• Retroviral spread the word for three new clients

    Retroviral recently conceptualised and carried out successful digital media campaigns for three new clients.Chicken Licken became the first South African fast food brand to offer a secret menu to its customers and Retroviral contacted secret menu specialists, #HackTheMenu, and asked them to list the local Chicken Licken menu. The team then ‘leaked’ the menu to popular blogger Dan Nash from Bangersandnash.com, who duly spread the word across his social media platforms using the #SecretMenu hashtag.The agency worked with SuperSport to create an influencer and YouTube marketing campaign to help build excitement ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil.Retroviral also worked with The Walt Disney Company Africa on a special project for its Disney Junior channel on DStv to spread the word that South African celebrity, Unathi Msengana, voiced the character of Rita the Cheetah in an episode of the popular children’s programme, Doc McStuffins.

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  • Hot Wheels Launching Line of Star Wars Characters as Cars—Predictably, They’re Awesome

    July 22, 2014 at 5:55 pm by Alex Nunez | Photography by Mattel, Mattel via Jedi News

    The new Hot Wheels Star Wars lineup hits store shelves in October. The cars themselves make their debut at the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con Hot Wheels booth. Here’s what your favorite characters look like when they’re prepped for orange track.

    Image: Mattel
    Chewbacca: Han Solo’s trusted Wookiee companion really would make a hell of a workhorse. Hot Wheels reimagines him as a big, brawny, Unimog-style flatbed. Which, incidentally, is carrying the Falcon.

    Image: Mattel
    R2-D2: R2-D2 goes all American Graffiti in Hot Wheels form. He’s not a bad choice for a hot rod, really. R2 is always the one called upon to fix things, so he’d essentially be a maintenance-free Astromech T-bucket.

    Image: Mattel
    Luke Skywalker (X-Wing Pilot): Expect multiple variations for Luke since he sported many different looks throughout the original trilogy. Modeling a sports car after his flight suit and helmet is a good start. The giant intercooler makes a statement, but remember: Don’t get cocky, Kid.

    Image: Mattel
    Yoda: Imagine an original Fiat 500 Abarth, only blown and modeled after a frail-looking little green alien who’s not nearly as helpless as he looks, and you’ve got the new Yoda car.

    Image: Mattel
    Darth Vader: He’s sleek. He’s black. He’s menacing. He’s Darth Vader. Duh.
    Spied! Millennium Falcon Being Constructed for Star Wars: Episode VII!
    Cash, Love, and Tiny Cars: In the Minds of Hot Wheels Collectors
    Toontastic: The Top 10 Animated Cars of All Time

    Image: Mattel via Jedi News
    501st Clone Trooper: The 501st Legion is the biggest, most organized group of Star Wars cosplayers in the . . . well, in the galaxy, probably. They’ve gotten love in the past (nods in the Clone Wars cartoon, a Hasbro action figure, etc.), and Hot Wheels pays tribute again here with this SUV modeled after a Clone Trooper.
    This story originally appeared on roadandtrack.com

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  • The Pitfalls and Profits of Collecting Cars, Wine, Art

    Four successful collectors tell us about the joys and difficulties—and the potential for financial gain.Jeffrey Salter/Redux
    Briand and Samantha Styles own a stable of 20 pony cars from the 1960s and 1970s.

    Many collectibles have seen run-ups in value that might make you think you’re missing out on a sure bet. For example, over the past ten years collectible cars have appreciated more than 450%, and fine art is up nearly 200%, according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, which tracks baskets of selected collectibles. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has returned 111%.
    See Also: SLIDE SHOW: Collectible Cars with Enduring Value
    But to make money in collectibles, you have to have the knowledge and skill to choose wisely and ride out the fads. You usually have to hold your purchase for several years before it appreciates, tying up an often substantial amount of money in a volatile, unpredictable asset. To realize a profit, you have to sell—and it can take months to unload an item, assuming you haven’t grown so attached to your darling that you can’t bear to part with it.

    Many collectibles are bought at retail prices and sold back to a dealer at wholesale. If you sell at auction, you’ll get closer to retail prices, but commissions and fees take a big bite out of the sale price. On top of that, you’ll need to insure your collection, store it, and hand over a portion of your profits to Uncle Sam.

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    ‘);

    If you’re still interested, consider collecting as a supplement to your core investments, as an inflation hedge and, above all, as something that you can enjoy.

    When he was a kid, Brian Styles had the biggest Hot Wheels and Matchbox car collections on the block. Thirty years later, after he sold the software company he started, the cars of his youth still called to him. His collection began with an impulse buy ten years ago—a 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1—but it has grown into a stable of 20 pony cars from the 1960s and ’70s. Styles and his girlfriend, Samantha Styles (no relation), share the collection, from the thrill of the hunt to caring for their cars and entering them in shows.

    Collectible cars aren’t just objects to admire. Part of the fun is that you have to drive them to keep them in good condition. “Buy what you have a passion for, and the investment side is the icing on the cake,” says David Kinney, publisher of the Hagerty Price Guide, one of the bibles of car collectors.

    While Styles’s fleet has matured to include more valuable cars, the Delray Beach, Fla., entrepreneur sees himself and Samantha more as caretakers than investors. “It’d be nice to realize a gain if these cars ever leave us,” he says. “But if not, I’m okay with that. The primary benefit is that it makes me happy.”
    How to get started. You don’t have to be super-rich to get into the classic-car market, but it helps if you have a pile of money to play with. You can find vintage Chevrolet Corvettes and Ford Mustangs for less than $30,000. But unless you are a do-it-yourselfer, you could pay a king’s ransom for restoration. Just the chrome on a 1950s-era Cadillac could cost $25,000, and a full restoration of most classics runs into six figures.
    Start with makes and models you are interested in. Consider joining a car club to learn more about them and network with owners. Styles eventually focused his collection on convertibles with big engines; it’s rare to find that combination today. “Where rarity and desirability intersect, you have value,” Styles says. Case in point is the jewel of his collection: a candy-apple-red 1967 Shelby GT500 con

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  • ‘My Little Pony’ fans can now create and sell 3D-printed merchandise

    The group also owns Transformers, Play-Doh and Furby. “Many fans of our brands have remarkable creative talents and SuperFanArt empowers these artists to create unique expressions of Hasbro brands,” said John Frascotti, CMO of Hasbro Inc. The site has …

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  • Fans attempt Sherlock record to restore Conan Doyle home

    The event was held at University College London to help raise funds to restore and convert the former home of Conan Doyle in Hindhead, Surrey. BBC London Correspondent Gareth Furby talks to historian Neil Clark.

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  • First Look: Ming-Na Wen is Back at Mulan ” This Time on Sofia the First

    Years before she was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ming-Na Wen voiced the title role in the 1998 Disney hit Mulan. Now she’s bringing back the beloved character in Disney Channel’s Sofia the First and TV Guide Magazine has the exclusive first look. The episode, airing Aug. 15, finds the feisty Chinese heroine giving strategic advice to little Sofia whose stepdad, the king, is trapped in a jaguar’s den. We spoke with Wen about how it feels to be a part of Disney Princess history — even though the Mouse House had to fudge a bit!

    TV Guide Magazine: Sofia the First has had several guest appearances by Disney princesses, including Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora, who show up to help when Sofia is in a jam. Were you wondering if they’d ever get around to Mulan?

    Wen: I was really hoping they’d bring her on some day and so thrilled they did! Mulan holds a very special place in my heart. It’s been 16 years since the film, but hordes of fans still come up and tell me how much she means to them. And I love how Sofia the First is bringing back so many great characters. It’s fantastic that Disney has taken these fragile princesses from decades ago and evolved them into really strong role models and mentors. And Sofia is a huge hit so the message is getting through to millions of little kids: Princesses can kick butt!

    TV Guide Magazine: Though, technically, Mulan isn’t royalty. Her father was a great military hero, right?

    Wen: She does sit on the fence but Disney always considers her a princess in an honorary way. I’m so glad they cheated a little and let me in the club!

    TV Guide Magazine: She was also the first princess at Disney to be based on legend, rather than a fairytale.

    Wen: And I was apprehensive about that at first. Mulan is so important in Chinese folklore — a fearless girl who cared about her family and country so much that she was willing to join the fight and sacrifice herself. That’s quite a statement. I was concerned about how the studio would Disney-fy her. Would she retain her cultural significance?

    TV Guide Magazine: Especially with a little wisecracking dragon played by Eddie Murphy?

    Page 2 of 2 – Wen: Right. But I needn’t have worried. A great story transcends time and adaptation, and I was so happy with everything. Men love Mulan, women love her, so do kids, of course, and grandparents. She crosses all generations with her bravery and her humor. In fact, Disney took a legendary figure known pretty much only in Asia and made her international.

    TV Guide Magazine: Any regrets that you had to share the role with Lea Salonga? You did the dialogue, she did the songs.

    Wen: Gosh, no. [Laughs] I know my limits! Lea and I are friends and she has the superior voice — by far. It’s like on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I do about 80 percent of my Agent May stunts but for the rest I’m totally fine with my stunt double taking over. I’m, like, “You handle this one. I’ll just sit over here in the corner and watch!” Fans have actually suggested that Melinda May could be a descendant of Mulan.

    TV Guide Magazine: Hey, Disney owns both properties. Why not?

    Wen: Wouldn’t that be fantastic?

    TV Guide Magazine: Your daughter, Michaela Zee, is a regular on Sofia. Are you starting your own acting dynasty?

    Wen: She’s been doing the voice of Princess Jun for two years now, so I’m kind of riding on her coattails. Michaela also did the voice of Ginger, the Fireside Girl, on Phineas and Ferb, and I got to play her mother on that show. [Laughs] My child gets me work!

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    View original First Look: Ming-Na Wen is Back at Mulan — This Time on Sofia the First at TVGuide.com

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  • Sell your 3D-printed My Little Pony fan art with Hasbro’s blessing

    Hasbro is also known for its Transformers, Avengers, “Star Wars,” and Furby toy lines, so there could be lots of opportunities to create cool 3D designs if those brands join SuperFanArt. The company also notably makes Mr. Potato Head toys, which could …

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  • From Star Wars to Car Wars

    Ever since the first Star Wars movie was released in 1977 all kinds of car customizers have given us their versions of what Darth Vader’s ride might look like. But the “official” Vadermobile is about to be revealed when Comic-Con, the annual celebration of pop culture, opens July 24 in San Diego.
    The die-cast toy car is the first official collaboration between two enduring franchises – Mattel’s Hot Wheels line of vehicles and George Lucas’ Star Wars films. It comes packaged in an impressive black box encased in a replica of Vader’s light sabre. The price at Comic-Con will be $40 and even before it goes on sale the toy car is being offered by sellers on eBay for upwards of $100.
    Several other Hot Wheels cars based on Star Wars characters such as Han Solo and Chewbacca also will be on sale at Comic-Con.
    “We’ve been trying to partner with LucasFilm and Disney on this property for a long time,” Mattel VP Doug Wadleigh told The Associated Press.
    Luring customers to the Mattel booth inside the San Diego Convention Centre will be a full-size working model of the Vadermobile.
    Although the full size car is built on a Chevy Corvette platform, it doesn’t look like there’s room for any kind of engine. Then again, what Jedi would need one? Use the Force, Darth! Use the Force!
    The instrument panel is said to look like the inside of the Dark Lord’s helmet and emits noises that replicate the metallic sounds of Vader’s mechanical breathing.

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  • Star Wars and Hot Wheels Go Great Together

    Of course you’ll be tempted to buy them.
    Stars Wars: Episode VII is currently in production, but it won’t debut on the silver screen until late 2015. Fortunately we won’t have to wait that long until we can get our hands on the first batch of movie-themed toys. Just admit it. Any serious Star Wars fan is bound to make a few new toy purchases. And if you also happen to be a car and/or Hot Wheels collector, then you’re also in luck.

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    Set to make their debut at Comic Con in San Diego early next month are these Hot Wheels Star Wars-themed toy cars. They’re all extremely well detailed and are sure to increase in value over time. Take a closer look at the cargo bed of the Chewie-styled Unimog: the Millennium Falcon is parked right there. What’s more, there’s even a life-size Darth Vader-themed C5 Corvette with some sweet red lightsaber trim and a supposed top speed of 80 mph. However, this thing is a one-off. We’ll just have to settle for the Hot Wheels-sized die-cast version instead.

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  • Tickets on sale for ‘Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure’ show in Buffalo

    Tue, Jul 22nd 2014 02:00 pm
    Feld Entertainment Inc., producers of “Disney On Ice” and “Disney Live!,” is bringing top performing cable TV series for preschoolers to the stage in “Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure” presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt. Featuring characters from the smash hits “Sofia the First” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” the 2014-15 tour of this production launched a 100-city national tour earlier this month. Tickets for the Sunday, Aug. 3, performances at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts are now on sale.
    “The Feld Entertainment mission of providing quality live entertainment experiences that the entire family enjoys starts with ‘Disney Live!’, because it is often a young fan’s first theatrical experience,” said producer Alana Feld. “Children everywhere have fallen in love with Sofia and Jake, and we are thrilled to bring these popular Disney Junior characters back to the stage.”
    In this original storyline, Mickey and Minnie lead the audience on an exciting adventure that will have families rooting for their favorite pirate, Jake, and Disney’s first little girl princess, Sofia. “Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure” begins with a special interactive pre-show featuring the loveable 6-year-old doctor to toys and stuffed animals, Doc McStuffins. Children and their parents will sing the “I Feel Better” song, along with Doc as she provides tender love and care.
    Audiences will then embark on a journey to the magical world of Enchancia, where Sofia, her stepsiblings, Amber and James, and the entire kingdom are preparing for the annual friendship festival. Sofia has the honor of delivering the perfect gift to her royal subjects at the celebration, and the one-and-only Cinderella, visits the castle to help Sofia in her mission to find the right present.
    The excitement continues when families cast away to Never Land where Jake and his Yo Ho pirate friends, Izzy and Cubby, are in a race against time to locate a mysterious treasure-filled volcano. Danger, thrills and adventure lurk around every turn when our swashbuckling friends battle Captain Hook for the ultimate prize. Peter Pan makes a special appearance, aiding the team in their heroic quest, and, with the help of Tinker Bell’s pixie dust, Jake and his crew fly above the stage in their journey.
    In its first year reporting public ratings, Disney Junior, the 24-hour channel dedicated to kids age 2-7, ranked as the No. 1 network each week in Total Viewers and target preschoolers Kids 2-5, out-delivering primary competitors Nick Jr. by double digits and Sprout by triple digits. Furthermore, Disney Junior’s “Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess” remains the No. 1 telecast in cable TV history in Kids 2-5, and No. 1 preschool cable TV telecast of all time in Total Viewers and Women 18-49.
    To find out more about “Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate &Princess Adventure,” and to purchase tickets, visit disneyjuniorlive.com, or visit on Facebook at “Disney Live!” and follow on Twitter @DisneyLive!
    Tickets start at $40 for the 1, 4 and 7 p.m. shows. To order tickets by phone, call 1-888-223-6000 or visit tickets.com.

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