Monday, October 23, 2017

Ragnarok is coming. Prepare for an epic showdown of Team Thor vs Hela the Goddess of Death.


Thor, The God of Thunder returns for his third solo movie adventure! This time, the Avenger needs to stop the impending destruction of  his home world Asgard from Hela, the Goddess of Death. His journey takes time to the planet Sakaar and being put to fight in gladiatorial matches. There he finds unexpected allies to team-up in a race to save Asgard.



Official Synopsis:
“In Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk!”


Thor: Ragnarok
is directed by New Zealander Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople). Reprising their roles are Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) as Bruce Banner/Hulk, Tom Hiddleston (Thor) as Loki, Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) as Heimdall, Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs) as Odin, Tessa Thompson (Veronica Mars) as Valkyrie, Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park) as Grandmaster, Karl Urban (Star Trek) as Skurge, and Cate Blanchett (Lord of the Rings) as the lead antagonist, Hela. 


Listen to what the Director and Cast have to say about Thor Ragnarok


What is Ragnarok?
In Norse mythology, Ragnarok was a great battle resulting in deaths of many gods like Odin, Loki, Heimdall, etc and the end of all things. From the movie trailers it can be hypothesized that Hela in her revenge against Asgard will bring about Ragnarok in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ragnarok, the evil robotic clone of Thor.
In Marvel Comics, Ragnarok was a robotic clone of Thor, created by Tony Stark / Iron Man, Hank Pym  Giant-Man and Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic when Thor was presumed dead during the Civil War storyline. Ragnarok went out of control and later destroyed by the real Thor upon return (no superhero stays truly dead in comics). Ragnarok was later rebuild and was used by Norman Osborn / Green Goblin for his Dark Avengers team.

Here are the returning and new characters for in this new movie:

Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the titular god of Thunder. It is no secret from the trailer that he looses the mighty hammer Mjolnir at the literal hand of Hela, and gets a haircuit (do you ladies approve?).

Hulk / Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) was last seen in the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron leaving the team for parts unknown. Now the trailers has revealed that Hulk is also on the planet Saakar, fighting as a gladiator.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the God of Mischief and Thor's adopted brother (he's actually a small Frost Giant). He faked his own death after the events of Thor: The Dark World and disguised himself as Odin to rule Asgard.

Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) is a former Asgardian warrior who was once a member of Odin's elite guard. She is now working as a bounty hunter for the Grandmaster in Saakar. It is uncertain whether this movie Valkyrie is the same as the comics version, Brunhilde. She could be ONE of the many Valkyrie warriors.

Heimdall (Idris Elba), the all-seeing and all-hearing Gatekeeper of the Bifrost Bridge of Asgard.

Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of Asgard. He was last seen in Thor: The Dark World and but viewers were unsure his fate since being "replaced" by Loki.

Hela (Cate Blanchett), the Goddess of Death. She escapes from imprisonment by Odin and now seeks revenge against Asgard. Writhing horns never looked so good!

Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) is one of the Elders of the Universe and master for all games. He created the Gladiator matches on Planet  Planet Saakar.

Skurge (Karl Urban), an Asgardian warrior who aligns himself to Hela. He is also known as 'The Executioner".

Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is now a full-fledged wizard, last seen in his own movie (in after credits) chatting with Thor to help search for Odin.


Get this bromance between Thor & Loki in "Get Help". LOL!

And listen in carefully to those great music tunes in this movie which looks to share the awesome mix vibes in Guardians of the Galaxy.


Thor Ragnarok is currently rated highly on Rotten Tomatoes at 98% and looks to be best of the trilogy. Read what movie critics have to say on Variety. And here's what Australia's ABC had to say about "the funniest Marvel movie ever".

Our resident Vulcan Dr. Mr. Smock reviews Thor Ragnarok together with special Guest The Captain from Pop Culture FUN - Malaysia.

As one of the most highly anticipated blockbuster superhero movies this year, our local cinemas are offering a whole slew of goodies right now:


GSC Cinemas is hosting an early screening for their members on this Wednesday  25 October, 6.20pm at GSC MyTown, Cheras and GSC Queensbay Mall, Penang. The screening package priced at RM30 includes 1 movie ticket, 1 limited edition Thor Ragnarok collectible coin and popcorn / drink combo. Find out more details from their official website

  
Now only for advance ticket sales purchase until 26 October, purchase their Thor Ragnarok e-combo online for RM90 to score a pair of Thor and Hulk Podz figurines with a large popcorn and 2 regular soft drinks. Read more on the terms and conditions from the GSC website.
Sample of that Hulk Podz figurine. Photo source: GSC.


Finally the first 50 customers purchasing six D-Box tickets at participating cinemas will redeem an exclusive Gladiator Hulk's Hammer USB plus popcorn and drinks for that party of six. Find out which cinemas are qualified for this prom at their website.



Over at TGV Cinemas, their Movie Club members get to purchase an early exclusive screening of Thor Ragnarok on Wednesday 25 October, 6pm in TGV Sunway Pyramid and Tebrau City, Johor Bahru. These IMAX tickets are priced at RM45 when purchased in advance, or RM60 on the day itself. Some activities like cosplay contest and video games precede the movie screening starting from 4.30pm. For non-members, there are other early screenings in IMAX and standard halls that same night at TGV 1 Utama and Sunway Velocity scheduled for 7pm with activities starting at 5.30pm.

Over the movie opening weekend of 28-29 October, movie marathons comprising Thor The Dark World and Thor Ragnarok will be available for purchase at selected locations.for only RM20 to Movie Club members and RM25 to others. Find out participating cinemas from the TGV website.

Plus from 25 October onwards, purchasing 2 IMAX movie tickets will come with a free mini-poster. Of course only at IMAX cinema locations.


As for movie merchandise, a Hulk Hammer combo is available for RM27 with purchase of 1 Thor Ragnarok movie ticket. This combo includes with a Hulk Hammer water bottle, 1 regular popcorn and 1 regular soft drink. The special bottle is also available at part of an IMAX ticket combo with popcorn for RM40.



MBO Cinemas is offering 3 forms of concession combos:

  • Combo A with a 32oz / 950ml Thor OR Hulk helmet cup and a 46oz / 1.35l popcorn for RM27.
  • Combo B, an 85oz / 2.5l Hulk Fist popcorn container with a 22oz / 650ml soft drink for RM41 or with 2 soft drinks will be RM43.
  • Combo C comes with an 85oz / 2.5l Thor Helmet popcorn container with a 22oz / 650ml soft drink for RM41 or with 2 soft drinks for RM43.



They are also having a contest to win a trip for two to Australia. For more info, read here.


Unexpectedly, retail petrol stations chain Petron Malaysia is also in on the action with exclusive movie premiums available with minimum purchase of RM50 fuel. Then use either Petron points or cash to make purchase of the goodies from participating Petron station. For more details go to their official website.

Avenue K shopping centre is currently having an official Thor: Ragnarok event from 18 October to 5 November. You can take pictures with life-sized statues of Thor and Hulk in their Gladiator armor.


The event area in Avenue K's main concourse, just above the KLCC LRT station.

Life-sized statues of Thor and Hulk
There is also a FREE haircut for fans which the hairstylists will cut your hair short and also give a 'Gladiator Mark' on it (courtesy by C. Michael London hair salon).


Free haircut with the Gladiator Mark. Wonder if Chris Hemsworth approves?

For children, there is a mini 'Gladiator Pit' where they can battle it out like Thor and Hulk. Don't worry, protection are provided.

Gladiator Pit for the kids. Protection provided
There is also a Augmented Reality photo booth where you can take pictures with some of the characters from the movie.

Take pictures with your favorite movie character with the Augmented Reality Photo Booth



Premium Thor and Hulk statues on display
For retail, TGV Cinemas is selling their Hulk Hammer bottle by instead at a discounted price of RM17. Petron has also setup a booth offering their movie merchandise.

For fans who must own a piece of the Marvel Thor universe, here are a number of movie toys and collectibles located by the Outpost Movie Recon Team (M.R.T.):

Hasbro's Marvel Legends series released six 6 inch figures which include Gladiator Thor, Loki, Hela, Thor (Jane Foster), Ares and Thor Odinson from the comics series. Each of the packaging comes with a body part which are called Build-A-Figure and if you collected all 6 figures, you are able to build your very own Gladiator Hulk! Each figure is priced at RM139.90.

Collect parts from each Marvel Legends figure to form Gladiator Hulk.

For Lego fans there are 2 building sets for this movie being released: Thor Vs Hulk Arena Clash 76088 for RM299.00 and The Ultimate Battle for Asgard 76084 for RM249.00.

Set 76088 Thor Vs Hulk: Arena Clash (RM299)
Set 76084 The Ultimate Battle for Asgard (RM249)
Funko POP  has been on a total rampage creating bobblehead figurines of every pop culture franchise our there, and Thor Ragnarok is not exception. New versions of Gladiator Thor and Loki plus other characters from the movie are priced at RM65.00 each. As per typical Funko POP distribution, some of these figures may be retail or event exclusives and not available from normal toy stores. Try to contact local Funko distributor Sheldonet Toy Store Malaysia for latest availability locally.

Various Funko POP Thor: Ragnarok figures
As with all Marvel movies, Hot Toys will be releasing some really detailed one-sixth scaled figurines for this movie comprising of Gladiator Thor, Gladiator Hulk, Loki, Hela and Valkyrie. No details yet on the price and release date.

Gladiator Thor and Hulk

Loki

Valkyrie

Hela

Thor and Hulk having a bonding session. By the way, Hulk now speaks with intelligent conversation!
Thor: Ragnarok will be opening in cinemas nationwide on Thursday 26 October 2017 with sneak previews starting Wednesday 25 October 2017.




Disclaimer: Thor, Hulk and associated trademarks are copyright to Marvel Studios, referenced here for fan service purposes only without intent to infringe.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Growing Influence of Geek Pop Culture and How to Profit from It



In the not so distance past, geeks were marginalised rejects of society for their interests in underground subcultures, aptitude in emerging technologies, or apparent social awkwardness. Now well into the 21st century, former subcultures like comic books and science fiction have since become mainstream pop culture whilst using the latest smart technologies at our literal fingertips is now seen to be cool. Geeks are no longer labels to be ashamed of and many are indeed pinnacles of modern society behind some of today's iconic brands. Many people now outwardly  profess themselves a Geek in celebration of their specialised interests or like-minded fandoms with fellow Geeks.

It's cool to be Geek!
Marvel's Avengers. Star Wars. Star Trek. Game of Thrones. Beginning as geeky subcultures, within a generation these franchises have since been elevated to mainstream pop culture with millions of fans worldwide. Therefore the industry of modern Geek Pop Culture is now worth billions and continues to grow.

Comic Fiesta, Malaysia's largest fan convention, is attended by upto 50,000 geeks & otakus annually.
In this conference, hear from the Geeks themselves what motivates their fandoms and what they want to spend their hard earned cash on. Then listen to industry panelists sharing ideas on how local businesses may leverage on their franchises to potentially profit from the fans of Geek Pop Culture. Corporate management & executives, SME owners, event organisers and entrepreneurs are invited to attend.

VENUE
Black Box theatre, MAPKL @ Publika Shopping Gallery
Level G2-01, Block A5, Solaris Dutamas,
No 1, Jalan Dutamas 1,
50480 Kuala Lumpur
MALAYSIA



DATE
Tuesday 14 November 2017

AGENDA

1.45pm Doors open to Black Box & Registration
2.15pm Welcome & opening remarks
2.30pm PANEL: What Geeks Want
3.30pm Coffee break
4.00pm PANEL: Leveraging from Geek Franchises
5.00pm Questions & Answers session
5.30pm End conference

7.30pm Geek Night Out Movie Screening: Man of Steel* (see below)

Outpost Commander Richard Chua (right) speaks to Jeff Sandhu of BFM Enterprise about Geek Pop Culture
Listen to podcast about Geek Pop Culture on BFM 89.9 Enterprise Tech Talk with Richard Chua of Outpost Productions.


This conference and movie screening are organised by Outpost Productions as part of Publika's Comic Play, a week-long carnival from 14-19 November 2017 of hobby-centric activities by local special-interest communities. This shared platform brings together artists, performers, art galleries, and NGOs to update on the latest trends, exchange ideas, connect with each other. Comic Play will be staged at four locations within Publika: Boulevard (red & blue zones), The Square, Black Box and White Box. Each location will have its own designated activities that include Art Exhibitions, Mini Collectors Library, Movie Screening, Panel Talks, Bazaar, Stage performances, Retro Gaming Experience, Artists Alley, Cosplay Costume Contest, and Tabletop Games. Get the updates on these activities direct from the official Comic Play Facebook Event.



What Geeks Want

Now that geeks no longer feel the need to figuratively "hide in the closet", many geeks are indeed proud to express their fandoms as well as share their enthusiasm with the public. Whilst geeky merchandise often satisfies the immediate want to own a piece of their fandom, geeking-out also involves sharing such passions with fellow fans at events such as conventions like Comic Fiesta, Comiket and San Diego Comic-Con. Hear from these representatives of local fan communities on what motivates their love of geek pop culture and how they seek to engage with their fandoms.

Panelists:
    • Sanjiv Indran, Star Wars Malaysia Fan Club (SWMFC)

    An avid traveler, naturalist and Star Wars Geek, Sanjiv Indran channels his passion for Science Fiction into engineering simple, sustainable solutions at Engineers without Borders Malaysia, to help empower Humanity one underprivileged community at a time. Sanjiv holds position of Honarary Secretary for Star Wars Malaysia Fan Club (SWMFC), a nonprofit organization registered with the Malaysian Registrar of Societies run by fans for fellow fans.
    • Allen Yap, Pop Culture Fun - Malaysia

    Growing up in the 80s, Allen Yap was drawn to geeky pop culture through video games and comic books, closely following Transformers, G.I.Joe, The Punisher, Ghost Rider and Captain America from Marvel Comics. These fueled his interest in toy collecting which remains till this day. He started cosplaying in 2006 and founded the Heroes (TV series) Fan Community Malaysia with support from Star World. This series together with launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe marked the rebirth of the Superhero narrative in mainstream entertainment media and reignited Allen's inner geek. He blogs & vlogs about toys, comic books, and video games on his Facebook channel Pop Culture Fun - Malaysia.
    • Hew Shin Chien, Comic Fiesta


    Comic Fiesta has been the heart of Malaysia's Animation, Comics and Games (ACG) community since 2002, most well-known for its trademark event every December in Klang Valley. Beyond being a convention for fans of the ACG culture, Comic Fiesta through its various activities spearheads the development of various creative-based areas, such as creative entrepreneurship, illustration, comic industry and cosplay in Malaysia. The most recent Comic Fiesta in 2016 gathered over 45,000+ youths and ACG enthusiasts together in one of the most happening festivals in Malaysia.


    Panel moderator: Umapagan Ampikaipakan, BFM89.9


    Listeners of BFM89.9 would be well acquianted with Umapagan Ampikaipakan. Uma (as he is fondly known) is a journalist and cultural commentator. From newsprint to the world wide web as well as radio & television, he contemplates everything from the idiosyncrasies of Malaysian politics to his unnatural obsession with the written word. His long running radio show, Bookmark on BFM89.9, is Malaysia's pre-eminent broadcast on all things book related. He is also a film critic with At the Movies and the co-host of BFM89.9's drive time radio show, The Evening Edition.



    Leveraging from Geek Franchises

    The boom in Geek Pop Culture over the last decade has offered numerous opportunities for corporates and entrepreneurs to cash-in on the billions of dollars spent by geeks on their fandoms. These include many local businesses that have leveraged off popular geek franchises like Transformers, Star Trek, Marvel's Avengers, etc. Representatives from the film entertainment industry will share ideas on creating new business opportunities associated to geek pop culture in Malaysia.

    Panelists:
      • Kara Lee, United International Pictures
      For over 15 years, Kara Lee has been responsible for marketing film products from Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures. Mega-blockbusters under her helm include Malaysia's highest grossing titles from the Transformers and Fast & Furious franchises. She is directly involved in identifying, pitching and managing third-party brand and media partnerships, in addition to managing promotions and publicity for films released under both Studios.

      Kara is Marketing Director at United International Pictures, Malaysia.

      • James Andrew Chong, TGV Cinemas
      James Andrew Chong has been a fanboy for all things pop-culture, cult, sci-fi & everything “nerdy” for as long as he can remember. Citing Star Trek & sci-fi as his source of inspiration, he is basically a fan of everything “imaginative” from growing up with music, movies, comics and classic 80's TV shows. He has been in the cinema industry for the past 13 years working with both GSC & TGV and still never gets bored of sitting in the cinema auditorium watching & re-watching movies again & again on the BIG screen.

      James holds position of Manager - Content Strategy at TGV Cinemas.

      • Kelvin Loke, ShiokToys Collectibles
      A fanboy at heart, Kelvin Loke's indulges in his geek passion as an avid collector of premium pop culture collectibles. His hobby evolved into business when he took over the reins of Shioktoys Collectibles 7 years ago. Since then Shioktoys Collectibles has grown to be a leading distributior and retailer for premium pop culture memorabilia such as licensed statues and busts from renown brands like Sideshow Collectibles, Hot Toys, and XM Studio. Kelvin's business philosophy of "by collectors, for collectors" means clearly understanding what geeks want and how to cater to those needs in his niche market.


      Panel moderator: Richard Chua, Outpost Productions


      For the last 30 years, Richard Chua has been a sci-fi geek with interests in Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, etc. He also enjoys delving into superhero and fantasy genres from Marvel and Lord of the Rings respectively. His passion into geek pop culture is often reflected in his compulsion to collect memorabilia and interest in cosplay. Since 2015, he has been an avid explorer of major pop culture conventions like San Diego Comic-Con to meet his sci-fi idols. Richard's day-job involves geek consulting, entertainment marketing and event services.


      REGISTRATION

      Ticketed event by online registration only via our listing on Eventbrite:

      Eventbrite - The Growing Influence of Geek Pop Culture and How to Profit from It


      Admission Fee, RM50 per pax

      Who should attend?
      Corporate management & executives, SME key decision-makers, event organisers & agencies, entrepreneurs, business media.
      (Qualified Attendees)


      OUTPOST GIVEAWAY

      For Qualified Attendees, we giving out five (5) pairs of General Admission tickets worth RM100/- via our Facebook Page contest. Follow these few steps to participate:
      1. Like this announcement post and our Facebook Page Outpost Productions.
      2. Share this post and write " I want to make more $$$ from Geek Pop Culture. Join me to learn how! #GeekConferenceMY #OutpostGiveaway "
      3. On the event listing choose either Going or Interested to stay informed on updates.
      Contest closes Friday, 10 November 2017, 11.59pm. Winners will notified by our Facebook Page with further instructions for registration; credentials may be requested as qualified attendees.

      Terms and Conditions for Registration:
      1. Admission to event is subject to completed registration and payment as registered attendees. Walk-in admission is subject to availability of seating.
      2. No refund will be given for no-show by registered attendees. However, registered attendees who are unable to attend may nominate a substitute by contacting organiser at crew@outpost.com.my before 12 November 2017.
      3. The organiser will take every reasonable effort to deliver the event agenda. However to to circumstances that may be beyond reasonable control, the organiser reserves the right to revise event agenda and/or panelists without penalty or refund to registered attendees.
      4. In the unlikely event of cancellation on the scheduled date by unforeseen circumstances, registered attendees will be first offerred the option to attend rescheduled event, or receive refund of admission fee.
      * Note: Geek Night Out Movie Screening for Man of Steel is FREE for all convention attendees and public but a separately ticketed event. Register in advance via Eventbrite as seating priority will be given to registered attendees.

      For inquiries, kindly email crew@outpost.com.my or send a direct message via our Facebook Page Outpost Productions.

      ABOUT THE ORGANISER

      Outpost Productions caters to a wide audience of Geek Pop Culture in Malaysia recognising that geeky fans are often passionate on not just one but multiple fandoms. In our ideal world, Star Wars fans and Trekkies peacefully co-exist. Same with comic book geeks who love both Marvel and DC. Our social media channels publish and share geeky content plus support local pop culture events with fan engagements and coverage.



      For corporate clientele, Outpost Productions offers Geek Consulting supported by on-ground events implementation. For over a decade we have provided solutions for thematic marketing and promotions aimed at retail customers. Our clients include leading brands in film distribution, cinemas, toys and entertainment services. 


      May The Force Be With You and Live Long & Prosper!