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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

10 New Must Have Masters of the Universe Figures by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(March 04, 2011)
The Master of the Universe Classic line has exploded once again. It has doubled in size over the past year and is packed with tons of new characters too. Last year I brought you the 10 Marvelous Masters of the Universe Figures (see column). It was a look b

10 OMG Toys at Toy Fair 2011 by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(February 25, 2011)
Instead of going with the harsh term “WTF” toys from Toy Fair, I thought I would bring it to a nicer place with “OMG”. There were tons of pointless and uninspired toys at Toy Fair this year.

Star Wars Thursday: Toy Fair 2011 by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(February 24, 2011)
While walking the aisles of Toy Fair last week I over heard one attendee say “every third booth has something with Star Wars on it”. Whether this guy was complaining or noticing it for the first time it will remain a mystery. Nevertheless, he was right

Transformers Dark of the Moon Toy Fair 2011 by Robert T. Trate & Kimberly McCall, Columnist & Photographer
(February 19, 2011)
It is hard to muster any enthusiasm for Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I know that Michael Bay has delivered two very profitable films. In this economic climate that is an accomplishment. The story just doesn’t do anything for me. However, when it comes

Level Up! Reviews of DC Universe Online and Venetica by Tim Janson, Writer
(February 18, 2011)
Welcome back to Level Up! Hope you’ve had a great week. Wow this is an absolutely huge week. Some big news announcements including the first DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops. We got some huge releases on the way with Killzone 3 and Bulletstorm. We al

Top 11 Toys at Toy Fair 2011 by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(February 18, 2011)
Another Toy Fair has come and gone. For your “Toy Maniac” here at Mania it was a fun filled weekend in New York City. All the heavy hitters were there this weekend and some little guys that had plenty to offer. Now, I know what you are thinking and the

Level Up!: We Review Little Big Planet 2 by Tim Janson, Writer
(February 03, 2011)
After last week’s major announcement about Nintendo’s 3DS, Sony checks in with the announcement of their next generation portable system the NGP. Otherwise it was a quiet week in terms of major news. I’m writing this as Michigan along with much of

Level Up! Nintendo Announces 3DS Release Date and Price by Tim Janson, Columnist
(January 27, 2011)
It’s a good thing that there are plenty of big news stories this week because the release schedule is unusually light and consists mainly of new Wii and DS releases, and minor ones at that. Because of the light schedule there is no pick of the week.

5 Natalie Portman Figures We Need by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(January 21, 2011)
This week is pretty genre light here at Mania. This means a dud like The Green Hornet (see Rob Vaux’s review) will probably take this week’s box office. The new dud set to be released this week is No Strings Attached starring none other than genre favo

5 Star Wars Play Sets We Need by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(January 14, 2011)
Toy Fair is right around the corner in New York City next month. The industry will launch its next wave of toys in their grand fashion. Many have private showings with power point presentations. Others have an invite only booth where you can see all that t

Video Game Preview 2011 by Briana Lawrence
(January 06, 2011)
So here’s our disclaimer before we get started: we may miss a game or two that you yourself may be excited for so before you attack our homes with burning pitchforks remember this... we have adorable kitties in the house so please, spare them at least!

Top 10 Geek Toys of 2010 by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(December 31, 2010)
It has been a long year for the Toy Maniac. Already next year is beginning to shape up as Toy Fair is right around the corner. Like the last three years the Toy Maniac will be on hand to bring you all the best from Hasbro, Lego, Mattel, Mezco and so forth.

Top 6 Star Wars Christmas Figurines by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(December 24, 2010)
Life Day is upon us. If you don’t know what that means then you are truly blessed. Happy Holidays everyone from your Toy Maniac here at Mania. I thought I would round out this holiday season with my Top 6 Star Wars Figurines.

Top 8 Tron Toys by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(December 17, 2010)
Tron Legacy is finally upon us. It seems like only yesterday that we were sitting in Hall H at Comic Con and saw the new Tron trailer. There was an awe that came over the crowd the likes of which we haven’t seen since. The movie is finally here and Mania

Top 10 Hallmark Geek Ornaments by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(December 10, 2010)
Last week we dealt with the 7 Unorthodox Christmas Action Figure Decorations (see column). In the week that has passed we’ve put up the tree here and dived into our massive collection of holiday ornaments.

7 Unorthodox Christmas Action Figure Decorations by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(December 04, 2010)
Many families have that odd Holiday Decoration either on the tree or sitting around the house. It could be a family heirloom, a gift made by crazy Aunt Jenny, or just something that one day appeared. Being Mania’s resident Toy Maniac my Christmas tree is

Level Up! Epic Mickey hits Store Shelves by Tim Janson, Columnist
(December 02, 2010)
Welcome back to Level Up! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and hopefully everyone survived Black Friday. Camping out for days in 30 degree weather isn’t my thing but hey, who am I to rain on your parade! Since there was no column last

Black Friday Time Travelers Shopping Bag by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(November 26, 2010)
Every year there is that must have toy. Whether it is a Furby, an Elmo or Turbo-Man parents will go to any length for that special moment this holiday season. We here at Mania decided to raise the bar on how far we would go to get our all important holiday

COD: Black OPS: Nazi Zombies Kino Der Toten by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(November 19, 2010)
“Der Riese always wins” a friend of mine once said to me. I laughed at him the first time I heard that. What did I know after all I was just a noob. He was right. Der Riese always wins. The horde of Nazi Zombies just keeps coming and coming. Like a biz

Level Up!: Assassins Creed: Brotherhood Gets Ready to Slay the Competition by Tim Janson, Columnist
(November 11, 2010)
Welcome to Level Up! Mania’s new weekly column dedicated to the week’s latest videogame releases. Each week we will spotlight the games due out in the week upcoming along with industry news, reviews, and our Game Pick of the Week. Let’s jump right

Awesome Games Set for November by Briana Lawrence, Columnist
(November 08, 2010)
Take a deep breath. Hold it. Slowly exhale. It’s time. It’s November.

Top 5 Toys You Have to Buy in November by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(November 05, 2010)
It is that time of year again when people are building their wish lists. November is packed full of goodies for the holiday shopping season. If you are like us, here at Mania, you have already packed your wish lists with tons of stuff.

19 Survival Horror Games That Deserve Another Look by Briana Lawrence, Contributor
(November 03, 2010)
A little late to the Halloween party, but we'd still like to take time out to discuss one of our favorite genres in gaming: survival horror. We love scaring ourselves and becoming paranoid about that scrapping noise in our apartment that turns out to be

Toy Maniac: 10 Worst Halloween Costumes by Robert T. Trate, Columnist
(October 15, 2010)
As Halloween approaches, thoughts of what to be this year cross our minds mixed with what we have already been. While we were scratching our brains we started to think about all the terrible costumes that we have encountered.