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San Diego Comic Con Survival Guide 2011 by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(July 01, 2011)
Your weekly Toy Maniac is switching hats this week to bring you his annual San Diego Comic Con Survival Guide. As a participant of Nerdvana now for the fourth straight year I have learned a trick or two. Much of this information will be the same as the pre

Duke Nukem Forever Plays Level Up by Tim Janson, Columnist
(June 30, 2011)
So this week I’m reviewing Duke Nukem Forever to give what I think is a TRULY unbiased review of the game because frankly I don’t think that’s been the case with some of the reviews I’ve read. I mean an “F” from 1 Up Games? Really? An F? An

It's Red Faction: Armageddon for Level Up by Tim Janson, Columnist
(June 23, 2011)
Kind of a light news week but the spate of hackings continue with Sega and Bioware the latest to be hit. It’s seems apparent that the challenge of breaking in seems to be more of an attraction than any attempt to steal vital information, though. We’v

Thor vs. Green Lantern: Your Gaming Opinion by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(June 17, 2011)
The movie video game tie-in is inventible. This summer, we have already had Thor: God of Thunder (see Tim Janson’s review) and now Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. We are also only a few short weeks away from Captain America: Super Soldier. No, we

Hunted: The Demon’s Forge Tackles Level Up by Tim Janson, Columnist
(June 16, 2011)
Well after last week’s E3 craziness we get a bit of a breather this week in terms of news. Hopefully you caught all our coverage including our list of the Top Ten Trailers from E3. One very interesting story that has stirred up a wave of controversy ov

E3 Level Up Wrap Up: New Nintendo Console And More by Tim Janson, Columnist
(June 11, 2011)
The big news out of E3 for Nintendo is the official announcement of their new console which we first told you about a few months back. Due out in 2012, the name is the “Wii U” and we can only hope they didn’t pay a marketing company a lot of money t

10 Great Green Lantern Figures by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(June 10, 2011)
With only a week to go until we see Ryan Reynolds don the mask and ring we have to ask one question. Will this movie rock or suck? A lot of extra effort went into cleaning up the special effects and that has put us all on the fence. I for one think it will

E3 Coverage Dominates Level Up by Tim Janson, Columnist
(June 08, 2011)
Well it’s the biggest week in video games because its E3 week and Level Up is here with its biggest column yet with all of the major announcements from the show. It’s so big that one column won’t cover it all so we’ll be hitting you with another c

Your Makeshift X-Men First Class Figures by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(June 03, 2011)
As I was gathering a list of “Makeshift X-Men First Class Figures”, Sideshow Collectibles announced that Hot Toys has the official license to the property. There went all my bitching and complaining about no toys for this movie.

Bethesda’s Hot New Shooter Brink Arrives in Level Up by Tim Janson, Columnist
(June 02, 2011)
As of this writing, the Playstation Store is still not available, missing the May 31st date originally targeted last week. It is now supposed to be up by the end of the week (unless you live in Japan, Hong Kong, or South Korea).

6 Must Have 2011 SDCC Toy Exclusives by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(May 27, 2011)
The San Diego Comic Con is just 2 months away. Already badges have been bought and hotel accommodations have been made. So as we plan for Nerdvana we have to figure out what exclusives we can and cannot live without.

SOCOM 4 and Thor: God of Thunder Enter Level Up by Tim Janson, Critic
(May 26, 2011)
Well we have online gaming back on the Playstation Network but still not PSN Store as you will read below in our first news story. However Sony has made an announcement about the previously mentioned free one year identify theft protection. All the detai

Trollhunter and 7 Other Movies that Need Toys by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(May 20, 2011)
The time has come, again, to list movies that need toys. Now many of these films are recent releases. Many would be more action figures or high-end collectibles rather than toys. Will some of these actually see the light of day? There are a few on this lis

Playstation Network Back Up in Level Up by Tim Janson, Columnist
(May 19, 2011)
Well finally some relief! As of Saturday night the Playstation network had been restored, at least a part of it. You first need to download the new update after which you have to change your password. While online play has been restored the Playstation

10 Things I did Since the PlayStation Network Went Down by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(May 13, 2011)
The PlayStation Network has been down for quite some time. It will supposedly be up and running by the end of May. Those of you that have a PlayStation have had to make do without running around vanquishing one another. In the weeks that have passed I have

Playstation Woes and Assassin's Creed Dominate Level Up by Tim Janson, Columnist
(May 12, 2011)
The big story this week continues to be the outage of the Playstation Network. Now into its third week of being down, there is still no definite word on when the PSN will be back online in full. A Sony spokesman in Japan had given a target date of May 31

Top 10 Thor Toys by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(May 06, 2011)
The God of Thunder finally comes to Earth with the movie Thor. Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Larry Lieber breathed comic book life into this mythological character back in 1962. Since then, there have been plenty of t-shirts, posters, and toys. With the Thor m

Mortal Kombat Reboot Strikes Level Up by Tim Janson, Columnist
(May 05, 2011)
The big story again this week continues to be the Playstation network being down. It’s been two weeks with still no definite word when all services will be restored. In Tokyo this week, Sony's Kaz Hirai held a press conference to reveal the company's pl

Level Up! Playstation Network Still Down and We Review Dynasty Warriors 7 by Tim Janson, Columnist
(April 28, 2011)
Well the major story this week continues to be the shutdown of the Playstation Network due to an outside intrusion, i.e. hacker. The news is getting no better for Sony. While the network was shut down last Wednesday evening, Sony didn’t discover that t

Level Up Takes a Look at Yakuza 4 by Tim Janson, Critic
(April 21, 2011)
Welcome back to Level Up! And welcome to our new day! We’ve moved to Thursdays starting this week so be sure to join us each Thursday for the latest videogame news and happenings. The next two weeks are extremely quiet in terms of new games. There ar

10 Happy Meal Toys We Will Never See by Robert T. Trate, Columnist and Toy Maniac
(April 15, 2011)
Recently, I was on the hunt for one Happy Meal Toy for my nephew. The little guy loves Batman and right now McDonald’s has Young Justice Happy Meal Toys based on the cartoon series. After three attempts, I finally landed the Dark Knight. Ironically, this

Top 10 Not Made Yet Clone Wars Figures by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(April 08, 2011)
Star Wars the Clone Wars wrapped up its third season last week with “Wookie Hunt” (see Mania’s review). As we catch up on the reruns and dive back into season 1 and 2 on Blu-ray we’ll wait for a few more things besides season 4, new figures. Toy Fa

Top 10 Chewbacca Action Figures by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(April 01, 2011)
Season three of Star Wars the Clone Wars ends this week. Making his first appearance on the show and chronologically is Chewbacca. We thought a proper salute was order and what better way to do it than the Toy Maniac Column. After all, he was our first win

7 Super Sized Action Figures by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(March 18, 2011)
Super sized action figures are few and far between. It is a gamble for the toy company to create a gigantic figure. Often the price is hefty and parents usually don’t go for it. Thankfully, every once in while, a property comes along that demands a super

Versus: The Yin and Yang of Toys by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(March 11, 2011)
In the world of toys there are always two; a Yin and a Yang. What is Optimus Prime without Megatron? We can’t have G.I. Joe without Cobra, right? What if we would really square off some of these toys in a battle to the death? Who would come out on top an