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Friday, August 26, 2016

Top 10 Video Game Dogs

In honor of it being National dog day in the US we decide to put together a list of the top 10 dogs of video gaming. This list is presented in no particular order because it's really hard to decide who deserves more head scratches and squeaky steaks over anyone else.

The Duck Hunt Dog

You can't talk about video game dogs and not talk about this jerk. Today's games for kids would never feature anything that laughs at your failures, but the it was a different time and all us 80's kids are still carrying the bitterness and emotional pain from being taunted by this big bully. He's not likable but he is memorable.  

K.K. Slider: Animal crossing series

K.K. Slider AKA Totakeke, performances have been delighting animals and villager with his wide variety of Song stylings since the original Animal Crossing game. With every new animal crossing I knew I had to hit that first Saturday night performance to get my copy of K.K. Technopop (which like so many songs sounds entirely different preformed live than it does on the home stereo.) The Newer animal crossing games make it a little easier to get a hold of K.K. sweet tunes by letting you pick them up at your local department store, but regardless of how you get it, K.K. music makes the already delightful animal crossing world even better.

Dog: Fable II 

The Dog in Fable II is an ever present companion, pointing you to chests, dinging up trinkets and biting those no good bandits that seem to be swarming over every part of Albion. The Dog in Fable II is loyal to the absolute end and in my game I did something I almost never do in games which was make a more selfish choice affecting 100s of others just to keep him by my side indefinitely because I love him so much. There's a dog in Fable III as well and while I do love my dog he didn't inspire the same sort of devotion as the Fable II dog.

Chop: Grand Theft Auto V

I might be biased because I had a big silly Rottweiler as a young lady, but I really love Chop. He's cute, he does tricks, and he only attacks when someone is hostile towards Franklin first so you don't have to worry about him instigating fights (or making Rottweiler's look bad). So you can just have a nice day of playing fetch your silly dog without worrying about too many consequences. Chop can get injured he always respawns back at Franklin's ready for more playtime or possble to bite more jerks depending on what's going on. He even was the subject of his own out of game app while, we didn't use his app( because we didn't have phones that worked with it) it says a lot about how lovable chop is. The game features 3 distinct main human characters and not a one of them get a special app. I'd love to play fetch with this lovely boy in real life.

Parappa: Parappa the Rappa

Parappa's the title character of one the most quirky and original rhythm games ever released. Parappa is a dog made of paper who raps and is in love with a sunflower. I'm pretty sure that introduction alone should make just about anyone fall in love with him(or at least have a healthy interest), but if that's not enough, in the rain or in the snow he's got the funky flow, how many of the other dogs on this list could say that?

DogMeat: Fallout Series

DogMeat is by far the best looking follower you can get in the Fallout series which is in itself a pretty good perk, but he also takes commands well, scavenges stuff for you, and holds unwanted supplies all while not caring how particularly good or bad you are.  I personally couldn't bear to take him with me in FO3 because I couldn't stand getting him accidentally killed (the puppies perk didn't make me feel any better about it). Luckly in his newest incarnation in FO4 fixed he's cute, he's useful, and now he's unkillable too.

Rush: Megaman Series

Rush has been with Megaman since way back in 1990 and has been helping him reach greater heights ever since. Rush can transform into a springboard, a hoverboard, a submarine, a bike and a spaceship to name a few. If it's not enough that Rush is basically the world's cutest transformer he can also junction with Megaman making him stronger than ever. He's definitely a robot's best friend

Hewie: Haunting Ground

Hewie is Fiona's partner throughout the confusing and disturbing psychological world of Haunting ground. Fiona is prone to sudden uncontrollable panic when faced with a castle full of people who want to kill or molest her and Hewie helps keep her alive while she's blindly running into walls or corners. In addition to keeping Fiona alive when under direct threat, Hewie also helps with puzzles and goes exploring in Fiona's stead. Hewie does require some training to be at his best, but he's overall a very good boy and Fiona wouldn't survive without him.

Angelo: Final Fantasy VIII

Angelo, Sant' Angelo Di Roma formally, who in spite of the name is a lovely lady dog, is one heck of an asset in battles. As part of Rinoa's Combine limit break she offers some of the most useful skills in the game (assuming you've found and read he Pet Pals magazines). Her better than average dog tricks, are pretty much the only reason I ever bothered having Rinoa in my party any longer than necessary. Frankly the game would have been better if Rinoa was wholesale replace by Angelo.

Brown: Rule of Rose

After she rescues him from some unquestionably evil children, Brown becomes the companion of poor hapless Jennifer. He stays at her side as she tries to navigate through a series of confusing and dangerous tasks dictated by the Red Crayon Aristocrats who are tormenting her while she's also trying to navigate a mansion full of freaky monster children and the occasional even freakier adult. Needless to say it's pretty rough for poor Jennifer but Brown makes her life a bit easier. Brown doesn't actually attack anyone (or maybe anything is a better term for those enemies) but he does provide a good distraction allowing Jennifer to get in a good whack or two or escape depending on the situation. He's also able to hunt down precious healing items and tradeable items that make a big difference in how well Jennifer survives. You save Brown's life and he never forgets the favor staying loyal companion throughout.

So that's our list, if you haven't played any of the games these digital doggies appear in we suggest you rectify that immediately, but before that if you've got any real life dogs hanging around give them an extra head scratch and dog biscuit in honor of their special day. And also because I can't make a top 10 list and stick to just here's my lsit of honorable mentions:

Honorable Mention:
These dogs are still great just not in my top list:
Mira from the Silent Hill Series
All of the dogs from Nintendogs
Dog from Secret of Evermore
Diamond Dog from MGSV, Dog from Torchlight,
Dog from the Bard's Tale(2004)


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Collection Update: Sailor Moon World Coloring Book and Printable Coloring Pages

We love to color, it's a fun and relaxing way to spend some free time (which is probably why it's a trend lately).  Of course it's always extra fun to combine hobbies, so we were really happy to recently add this Sailor Moon coloring book to our collection:

Sailor Moon World Coloring Book
We're referring to this as a coloring book but it's more of a coloring pad, it flips open at the top and has single images on each page. This has some really cute unique images in it too for example:

Adorable Ami and Rei Coloring page
It's really unclear what the heck those two are doing, Rei's getting Ami ready for her wedding maybe? They're in a fashion show? Whatever is happening, it's a lovely image and has a lot of options for creative coloring. There's also some less fanciful images like this one:

Haruka and Michiru coloring page

This cute little image of Haruka and Michiru, is a little more standard in terms of how they're portrayed but is still really, really adorable.

One problem with coloring books though, is that they're usually a single use item, you get to color each beautiful page once and never again. So with most of our collectible coloring books, we just never color in them and enjoy the line art. With this one we decided the images were too cute not to color, so we decided to scan them all so we can print them at our leisure and color them as many items as we want. Here's one of the finished results:

Makoto and Mina
Not the greatest photo of my finished page, but it's a really cute image and I enjoyed coloring it.

As we already scanned the whole book we decided to put the scans up on our site to share as printable coloring pages, so feel free to print and color the senshi along with us. :)


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Collection Oddities: Russian Sailor Moon Paper Doll Bootleg

It's been awhile since I've done and oddities post, it's not that we have any shortage of weird crap in our vast collection, its just that I've been devoting my time to other pursuits. However this has been sitting on my desktop for months gently reminding me that we have a little gem to share with the world. So today I bring you a Russian Bootleg Sailor Moon Paper Doll.

The stained glass dolphin gives it a special touch.

Here's the front cover which is also the front of the doll, which notably has no perforations or even thick lines for guidance you just have to be really good with a scissors. There's also some Russian text here but we have no idea what it says, my BFF's husband is Russian and I could have asked him to translate, but I unfortunately have a healthy sense of shame and didn't want to ask him to look at and translate this ridiculous thing. So for the time being it's a wonderful mystery and we can just pretend it says anything we want until someone corrects us. I'm content to think it says Katarina: Moon Sailor. So naturally the artist took some creative liberties with the Sailor Moon character design, shortening up her hair, giving her a blow up doll mouth and breaking the fingers in her right hand. I'd complain about her body proportions being seriously questionable, but I love Naoko Takeuchi's manga art and none of it would past and anatomy test so, I'll give that a pass as it's in the spirit of the original. Also as I noted in the caption there's a stained glass dolphin on it for no reason, I suppose it could the company logo, though if I made this item I'm pretty sure I'd take great pains NOT to brand it in any way, but to each their own.

Moving on, here's the back.

The visible hand lets us know she's a closet Trekkie who wants us to live long and prosper.

Unlike just about every other paper doll I've seen the back of the doll is on a totally separate sheet front he front of the doll. It also has no perforations or helpful outlines so you have to hope you manage to cut both parts out perfectly so you can stick them together. In addition to the back of the doll there are the strips used to stand her up which the maker has thankfully included some dotted fold lines on them and a little diagram. So even if you mangle the doll itself trying to cut her out, you know how to make her dismembered body stand up straight. There's also a lot of Russian text back here which we're guessing is mostly assembly instructions and looks to be some company contact information just in case you want to order more poorly executed paper dolls for friends and loved ones.

Naturally you don't want Katarina the Moon Sailor standing around in her bra and panties all day so she comes with several pages of outfits we didn't take pictures of them all just 2 pages worth.

First up some generic  everyday outfits:

Mangled fingers are always in fashion.
This is the standard sort of casual wear this book of paper dolls provides you with, right on the cutting edge of fashion forward looks for dowdy middle aged Russian moon sailors. More so than the lovely clothes themselves, the problem with these is the drop shadow around them. So now there are no perforations and no guidelines and there's a drop shadow around the clothes further confusing the cutting process. Do you leave in the drop shadows or do you cut them off? This paper doll forces you to make hard choices, they kind there's no going back on. More than simple fashion fun this doll set is teaching tough life lessons. If you can bring yourself and your scissors to make a decision on what to do about those oh so helpful drop shadows you can move on to another set of outfits.

It wouldn't be a Moon Sailor doll without the classic Sailor Moon outfit. This is the one thing the doll actually does well, with the exception of her gloves, it's a fairly accurate representation of Sailor Moon's classic fuku. The School fuku has some accuracy issues but would pass as Usagi's 5th season High School fuku.  The maker apparently put all their time and energy into making a decent looking Sailor fuku that would be nearly impossible to carefully cut out and use with the doll, bless them, truly.

So in conclusion this thing is pretty awful and unusable, what I didn't point out above is that it's all on flimsy paper not cardstock, and not even the thickness of most office paper, so even if you happen to be one of those people who do really beautiful and delicate cut work your doll isn't going to stand up under it's own weight and will likely blow away if someone walks by it. However like all of the crszy pieces in our lovingly curated collection we like it for all of it's insane imperfections. When you spend thousands of dollars on your collection sometimes it's nice to throw a few dollars at something that's not so serious and just makes you laugh at the sheer absurdity of it.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Avane Shopping Guide 2015: 10 gifts for Pokemon fans

We started watching Pokemon back in 1998, when it first started airing on US TV. We immediately fell in love with the cute little pocket monsters and Ash's adventures in catching them. It took us a little while to get to the actual games (we started with gold and silver) but we feel in love with those too. Clearly we're not alone as Pokemon has a robust fan base and the franchise is still going strong. We've been collecting Pokemon items since we first started the show so it's not surprise we also  stock a ton of Pokemon Merchandise in our shop. Here's our top picks for great Pokemon gifts.

Pokemon Kids Lucario Figure:

Pokemon Lucario figure for sale.
Pokemon kids are some of myfavorite merchandise, these hollow little figures are always super cute. This is fan favorite Lucario who is well detailed and looks fabulous on display. Figure is in great shape and ready to make someone's day.

Pokemon Mini Porcelain Dish:

Pokemon  Treecko porcelain dish for sale
This is a Japanese import pokemon item, a tiny Porcelain dish with a Treecko on it. This tiny bowl would be good for holding rings or similarly small treasures. A unique stocking stuffer for your favorite Pokemon fan.

Pokemon Marble Holder with Raichu:

Pokemon Raichu Marble Holder for sale
Pokemon Marbles are small and shiny and cute, but they often have tendency to roll under your furniture or be stolen by your cat. This marble holder solves that issue with Raichu style. It also comes with a Machoke marble to get a marble collection started or add to an existing one. This is useful and fun gift for your favorite Pokemaniac that collects everything.

Pokemon Elekid beanie plush:

Pokemon Elekid beanie for sale

This cute little plush features Elekid, the baby form of Electabuzz. Electabuzz isn't one of the cuter pokemon, but this Elekid is a different story. Look at his adorable little angry face, who wouldn't love to unwrap this little cutie pie?

Jakks Entei Figure:

Pokemon entei figure for sale.
Having started the Pokemon game series with Silver, I'm partial to the legendary beasts introduced in Gen II. So of course I'd have to highlight this fabulous  Entei figure.This figure is very well detailed and in excellent shape. A really great addition to any Pokemon collection.

Pokemon Tupperware:

Pokemon Tupperware for sale
Tupperware made an official Pokemon line in the late 90s/early 2000s. This is a cute little sandwich keeper featuring Bulbasaur, Charmander and Bellsprout.  As they're Tupperware they're pretty durable,  we use ours a few times a week and the do have some wear but have held up admirably for being 15+ years old. A great useful collectible and a fun gift for any Pokemon lover.

Pokemon Movie Pidgeot Card:

Pokemon Pidgeot Card toy for sale
This is fun plastic card shaped toy with a display stand. A ton of these were released to promote the pokemon movie back in 2000. This one features Pidgeot and its wings flap when you push the button on the bottom. This is an interesting collectible that makes a great display piece.  This would make a fun stocking stuffer for any Pokemon fan.

Pokemon Trading Figure Golem:

Pokemon Golem figure for sale
I've never played the Pokemon trading figure game, but I love these figures. They often feature the Pokemon in much more dynamic poses than you see in other figures. This is Golem (the final evolution of Geodude), rising out of a cloud of dust. Still has the spinner ring intact and is a great choice for players of the game, or just as a cool display piece.

Pokemon Gameboy Toy:

Pokemon Gameboy toy for sale. 
This is a fun little Pokemon toys that's shaped like a Gameboy with a Gligar on screen, and even has a little removable cartridge with a Metapod on it. Gligar bounces up and down with you press the D-pad button. This is a really fun little gift sure to spark a little nostalgia for anyone who grew up playing Pokemon on their Gameboy Color.

Japanese Pokemon Keychain w/ Pikachu, Ash and Froakie:

Japanese Pokemon Key Chain for sale
This is metal key chain featuring Ash, Froakie and Pikachu, though as it's direct from Japan it uses their Japanese names, Satoshi, Keromatsu and Pikachu.  This is a great image overall but Pikachu looks especially cute in this image. This is still sealed in the original plastic and is a perfect stocking stuffer.

Those are some of our top picks, but we have many of other great Pokemon items available, we certainly have something wonderful in stock for your favorite Pokefan.


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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Avane Shopping Guide 2015: 10 gifts for Sailor Moon fans

We've been collecting Sailor Moon for a long time so it should be no surprise that we have a ton of Sailor Moon items in our store. If you've got a Sailor Moon fan on your holiday shopping list, we have a huge selection of  vintage Sailor Moon items available. We have everything from Sailor Moon comics to Sailor Moon dolls to sailor Moon Stationery & Stickers and just about anything else Sailor Moon you can think of!

Sailor Moon Sailor Mars Doll in Box:

Sailor Moon Sailor Mars doll for sale
Sailor Moon is in the midst of a very successful reboot with tons of new Mechanidse, but one area that's been largely neglected is dolls. So give your favorite moonie this awesome vintage Sailor Mars doll. This a European release by Bandai, and is new in box. This is a great vintage doll sure to delight any Sailor Moon fan.

Japanese Sailor Moon Bottle Opener:

Sailor Moon Bottle Opener for Sale
There's a whole variety of Japanese Sailor moon kitchen items for the Moonie with Culinary interests but this bottle opener is great even for those who's cooking tends to be more about opening a take out menu. This bottle opener is still new on the card a great gift for a Sailor Moon fan who has almost everything else.

Sailor Moon Sailor Moon Twinkle Dolly Strap:

Sailor Moon Twinkle Dolly Strap for sale.

This Sailor Moon is relatively new release from the Japanese Twinkle Dolly set of Sailor Moon straps. This is Sailor Moon sitting on top of her wand. The one we have in stock is new in the box and is a really cute piece for any Sailor Moon fan.

Japanese Sailor Moon S Sliding Puzzle:

Japanese Sailor Moon Puzzle for Sale
This is a plastic sliding style tray puzzle. It features a great Sailor Moon group shot that includes: Sailor Moon Sailor Chibimoon, Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, Luna and Artemis. This is still in it's original package with the toei seal on it.  A fun little toy and an uncommon item perfect for any Sailor Moon fan.

Sailor Moon Artemis Plush:

Sailor Moon Artemis cat plush for sale
This cute stuffed Artemis is part of the first US Sailor Moon merch revival of the early 2000s. Artemis doesn't have as much Merchandise as his female companion, Luna, so this is one of the few really great pieces available. This super cute plushie is still in the original box and is sure to make any Moonie's day.

Sailor Moon Furoku Notebook:

Sailor Moon Furoku Notebook for sale.
This adorable little notebook was once furoku that came with Nakayoshi magazine. Furoku referes to little gift given away inside Japanese magazines, especially the ones that run manga. This is from Sailor Moon's original manga run in Japan way back in 1992.  A lot of the Sailor Moon furoku items are hard to find these days and this is a very cute little book with delightful art sure to delight any Sailor Moon fan.

Sailor Moon Tea Set Miniature Tea Cup:

Sailor Moon Mini Porcelain Tea Cup For Sale
This tiny teacup was part of a Sailor Moon gashapon miniature tea set. This cup is a little larger than a US penny and is the perfect size for dolls or just as a display piece. A really cute unique gift for any Sailor Moon fan.

Sailor Jupiter Hina Doll:

Sailor Jupiter Hina doll for sale
This part of a line of Sailor Moon dolls made for the traditional girl's day celebration in Japan. Jupiter is dressed as one of  the traditional Hinamatsuri Ningyo court musicians. These little dolls are hard to find and are unique mixture of traditional Japanese culture and Japanese pop culture. A lovely addition any Sailor Moon collection.

Sailor Moon Super S Movie Promo Bag:

Sailor Moon Super S Movie bag for sale
Promotional bag for the Sailor Moon Super S. This was probably a giveaway at Japanese stores around the time the film came out. Really great choice for a Sailor Moon fan who collects unique items or possibly a great gift bag for another gift.

Sailor Uranus and Neptune Button set:

Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune Buttons for sale.
Super cute pair of buttons with one of the Sailor Moon fandom's favorite couple's, Sailor Uranus & Sailor Neptune. These are hand drawn images and are an adorable one of kind gift perfect for any moonie who loves this pairing.  

Those are some of our top picks, but we have loads of other Sailor Moon Merchandise available we certainly have something wonderful in stock for your moonie fan.

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