Exin Castles

Exin Castles, known as ‘Exin Castillos’ in its Spanish country of origin, is an interlocking construction toy similar to its competitor Lego. The sets were based on the concept of medieval and fantasy castles (beating Lego, who would introduce the same themes later on) and were introduced in 1968 by Exin-Lines Bros S.A. of Barcelona, Spain. Exin was also well known for its hugely popular TENTE range of interlocking bricks.

TVTA is pleased to present images from the 1988 English/French language Exin catalogue, printed in Spain, featuring sets from the Exin Castles line as well as sets from the Golden Series line.

Exin Castles. 1988 Exin catalogue. Spain.

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The Batman… again!

The Batman. Publicité France. 2022. Var Matin.

Today I went to see the film The Batman. Again. This is my second viewing, and it allowed me time to focus more on some of the many details I loved in the headrush-mind-blown-euphoria of my first viewing… like… just how awesome is every nuance of the soundtrack (Michael Giacchino for an upcoming Oscar anyone?); how hypnotic is the cinematography in its scale and lighting; how much creepier (and excellent acting kudos once again to Paul Dano) is The Riddler? The Batmobile car chase scene… Selina Kyle… The Nightclub scenes…

Bah. I could be a fanboy all day about this movie and bore you to bat tears (fair warning: I’m hoping to see it a third time before it exits the cinemas here). Instead, I’ll leave you with a couple of French publicity items I found – which have been a bit thin on the ground here since the pandemic in terms of the free goodies I usually pick up. As a bonus, I’ll make a quick rummage through my Batman archives to present some wonderful toy and advert images you may have missed last time around.

If you haven’t seen The Batman yet, what are you waiting for? Hurry.

Cover – Cinemateaser N° 110. Mars 2022. France.

The Batman is released by Warner Brothers in March 2022. All images in this post courtesy of Warner Brothers and DC Comics.

From the TVTA Batman archives:

As always, thanks for looking!

The Batman movie no spoiler TVTA review

“A film so dark, I had to put my sunglasses on when I left the cinema.” – TVTA

I rarely do reviews here at TVTA, but you know, I’m gonna make an exception today, because I’ve just had my all-senses blown away by the dark cinematic juggernaut that is The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman/Selina Kyle, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot/the Penguin, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, and Paul Dano as Edward Nashton/the Riddler.

Shoutouts too for the supporting cast of John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Jayme Lawson and Andy Serkis among others. The acting dynamics behind this film is nothing short of chemical poetry.

At just shy of three hours running time, you might be put off by venturing to your cinema to see it – but don’t be… The Batman is a film that keeps you on the edge of your seat and caters for all your sensory needs. Before you know it, you’ll be wondering where those three hours went.

The film is pitched in the darkest noir tones you could imagine; from the brooding architecture of the almost non-stop rained-upon Gotham City, to wild and ornate gothic interiors that would have Tim Burton nodding in appreciation, to the dank and murky Batcave, to the pulsating nightclub, to gloomy apartment windows and helicopters patrolling a Bat-signalled black sky. Fellow blogger Paul Bowler pointed out that the film’s look has a certain Seven vibe to it, and I would agree with that. I would also add the film has a few Edward Hopper ambient moments, maybe too Metropolis.

Robert Pattinson in the role of The Batman is by far my favourite take on the Caped Crusader. A brooding, sullen and sympathetic figure who is clearly at odds with his persona as billionaire Bruce Wayne, and more keen to get on with some honest detective work. Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle/Catwoman is introduced to us at the seemingly entry level of her persona – a spirited and fearless would-be assassin. Watching her character grow in any further instalments is going to be a treat.

An unrecognisable Colin Farrell in the role of the Penguin is a joy to watch. As is Paul Dano who plays Edward Nashton/the Riddler – a villain completely unhinged from reality. In costume, the Riddler horrifies us, but it’s when he’s out of costume in his seemingly unassuming, bespectacled self that his creepiness factor truly comes into play. For me, I haven’t seen a creepier villain since Kevin in Sin City.

Let’s hear it for the sound! The soundtrack is just phenomenal; from Nirvana’s ‘Something In The Way’ to the classic ‘Ave Maria’ to the sound of Batman’s bootsteps sploshing in the rain-soaked sidewalks of Gotham City.

What else can I say… there are some cool Bat vehicles, a superb car chase, a hint of romance, violence and action galore, a delightful cameo by one of Batman’s arch foes, and black oodles upon black oodles of dark, twisty, black, shadowy noir to keep you feeling darkly noir-ish until next time…

Me, I can’t wait to see it again!

The Batman is released by Warner Brothers in March 2022. All images in this post courtesy of Warner Brothers and DC Comics.

Daniel Boone Wilderness Scout (paperwork) by Marx

Released in 1965 by toy company Marx, Daniel Boone Wilderness Scout was a poseable 12 inch wild west action figure with accessories. The figure had jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists and a moveable head, but stood on rigid legs. While I don’t have the actual figure, I did get hold of the paperwork which came with the original boxed toy.

For more information on the Daniel Boone figure see Stewart’s Attic as well as other wild west action figures of the period.

Daniel Boone grew up as a hunter

Accessories and wilderness survival tips

Below images of Daniel Boone figure and box courtesy of Stewart’s Attic

Thanks for looking!

Fashion, movie and style images from Jours de France magazine issue #750 1969

Jours De France 750 1969. Brigitte Bardot et Maurice Ronet.

Jours de France was a popular French weekly women’s print magazine published between 1954 and 1989. The magazine featured articles and photographs on fashion, cinema, writers, artists and musicians, as well as cartoons and puzzles. TVTA was lucky to get hold of issue #750 from 1969 with actress Gina Lollobrigida on the cover. The issue is jam-packed with superb images of late 1960s French culture, as well as an abundance of print adverts from popular brands which were the main source of revenue for magazines like Jours de France.

At more than 260 pages long, there is bound to be a ‘part two’ to this post. I was unable to scan the images due to the sheer size and weight of the magazine being too much for the TVTA A4 office scanner, so all images from this issue are presented as photographs.

Enjoy 🙂

– Ford.

Jours De France 750 1969. Cover. Gina Lollobrigida.

Jours De France 750 1969. Robert Hossein et Marisa Mell.

French fashion and style

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Six Sentence Stories: How The Book Cartwheeled

I made an artwork and wrote a short story in solidarity with Ukraine, which I posted over on my other site The Atomic Mage… please check it out, thanks!

The Atomic Mage

Six Sentence Storiesis a weekly writers’ challenge hosted by Denise atGirlie on the Edgeblog. This week’s cue word is: BOOK

Image: Solidarity With Ukraine, by Ford

How The Book Cartwheeled

Imagine a child – some carefree girl, cartwheeling across meadows in perfect liberty, her hair the colour of the yellow sun, her eyes pale blue as the wintry sky… this image is what The Book thought to crush as it traversed the besieged land in pursuit of glory only a madman author might dare to draft.

The Book, mean-spirited and war-hungry, cartwheeled on, the sharp corners of its covers ripping up earth and flowers, its pages fluttering like the skirts and petticoats of that carefree girl we mentioned earlier, and of the likes The Book dreamed to crush.

The Book cartwheeled into towns and cities, firing off a multitude of bookmarks marking mistruths and misconceptions as…

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