure Collection

Disney and Indiana Jones has been going hand in hand since he was first introduced to the parks in the 90s. Disney have started a recent trend of releasing boxed sets of 5 figures based on various franchises as well as their own characters. There have been figures of well known Disney characters, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars and in 2010, Indiana Jones

 
The set has a selection of five figures from Raiders, being the German Mechanic, The Cairo Swordsman, Indy himself, Marion and Sallah. Aside from the Mechanic, each figure has his own accessory, though, the Swordsman;s sword is stuck permanently in his hand., same with Marion's frying pan. However, there is a golden Fertility idol, the Ark,a torch and a revolver. 

Each figure stands approximately 4 inches in height, about the same as a Star Wars, Indy or similar scaled action figure. Each one has two points of articulation, the arms move and that's it. They're made from a soft PVC and as such, certain things in the set are likely to be bent, though it shouldn't take much to bend them back into shape.  Paint apps are about what you'd expect for a Disney made exclusive. Not exactly the best, but far from being absolutely horrible. Though looking through several sets, I think they're all hand painted, so again, your mileage may vary. 

The set has been found in various places, such as parks, resorts and Disney stores. It generally retails for $17.99. It can also be found on various secondary markets as well like eBay. Another use for them, if anyone was interested, they'd make fantastic cake toppers or similar

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Indy Reviews - Indiana Jones Vinylmations

Ever since they were first released back in November of 2008, Vinylmations have been a smash hit around the world. Similar to their Pins, Disney hit upon the idea to sell blind packaged 3 inch figures in their parks and stores across the globe. After 24 hit series based around the Parks, Attractions, Franchises, Events and so much more, that in January 2014, Indy fans across the globe were treated to Indiana Jones in Vinylmation form.






The line has seven regular figures in Indiana Jones, Marion, Belloq, Salla, Pat Roach Mechanic, Swordsman and Toht. Each figure is about 3 inches tall. Only the Swordsman comes with an accessory, his sword. The others don't come with anything. I do think there's a missed opportunity here for some accessories to be put with the figures. Like a whip for Indy, a frying pan for Marion, a Ram's head staff for Belloq, a shovel or torch for Sallah, a wrench for the Mechanic and maybe a poker for Toht.





The Chachapoyan Fertility Idol is the chaser figure of the collection. It's rare and may take a lot of boxes to finally get. The Indy in Disguise figure is a topper figure. It comes on top of a blind box, making it the ONLY figure you know you're getting. He comes with a Staff with the Headpiece attached. The detail on the figure is amazing. There's carvings on both sides of the headpiece, despite the small size, as well as sweat on the figure's forehead.

There is a rare variant of the Indiana Jones figure, a jacketless Indy figure.


Prices can vary on the secondary market. The standard figures can cost around $10 or so on eBay. The Idol is about $50 and the Jacketless Indy goes for around $100-150. I was in Orlando on vacation for Star Wars Weekends and I was able to score pretty much the entire collection. I highly recommend these to anyone who is an interested in exclusive merchandise and anything Disney.

Boxes are on sale from the Disney Parks store and in the Parks themselves, as well as certain resorts and brick and mortar stores. They're priced $12.95 per box. The Indy in Disguise pack is $24.95 and you can get from the exact same places.