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Toy Fair 2020 and Baby Yoda

If there’s one thing this year’s Toy Fair made obviously clear, it’s that kids these days have it good when it comes to toys. Advances in tech, plus a neverending stream of slick superhero films, and resurgent ‘80s and ‘90s nostalgia means all the toys you grew up with are now cooler than ever. Gizmodo and io9 took a stroll through Toy Fair 2020 this weekend. While there wasn’t as much of a unifying trend this year, there were still plenty of toys, plushies, action figures, games, and collectibles covering every inch of the showroom floor. Here’s all the cool stuff that had us wishing we were kids all over again. Or at least adults with bigger wallets.

1. Adorable, Baby Yoda Is
With The Mandalorian, Disney prized secrecy regarding The Child over all else—even if it meant that the 2019 holiday season came and went with nary an official Baby Yoda merchandise. (Look, only cops and Disney reps call him The Child.) Toy Fair was rife with Baby Yodas of all shapes and sizes. There’s too many to list in this tiny roundup, but you can catch a peek of them all here. Of all the Baby Yoda tie-ins, however, Hasbro’s animatronic definitely took the cake.

2. D-O and the Razer Crest Lego Sets
Look, okay, there’s a lot of Star Wars toys at Toy Fair every year. Even more in a year where you have new launches tying into not one, not two, but three titles. We saw a ton of stuff related to Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, the final season of Clone Wars, and The Mandalorian, but Lego’s D-O and Razer Crest sets were two of our favorite non-Baby Yoda finds.

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New Star Wars Project?

Deadline has confirmed that a new Star Wars feature is in the works with Sleight filmmaker J.D. Dillard and Luke Cage and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. scribe Matt Owens, but those with knowledge say that it’s not definite whether it’s for Disney+ or the big screen. Reportedly the project will take place on the hidden Sith planet of Exegol, which was introduced in last December’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. This past 4Q, Disney had two hits, the Disney+ series The Mandalorian which drove the streamer’s near 30M subscribers, and the $1.06 billion-grossing Skywalker trilogy finale The Rise of Skywalker. However, in the wake of the misfiring of 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story ($393M WW) the studio has been hesitant about aggressively ramping up what was a huge Star Wars feature spinoff universe. And with the success of the Jon Favreau created Mandalorian, it’s made the studio think twice about continuing to extend the franchise on the big screen. Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss left the fresh feature trilogy they were hatching as exclusively reported by Deadline, and it’s been crickets in regards to any movement on the franchise Rian Johnson was developing; in fact a sequel to Knives Out is more of a reality in the near future for the filmmaker. There’s also a Star Wars pitch that was made by Marvel boss Kevin Feige.

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Disney Auditioning for Marvel Avengers Campus?

Disney Auditions is now looking for people to apply for the upcoming Marvel Avengers Campus Stunt Show, coming soon to Disney California Adventure. According to the job description, Disney is currently looking for people interested in becoming performers to play Black Widow, Black Panther, Captain America, Spider-Man, and an undisclosed villain (Thanos, possibly?) Directly from the current job description: Disney Parks Live Entertainment is actively seeking ONLINE SUBMISSIONS from professional stunt talent with significant experience for an upcoming live action show at Disney California Adventure® Park.  These stunt professionals will use unrivaled experience and athletic skills to amaze and astound our guests every day through high intensity stunts such as stage combat, weapon combat, tumbling and more.

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Netflix Anime Transformers Trailer

New Walking Dead: World Beyond Cast

AMC has greenlit a third Walking Dead series that is set to join its Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead brethren. The new series, which is called The Walking Dead: World Beyond, will have a 10-episode first season. The series was co-created by Walking Dead Gimple and longtime TWD writer Matt Negrete, who will also serve as showrunner. Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island) is directing the pilot. “Showing audiences an unseen pocket of The Walking Dead universe steeped in a new mythology is a very cool way to celebrate a ‘Decade of the Dead’ on TV and over fifteen years of Robert Kirkman’s brilliant comic,” Gimple said in the press release. “Matt Negrete is one of the best writer-producers in TWD’s long history — I’m thrilled to be working beside him to tell stories unlike we’ve seen before, taking our first step into an even larger world.” That even larger world will be a bit more limited than previously realized. During AMC’s appearance at the Winter 2020 TCA press tour AMC President Sarah Barnett announced that The Walking Dead: World Beyond will be a “closed-ended series” featuring only two 10-episode seasons.

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Karn Evil 9 becoming a Movie?

Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s 1973 song “Karn Evil 9” is being turned into a science-fiction movie, Deadline reports. The film will be executive produced by Radar Pictures, the group behind the hit Jumanji series, and written by Robopocalypse author Daniel H. Wilson, who’ll adapt a screenplay based on the concept laid out by Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s song. The track, the centerpiece of the trio’s classic Brain Salad Surgery album, runs almost 30 minutes and takes up part of Side One and all of Side Two on the LP. It’s divided into four “impressions” and basically tells the story of a battle between humans and computers. Written by Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and lyricist Peter Sinfield, the song — coupled with the album’s iconic cover art by H.R. Giger, who later helped design the look of the 1979 sci-fi classic Alien — and its dystopian theme make it a perfect candidate for a movie, even if the narrative itself gets somewhat lost in the music. Deadline notes that the movie will focus on “a society that has drained all its blood with a dependence on technology” and “explore the world controlled by a pervasive and dictatorial technocracy.” The song’s famous refrain — “Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends / We’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside” — will most likely be represented by a carnival of exhibits that feature 20th-century “oddities,” ranging from blades of grass to Dixieland music, that have been wiped out by technology. “The visionary world that ELP created with their recording ‘Karn Evil 9’ is much closer to reality today,” said Radar’s Ted Field. “Our team at Radar looks forward to bringing this vision of where things may be headed to the big screen and beyond.”

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