9.14.2020

Bad Movie Night: Firecracker (1981)


by robotGEEK

Low-budget maestro Cirio H. Santiago (Equilizer 2000, Naked Vengeance, Wheels of Fire) directs this martial arts flick starring the impossibly sexy Jillian Kesner as a woman who travels to Manila to look for her sister who's gone missing. When she arrives, she soon discovers her sister was mixed up with and killed by the local mafia and illegal underground fighting ring organization. Being a martial artist herself, she immerses herself into this seedy underworld to find out what happened and exact revenge.

Firecracker has a lot going for it, but doesn't quite reach the level of Bad Movie Night classic, except for one glorious sequence that really makes the entire experience worth it. There's a scene where our heroin Susanne Carter (Jillian Kesner) is being chased by 2 thugs. While running for her life, her clothes repeatedly get caught on items that rip them off, where she's left in her bra and panties. And then in a surprising role reversal, she then taunts the thugs into chasing her even further where she attempts to take them on using her martial arts skills. Her bra is ripped off in one of these fights and she's left nude and kicking this guys ass. I have to say, this surprisingly long sequence is fucking amazing and even if you find the rest of the film a bit tedious, this sequence is worth the effort. 

That's not to say the film is uneventfully bad all around. While I did find it dull for good portions of it, Santiago sprinkles enough foot chases and old school kung fu fights to keep you invested. They're not great fights by any means, but really harken back to the old school way they used to shoot and edit these fights (with the exaggerated Enter The Dragon-style sound effects taking center stage), which brought back a lot of good memories for me. Much like a lot of these Philippines movies of the 80's, it's a good mix of Filipino and American actors, with Malibu Expresses mustache'd star Darby Hinton sharing the screen here with Kesner. But while Kesner is a true ass-kicking goddess on the screen, I personally found a minor character of Rey, played by martial artist, director, writer and producer Rey Malonzo, to be the real standout. Only popping in from time to time, he steals the scene every time he shows up. He's like a hybrid of Bruce Lee and Yeun Biao, kicking ass and taking names with such ferocity that aside from the nudity, leaves the biggest impression overall. 



There's also a truly bizarre love scene that will blow your mind because it's unlike anything you've ever seen. I can only imagine what was going on in Kesner and Hinton's heads while this was being filmed, yet it adds to the films overall nuttiness. 

While it won't rank up there with the best of the Bad Movie Night classics, it's definitely worth a watch. 



You can currently watch Firecracker on Amazon Prime and for FREE on TubiTV. 

9.11.2020

The Cult Corner: The Boxer's Omen (1983)


One Of The Best And Strangest "WTF?" Movies I've Ever Seen

by robotGEEK

At this stage in my life, having been a fan of cinema for the entirety of it, you'd think that by now I've seen just about everything that could surprise me. Even more so the fact that it's a Hong Kong production, because I had an intense HK phase back in the early 2000's where I devoured every HK fantasy film I could get my hands on, which honestly was during a time when that wasn't so easy, often relying on bootlegs. But I'm always happy to come across something that blows my mind, especially when I've never even heard of it or knew of it's existence. Enter The Boxer's Omen. A fucked up 1983 horror/thriller/fantasy/action/mystical/martial arts film from the legendary Shaw Brothers Studios


To my surprise, I'd never even heard of this film. It was only brought to my attention when it was mentioned in a film group on Facebook that deals with occult films. A quick search revealed that this film, while possessing rave reviews, is really difficult to get your hands on. But that's another story. The short of it is that I got my hands on a copy, and knowing absolutely nothing about it going in, other than it dealt with witchcraft and the occult, it proceeded to literally blow my mind and melt my brain. 

The best way I can describe it is that it's a mixture of Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Holy Mountain (1973) and Giulio Paradisi's brilliant WTF hybrid The Visitor (1979)......with some Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain (1983) and Nicolas Wending Refn thrown in for good measure. It's truly a fantastically bizarre mish-mash of so much random shit that even trying to pin down a narrative won't make you understand what's happening any easier. I can tell you that it begins with a story about revenge when a boxer is permanently paralyzed during a boxing match by the one and only Bolo Yeung, and the paralyzed boxer's brother vows revenge, only to have it veer completely off course into a totally different film about witchcraft, monks, the occult, evil, black magic and a wizard who looks suspiciously like the love child of John Carpenter and Al Leong. Then, only to go back to the story about boxing and revenge in the final act of the film. 



It's this middle part of the film that really throws everything you ever thought about cinema out the window and completely melts your eyes. But in a good way! Filled with so much random fucking imagery (so much of it amazing!) and really insane practical effects work, it's as if they got together, took some acid, and decided to film whatever popped into their heads. That's exactly what it looks and feels like. Being someone who's actually taken a lot of psychedelics in my time, the shit I saw in this film gave me strong flashbacks in the best possible way. Throw in some hot full frontal nudity for no reason, a trippy score, and you've got yourselves the making of a good time. 

In terms of plot and story, it's a fucking mess, with most of it making absolutely zero sense, but in terms of it's visual eye candy, it's superb. Often creative utilizing simple tricks like lens filters to achieve certain effects, and a whole lot of gooey, gory practical effects, there's no mistaking the skilled surreal artistry behind the camera. Nearly every frame of film is a work of pure widescreen cinematic art often reminding me of Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain. You may not know what the whole point of the film was, but you sure as hell can't deny it was one of the most trippy and beautiful things you've ever seen. 



The Boxers Omen has been released on DVD, but is very expensive, going anywhere from $60 to almost $200. It may or may not have been uploaded to YouTube for all I know (I haven't bothered to check), and if you're a much more tech-savy person than I am, you might even find it streaming somewhere on the down-low.  

9.03.2020

90's Action Attack!: The Killing Zone


by robotGEEK

While this particular film had been sitting in my "Amazon Watchlist" for a very long time, it wasn't until watching the Bad Movie Night masterpiece L.A. Wars recently that I finally felt compelled to give this a try. Why you ask? Because this is written and directed by the same guy (Addison Randall) who wrote L.A. Wars, as well as the hilariously awesome Shotgun, and if those films are any indication, I knew I was in for a good time. 

When a Mexican drug kingpin vows to avenge the death of his drug kingpin brother, it's up to ex-con Garret Bodine (Deron McBee) to help the police and keep his town safe. 

While not nearly as great as L.A. Wars, The Killing Zone did not disappoint. And to be quite honest, it was better than I was expecting. So let's get to it. 

Now this is really low-budget. While it may be under the almighty PM Entertainment's banner, I'm pretty sure it was a film they acquired after the fact and released under their name, because PM has a very specific quality to their action, and sadly, none of that is in here. That's not to say that the action scenes aren't entertaining in their own right, because they are. Just in a totally different way. Meaning, they're entertaining because they're so bad. Filled with random shootouts, it's the reaction shots of the people actually getting shot that are hilarious. I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud as often as I did by the reactions of those getting killed. It's hilarious! 

The fun doesn't stop there! The film looks so cheap that the opening and ending credits look like it's an 80's TV show. And the music, while highly entertaining, sounds like they're taken right out of vintage Nintendo games. Seriously, you can take so much of the music in here and insert them into any old NES game and it would fit. 

If you've had the pleasure of watching L.A. Wars, then you know what kind of hilarious dialogue to expect. Former American Gladiator and wrestler Daron McBee is amazing as the lead. He's so over the top in so many ways (the way he dresses, acts, and just being so goddamn huge in general) that he sells the shit out of it. It's a shame he never made it as an action hero in the DTV market the way Brian Bosworth and even Roddy Piper did for a brief time. He had the goods!

My only real complaint was that the film did a great job building up to a finale that promised to deliver a really big payoff of revenge. But when it was all said and done, the ending fell flat compared to it's promising conclusion. Nothing in the final act measured up to anything that happened leading up to it. And let me tell you, there's some great stuff in this film. One particular scene that stands out is when a mute bodyguard takes on a whole gang. There's so much fancy handwork going on in this fight that you almost don't even notice that none of his punches land, which is hilarious, and a guy who attempts a karate kick ends up losing a shoe in the middle of a kick as it goes flying clear across the screen!

While the ending is a bit weak, The Killing Zone is still a lot of fun. Hilarious action and dialogue, a larger than life lead, and some of the funniest kills I've ever seen in an action film....ever. Do yourself a favor give this a watch. It was the perfect solution to my dead Saturday night. It's not a good action film, but it sure as hell is a fun one. 

The Killing Zone is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

8.20.2020

The Best Film I Never Saw: Enemy Mine (1985)


One Of The Best Examples Of 80's Science Fiction. So Why Doesn't Anybody Talk About It?

by robotGEEK

It blows my mind that this wasn't a film that I grew up on. I think I might have had some preconceived notions about what type of film it was going to be. I guess in my mind I imagined it being a film where the entire running time was spent with a man and an alien talking. And I honestly don't know why I thought that. It could have been that I never (ever) heard anyone mention it, and otherwise prove me wrong. I'm serious. In all my life, I have never heard anyone talk about this movie. How is that even possible? Even as an adult, I never come across posts about it on any of the sites I follow or any of the Instagram pages I follow that should love this movie. Well I finally just decided to give it a try out of the blue, and to my surprise, it's a goddamn masterpiece. 

While my initial summation is partly true in that it is in fact a film about a man and an alien stranded on a planet and have to live together to survive, there is so much more going on here. It's an epic sci-fi adventure that manages to seamlessly throw in many different genre's (drama, thriller, adventure, action, science fiction) and elements into a single film, that it kind of gives you a bit of everything. Not to mention that for such a small cast, the acting is just impeccable. You end up feeling for these 2 characters in a way I was not expecting. 

I am so in love with this film for so many reasons, because there's just so much to love. For starters, the practical effects work, production design and overall aesthetic reminds me so much of The Last Starfighter, Starman and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock - all films I love dearly. Then there's Wolfgang Peterson's (Outbreak, Air Force One) visually stunning direction. Coming off the heels of The Neverending Story, he effortlessly dives into science fiction like a pro. The first and last act integrate a lot of visual and practical effects with spaceships, weaponry, battles and space stations that remind us why this era was the best in science fiction filmmaking. 35 years after it's release and what I saw in here STILL looks better than anything put out today with massive budgets.

Even though a good chunk of the film deals with the rocky relationship of these 2 fighters on a desolate and uninhabitable planet, you're invested in it fully. The world that director Peterson and the production team have created is incredible to look at, but Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr.'s performances are what sell it. While full of dramatic moments, there are also moments that are funny, tender, sad and even horrifying. One word that keeps popping in my head when trying to describe it is that it's full of "heart", and the more I think of it, the more it couldn't be more true. We even get the late-great Brion James as a slimy villain, how much more convincing do you need?

Finally having seen it, it blows my mind that this wasn't a hit, only recovering a fraction of its budget. Even more so that it didn't become a hit on home video, which is where it could easily have recovered some of it's loss. Though it seems like a film that probably played on HBO or Cinemax back in the 80's, I never came across it personally. If I had, I can guarantee you that this would have been a lifelong favorite. And I watched a LOT of HBO and Cinemax back then. Hey, I was 9. And this was right before Nintendo took the world by storm. What else are you going to do during the summer?

What's interesting is that nobody turned me onto this. Somehow it just popped in my head that I need to take the time to finally see it. It could have been while I was digging through someones filmography related to this on IMDB for something and realized I never saw it before. I rented it on Amazon instead of purchasing it because I didn't know if I'd actually like it. Well I fucking LOVE it. I love it to death and immediately after finishing it I looked online to see what releases there were available. It looks like Twilight Time is the first company to release this on Blu Ray in the US, but as expected, that limited release goes for upwards of $100. However, Umbrella Entertainment out of Australia released it on Blu Ray for a much more affordable price and Region Free, which is the route I'm going to go because this needs to be in my collection permanently. 

8.10.2020

Revisiting Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice


Ben Affleck Shines As Batman In A Brutally Messy Film

by robotGEEK

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a fan of Zack Snyder's dark superhero universe. I didn't particularly enjoy Man of Steel (even though I was quite excited to see it initially), and once again going into BVS excitedly, I was let down all over again. Not only let down, I hated it. Exiting the film screening with a group of friends I was audibly upset and annoyed by what I had just seen. Needless to say, I avoided revisiting it all these years until now. And to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why I even wanted to revisit it. I think it's mainly because I'm going through a Batman phase at the moment, and just wanted to see if my perception had changed any since watching it 4 years ago at the cinema. 

To put it frankly, the answer is no. The film is a giant muddled mess. It's too overly dramatic and depressing. Everyone is constantly pouting. It's way too long for it's own good. This time around I decided to go with the Directors Cut, thinking maybe that would change my mind, but it didn't. If anything, it made things worse. It's a convoluted and an incredibly and overly complicated mess with so many storylines going on that I honestly couldn't tell you what it was even about. At least a good half hour could have been cut and it wouldn't have affected a damn thing because when a movie is so damn nihilistic, dour and full constant dread, the over 3 hour runtime feels more like 6 hours. I felt like it would never end. It took me 3 sittings just to get through it. Did we really need another Batman origin story? And let's just get to the main issue that everyone, including myself, complained about right from the beginning. For a film that's called Batman Versus Superman, and for a film that is literally over 3 hours long, Bat's and Supe's maybe fight for a total of 20 minutes??? I might as well throw in there that I was not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg's whiny, bratty, childish Lex Luther. You could have cast a moody puberty-stricken 13 year old and gotten the same results. 



It's not a total loss though. Wonder Woman steals the show in every scene she's in. And goddamn what an epic fucking entrance. Perfect. Just perfect. But for me personally it's all about Batman here. I'm just going to say it. Ben Affleck is the BEST Batman to hit the screen since Michael Keaton. Of course I know not everyone will agree and not everyone even likes Keaton for that matter, but man I just loved what Affleck did with the character here. I loved the older take on Wayne, the salt and pepper hair, the bigger, broader physique, the always-present stubble, the lower measured voice, and most of all, I loved the Batsuit, one of several homages to Frank Miller's genre-defining The Dark Knight Returns. I admired that they didn't try to go the more realistic "tactical" approach to the design the way Christopher Nolan's films did with the suit (which also seems to be what Matt Reeves is doing with his new Batman film, for better or worse). Here it looks like something you'd see in a comic book, but still distinctly all it's own. While not 100% copying Miller's design, it's close enough to see the inspiration. 

Every moment Batman or Bruce was on screen, the film was good. Even the much-discussed and dissected "dream sequence" was brilliant, even if it didn't make any sense. It just looked fucking cool. Batman played such a large role in this, even though technically it is a sequel to Man of Steel if I remember correctly, that I couldn't help but feel that if they just took every scene that he was in, they could easily have made a standalone Batman film, because I have to admit that while I was no fan of Snyder's work in the directors chair here, I feel he did make Batman look badass, and I think a sliced-together cut of Batmans scenes here would make a dark, brutal and gritty Batman film with Ben Affleck shining as the caped crusader. But that's just my opinion. 

Now off to finally check out Justice League....

8.04.2020

90's Action Attack!: Mission of Justice (1992)

One Of The Best Blow-For-Blow Fight Films To Hit DTV

by robotGEEK

It's so easy to get discouraged with the DTV market when you see so many of these low-budget action films and the majority of them end up being either awful or just plain dull. Hell, I can admit that I didn't really enjoy Jeff Wincott's Martial Outlaw (1993) all that much myself. While Wincott himself was fine, I found the film lacking overall in nearly every department: direction, choreography, fight sequences and it's general overall tone. That film just reeked of cheapness. But I know he can deliver some bangers, because Last Man Standing is a film I still consider one of the best in both PM Entertainment's filmography as well as that specific genre in general. Well, after a few weeks of duds, I found another winner. 

When a ruthless neo-fascist leader is running for mayor, and will do whatever it takes to get there, even if it resorts to murder. When she kills a friend of local cop Kurt Harris (Wincott), he goes undercover to infiltrate her secret underground organization to find out the truth. 


I have to admit that this film really surprised me at every turn. First and foremost, you just know it's going to be a good time when Brigitte Nielsen is the main villain. But that's not all. Her henchman are some real badasses in the world of action such as Matthias Hues, Andrew Lew and a few other stunt performers and martial artists you'll most certainly recognize. But for me, the most impressive person I found in here was Karen Shepard (pictured above), someone I'd never heard of before....surprisingly, but literally blew me away here. She plays Kurt's partner, who wants to believe him and stands up for him any chance she gets, but always ends up finding herself in the thick of it when the shit hits the fan. What I found surprising his how her character is slowly revealed to be a total badass as the film progresses until she has several shining moments where her incredible martial arts skills come into play. How I've never heard of her, or why she's not a better known female action star is beyond me. 

The fight scenes take center stage here, and they are just fucking brutal. In fact, the second I finished watching it, I messaged a buddy of mine and told him this was hands-down one of the best blow-for-blow fighting films I've ever seen in the low-budget action genre. There are no explosions, car chases or even gun fights from what I can recall. While there are plenty of guns and yes there are shootings, they always end up turning into fist fights and they always go on much longer than you're expecting, which is a good thing! Right from the first fight inside a liquor store during a robbery that Harris unfoils while on patrol, you know you're in for with the fights and choreography. Quality. A much higher quality than we're accustomed to with these types of films, and every time I thought they couldn't surprise me, they always did. The film is filled with numerous moments of badassery and an insane number of fights, but there are 3 in particular that stood out for me, one of them being a full on tournament-style underground battle that literally came out of nowhere and ended up being one of the best sequences in the entire film. Again, one of the film's many strengths is in the way that these are better than most fights I see in films that were hitting theaters during this time.


So we've got a pretty killer cast here full of action baddies, the amazonian Brigitte Nielsen, the surprisingly badass Karen Sheperd, and of course the always reliable Jeff Wincott. But I have to give props to director Steve Barnett (Mindwarp, Scanner Cop II), a post-production supervisor on big budget films such as Live Free or Die Hard, with only 9 credits as a film director, and none of them dealing with martial arts or even action for that matter. How he was able to deliver one of the best looking action films I've seen in ages, while others who do it for a living and still turn out turds is really surprising to me. He shoots the fight scenes so well, like he's done it before, and gives the entire a film an upgrade in quality that we usually don't see in these types of films. When someone takes just as much time to set up a slick looking shot that has nothing to do with the action just as much as he does for the action sequences, well that's always something to take notice of. It's a shame he didn't direct more DTV action films, he has a natural gift and he made this film look great. And it's because of this that I'll probably check out Scanner Cop II eventually. 

Mission of Justice is currently streaming on Amazon Prime

8.01.2020

90's Thriller Throwback: Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)


One Of The Best Batman Films Period

by robotGEEK

It blows my mind that it's taken me this long to finally get to this. Mind you, I was obsessed with the landmark Animated Series when it first came out. I remember being in middle school, and running home to catch it every day after school. I bought the toys religiously, and was a bigger fan than your average nerdy kid who just liked the show. Hell, I even have a blanket that I used every single day of my life from the day I bought it back in the 90's. Yet for some reason I never took the time to watch this movie. And we all know the whole story behind this by now; how or why it came to be, and why it did not do well at the box office. If you need a refresher, here's a great video about the whole history behind it and it's reception by Toy Galaxy, one of my favorite YouTuber's who really make great videos geared towards vintage toys and cartoons. You can check that video out HERE



Well I finally made time (thank you Netflix!), and I have to say, it's easily one of the BEST Batman films ever made. This isn't just a longer version of one of the Animated Series episodes. Right from the start you can clearly see a huge upgrade in quality in the animation. So much so that you wish they had put that amount of effort into the episodes, but I understand why they couldn't. And while I will admit that the big reveal was already spoiled for me before going in, it didn't take away any of my enjoyment. 

What surprised me was how "mature" this film was, and after having finally seen it, I could see how it could have turned some of the younger audience off who were used to the oftentimes silliness of the animated show. And while the series was always known for it's Art Deco aesthetics, which is beautifully captured here in glorious widescreen, I loved how they pushed it even further in both that area as well as the old film noir genre, making it feel like an old gangster film from time to time, with hints of the feeling of Burton's first Batman film. And if you go in expecting wall to wall action, you're going to be disappointed, because another one of it's many surprises is that it plays out more like a character study set in the world of film noir than anything else. Yes there's action, and boy is it amazing, but the film doesn't try to rely strictly on that to keep you entertained. Instead the focus is on story, and it makes you think. It makes you pay attention. 



I've been in somewhat of a Batman kick lately, having revisited Burton's Batman  (my favorite film of all time) a few times in the last week alone, and finally revisited Snyder's Batman V Superman for the first time since I saw it in theaters. At this point, I would have to say this is my second favorite Batman film, followed by Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. I'm looking to revisit the animated Dark Knight Returns Double-Feature soon, as well as finally getting to the live action Justice League, something I've avoided until now, if only to see if Ben Affleck's pitch-perfect Batman performance from BVS carries over to that film. But I loved this. It was better than I was expecting and such a different experience than I imagined going in with plenty of surprises in store.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is currently streaming on Netflix in the U.S.. It's also included in the Blu-Ray set of the Animated Series or as a standalone Blu-Ray release. 

Exploring The Black Hole - The Movie That Changed Disney Forever





The Black Hole Documentary We've All Been Waiting For

If you're as big a fan of Disney's The Black Hole like I am, the you've probably wondered why we still haven't gotten any kind of "behind the scenes" featurette on any of their physical releases, a "Making Of" book (which is honestly really surprising since they release these things for even the most awful movies), much less a definitive feature length documentary. It's been 41 years since the release of this science fiction masterpiece and I would have thought that when we hit the 40 year mark, Disney would have invested in "something", but no. They didn't even put anything on their Black Hole Blu Ray release when they "finally" made that happen, albeit for Disney Club members only. 

Well I've got good news for you. I happened to come across this amazing retrospective on YouTube while casually browsing and I'm here to tell you, it's everything we wanted in a Black Hole documentary and more. While clocking in at just under an hour, the information is thrown at us at a fast and furious pace. If you're like me, you're probably going to have to watch this a few times just to retain all the information. 

Exploring The Black Hole - The Movie That Changed Disney Forever comes to us courtesy of the fine folks over at GoodBadFlicks on YouTube and let me tell you, they do their homework. There is so much vital information in here that will want you craving more, and after watching it, and learning of how important this film was to not only Disney, but to special effects in general, I'm still shocked that there isn't an official documentary. That title is no lie. This film, while a box office bomb, forever changed Disney for a number of different reasons in many different ways and this excellent video touches on all of that, as well as the making of the film itself. 

It still blows my mind that this film still doesn't get the love and respect it deserves. I'm glad to know that there are people out there like this guy, who love it just as much as I do. While it's certainly developed a cult following in the decades since it's disastrous release, it's still nowhere near the beloved classic it deserves to be, and that's such a shame. Anyway, enjoy! 

7.29.2020

The Toy Box: Tron SDCC 2020 Exclusive in VHS Packaging!!

Easily The Coolest Tron Action Figure Release EVER

by robotGEEK

Your first thought is probably "but we didn't have a Comic Con this year", and you would be correct. Though they still held something of a "virtual" Comic Con, I have no idea how that even worked out in the grande scheme of things, but the initial reports are that it was a mixed bag. But you know, they tried with what they had in a time when things were rapidly changing with the pandemic and they didn't know whether it was going to happen at all or not. But moving on.

A lot of the reveals weren't all that interesting to me personally, but this certainly was. This is a Tron action figure, in his red neon (later changed to blue for the movie) costume based on the promotional poster before the film was released. As we all know, they decided to change it to blue for the movie. This figure comes in a sick and SLICK VHS-style clamshell packaging and maaaaaan, I am all about this! He also comes with 5 different discs and a Tron stand for the figure. This figure is set to release in August of this year (just around the corner!!) and once again comes from the mighty folks at Diamond Select, who did the previous Tron Walgreens Exclusive figures from earlier this year.....which are amazing!

Before you get excited, I have to tell you that from what I could tell, all pre-orders are already generally SOLD OUT on every online marketplace I would normally order these from like Entertainment Earth and Big Bad Toy Store. Diamond Select Toys official website looks like they actually have them in stock, but I don't know if their site is currently updated or if that changes once you sign in. You'd have to try ordering and see what happens. You can do that HERE. There is however eBay, which is really a place a lot of us don't like to buy these from because the sellers always ask far more than what you should have to pay for them.

And how are there some already available on eBay? A lot of them are from comic shops or businesses who were set to actually be set up at Comic Con this year, so they were able to get their hands on a certain amount that were allowed to be sold at the event. Since there was no convention, they then go to eBay. And really, this situation is different. Unlike flippers who buy them and resell them for double or triple the price, they're actually close to the original retail cost last I checked. And that's where I purchased mine. Now there are flippers on there, those who got their "pre-orders" in before they sold out everywhere and those are the ones who will be providing their "pre-order" confirmations to prove that they do in fact have one arriving when they are officially released next month. For your information, the regular retail price for these is $40.

If I were you, I'd grab one ASAP as they're already a hot item and hard to get officially. The prices on eBay are not bad at all right now. You can find them ranging anywhere from $40 (retail) to around $55. Some offer FREE Shipping and some don't, but even with shipping, it's not too bad.

It still blows my mind that as big a collector as I am today for these things, I am so out of the loop. I don't know where everyone gets their information on all these upcoming releases, but as far as this figure goes, I only found out about it because I was looking up something else entirely on eBay one night and this strangely showed up in the listings. When I saw "Tron SDCC 2020" in the title, I did a quick search and that's how I discovered this was even in existence. Otherwise I don't think I would have even known. Nobody ever thinks to tell me or keep me in the loop! I discovered this by accident! It just so happened to be on the same weekend it was actually released virtually as part of SDCC's Virtual Con, so I got lucky.