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EMP, Movies, TV

Best of 2017: Entertainment

As the sun sets on 2017, we can’t help but sit back and reflect on what a year it’s been for the entertainment world: Stranger Things 2 turned our worlds upside down; Game of Thrones season 7 left us speechless and the new Star Wars movie hit our screens last week. Here we take a closer look at some of the most iconic moments of 2017.

 

Movies

 

DC Movies

Let’s kick things off with this Amazon warrior princess that took the box offices by storm: the one and only, Wonder Woman. 2004 being the last time we saw a female superhero lead (Catwoman), it was refreshing to see such a badass woman front and centre. Raking in almost 822 million USD, it beat Justice League (635) by a mile, another 2017 DC release, where Wonder Woman was joined by an entourage of fellow DC superheroes.  Whilst this didn’t receive the greatest of reviews, we could never not enjoy so many iconic characters on one screen! We have loads of DC merch for you to check out!

 

Photo credit: leonardmaltin.com

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok

Wonder Woman wasn’t the only hero to have a solo film: 2017 saw the release of Thor: Ragnarok, which was by far the funniest Marvel film there has been. His newly discovered super power – humour – had us gripped by the get go. For someone new to our world, Thor’s comic timing is on point!

 

Photo credit: wingsoffire.wikia.com

 

 

Despicable Me 3

But perhaps it would be more impressive to make people laugh when you’re speaking a foreign language? That’s where the Minions come in! This year, they were back on our screens in Despicable me 3 and funny as ever. Gru found out about his twin brother (who looked more like a cross between Richard Branson and Donald Trump) and returned to the dark side one last time… what could go wrong? Turns out a lot! But the staple moment of the movie was when Agnes found out that unicorns are actually FLUFFY! (Don’t die please). We have Fluffy the unicorn and lots more Minion merch perfect for any kind of fan!

 

Photo credit: pinterest.co.uk

 

 

Star Wars

We also saw great things from Disney this year with the release of Star Wars last week. One thing that is undeniable about this movie is the way it has brought generations together; you just had to look around the cinema to see children with their grandparents, groups of friends, people there for the first time and people by themselves feeling comfortable in their Star Wars family. Whatever your opinion, there isn’t any other franchise of films that could unite times quite like Star Wars does.

 

Photo credit: geekmom.com

 

 

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast was also released by Disney this year which didn’t disappoint! Whilst I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that Hermoine felt slightly out of place in it, it was a fantastic rendition of an Oscar winning timeless classic. The special effects were remarkable allowing us to connect with Lumière and Mrs Pots just as well as we did (eventually) with the Beast. Disney’s live action remakes don’t stop here with Cruella and Peter Pan due to be released in 2018.

 

Photo credit: pinterest.co.uk

 

TV Series

 

Stranger Things 2

2017 has also been a phenomenal year for TV series. We saw the release of Stranger Things 2 which definitely lived up to expectations. I was so pleased to have the gang back and be a part of their shenanigans again. The series didn’t come without its surprises (and I’m not just talking about Dustin’s hair at prom) but mainly by how much I liked Steve by the end of it! His transformation was nearly as drastic as Dart’s: from high school heart throb who’s a bit of a d**k to the secret hero of the whole series, taking on the Upside Down right at the source. I can’t help but think that their make shift solution will come back to haunt them though… cue series 3! Check out our range of Stranger Things Funko Pops!

 

Photo credit: dorkly.com

 

 

Rick and Morty

Rick and Morty has taken Netflix by storm this year with the release of the third season. More dark and ambitious than the previous 2 series, this series took the characters on even wilder adventures to more outrageous places and introduced us to even more bizarre characters like Cornvelious Daniel, Jaguar and Logic, to name a few. We can’t wait to see what season 4 will hold (in like, a really long time).

 

Photo credit: imgflip.com

 

 

Game of Thrones

I don’t know if you heard, I mean, it was kept on the DL and not many people were talking about it but this thing called Game of Thrones season 7 was out this year? Na, I hadn’t heard either. This was the first series without the influence of a book by George R. R. Martin and fans were very sceptical about this development. But it was still as gripping as ever leaving us with many questions on our lips but the main one being how are we going to wait till 2019 for season 8!?

 


Photo credit: me.me

 

2017 was a cracking year for entertainment and also hosted some interesting announcements like Tom Hardy as Marvel Comic character Venom and Tarantino potentially making a Star Trek movie (what?). We can’t wait to see what 2018 holds! But whilst we are waiting, check out our range of Entertainment merch – there’s something for everyone!

 

Fashion

8(ish) Easy Cosplay Ideas Available from EMP

Comic Cons are happening up and down the country this summer – and that means cosplay! Have you got your costume ready yet?

If you’ve ever been to an event like Comic Con, you’ll know the surreal feeling of walking around surrounded by a menagerie of characters from movies, TV, comic books and gaming, all represented by fans in stunning detail. The commitment of these uber-fans is to be lauded – fair play, guys – but what if you want to jump on board the Comic Con cosplay vibe train with minimal effort involved? Or you’re keen to join in the fun but can’t pick a character? Or you’re worried your efforts are going to look like a dodgy Blue Peter make? Don’t worry – as Europe’s #1 retailer for officially-licensed entertainment merchandise, we’re here to help!

assassins creed merchandise collage

ASSASSIN’S CREED – ASSASSIN COSPLAY OUTFIT

Assassin’s Creed is one of my favourite video games; in my dreams I’m climbing around London like Evie Frye (the view from St. Paul’s sure is something else!). If, like me, you’re fan of the saga and you want to bring some honour Assassin-style to your Comic Con, you can put together an authentic outfit in just a few clicks.

Make yourself instantly recognisable in an EMP-exclusive Assassin’s Creed wrap coat (A) or a Lancaster loop scarf (C) on top of a black top and jeans. Then add the crucial details – grab a black (D) or silver Assassins insignia necklace (B) and either this imitation leather Assassin’s Creed wrist armour (E) or a silver (F) or black Assassins crest bracelet (G) to complete the look – or check out our Assassin’s Creed merchandise section to add more!

zelda cosplay ideas

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA – LINK COSPLAY OUTFIT (FEMALE)

Maybe thanks to Breath of the Wild’s storming success, you want to show your love for this legendary (pun intended) franchise with a Link costume? We’ve got all you need.

So how can you get the Link look? Start with the top half: either combine a Legend of Zelda t-shirt (B) or dress (C) with this replica hat (A) or grab this super-detailed women’s Link cosplay hoodie (H). Now, grab the replica Hylia shield (D) and Master Sword (E) to ensure you can easily repel any evildoers at your convention, accessorise with a belt pouch (G), vambrance bracelet (F) and Hyrule Triforce necklace (I) and you’re good to go and save the princess!

Guys: there’s plenty of Zelda cosplay options for you too! Check out our The Legend of Zelda merchandise page.

TNBC cosplay ideas

THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS – JACK & SALLY COUPLE’S COSPLAY OUTFITS

 

Summer may be approaching, but there’s never a bad time for some The Nightmare Before Christmas cosplay!

EMP have made it super-easy for any couples who are budding TNBC cosplayers. Guys: grab this Jack Skellington morphsuit (B), and ladies, pick up the EMP-exclusive Sally cosplay dress (C), and – uh, that’s it!

Of course, there’s plenty more available from our Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise selection – the girls can become Jack with this Jack Skellington cosplay dress (A) and Jack hat (D), which both go beautifully with this Jack and Sally handbag (E).

beauty-and-the-beast cosplay

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – BELLE AND BEAST COUPLE’S COSPLAY OUTFITS

I, like little girls worldwide, always dreamed of dressing up as Belle one day – and the new live-action Beauty and the Beast movie ensures that a whole new generation will do the same! Thanks to EMP, that doesn’t have to be a dream any more – and what’s more, you can have your own Beast too!

Our Beauty and the Beast merchandise section has tons of EMP exclusives that you won’t find anywhere else – so your Belle and Beast outfits are sure to turn heads. Choose either Belle’s ball gown (B) or Belle’s everyday ruffle dress (C) – the former should be complemented by this Disney Couture Beauty and the Beast tree necklace (A), while the latter’s outfit will be completed by a Disney Couture rose choker (E) and Belle hair bow (D) – and, of course, a stack of library books. Guys – become the Beast for a day with this stunning embroidered Beast blazer (F). You’ll be the most beautiful couple at the convention – assuming you get a post-transformation Beast, of course!

alice in wonderland cosplay ideas from emp

ALICE IN WONDERLAND – ALICE, QUEEN OF HEARTS, RED QUEEN, CHESHIRE CAT AND MAD HATTER COSPLAY OUTFITS

The wacky world of Alice in Wonderland is ripe for cosplay inspiration – and with more than 100 products in stock, our Alice in Wonderland merchandise section has plenty to help you put the perfect outfit together.

There are several suitable dresses for Alices, but my personal favourite is the EMP-exclusive Alice Through the Looking Glass blue dress (A), which is perfect to match with these cute “curiouser and curiouser” earrings (G).

There are a couple of options if you have a dark side and want to become Alice’s tormentor: the Queen of Hearts classic dress with attached cloth crown (B) or the amazingly detailed Through the Looking Glass Red Queen dress (C).

Complete the outfit with the “Off With Their Heads” earrings from this Alice in Wonderland earrings set (F).

Looking for something more fun? How about this Cheshire Cat onesie (D)? Or what about the Mad Hatter’s hat (E)? In the end we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.

dragon-ball cosplay

ANIME COSPLAY COSTUMES

Something from the world of anime more up your alley? Be a modern Sailor Moon by combining this adorable pink Sailor Moon varsity jacket (A) with the replica Moon Stick (B), add some manga-inspired make-up and copy Bunny’s hairstyle and you’re good to go!

What about joining Goku in the constant fight to protect Earth and the universe from the bad guys? Simply pick up this Dragon Ball Z Turtle School and Kaio insignia t-shirt (C) or this black and orange Turtle School tee (E). Girls, grab a Kame dress (D) similarly inspired by Goku’s training gear.

Love One Piece? Become King of the Pirates! Get Luffy’s straw hat (G) and wear it with a red t-shirt, or even better, with the One Piece Straw Hat Crew varsity jacket (F).

marvel cosplay

MARVEL COSPLAY – WOLVERINE, CAPTAIN AMERICA, SPIDER-MAN, DEADPOOL AND IRON MAN COSTUMES AND OUTFITS

Fancy yourself as one of the X-Men? Prove it with this Wolverine cosplay hoodie (A) or the Wolverine chest t-shirt (B).

Or are you more of an anti-hero type? Combine this Deadpool costume t-shirt (C) and Deadpool beanie (D), make sure you’re never too far from some chimichanga and you’re basically the “Merc with a Mouth” himself!

A Captain America-inspired outfit is easy to create thanks to the Captain America costume t-shirt (E) and the cork shield logo cap (F) (for the guys) or the Captain America sprayed logo t-shirt (G) with shield hairslide (H) (for the girls).

If your Spidey sense is tingling for a Spider-Man outfit, no problem, the Spider-Man logo hoodie (I) and 3D Spider-Man cap with mesh eyes (L) should do the trick. But remember, with great power comes great responsibility!

Or if you fancy inhabiting the skin of a genius superhero billionaire philanthropist playboy (and don’t we all?) this Iron Man zip-up hoodie (M) is all you need to become Tony Stark himself.

There’s plenty more Marvel-inspired clothing in our Marvel Comics merchandise section – or perhaps you want to switch sides and cosplay as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman or Harley Quinn? Check out our DC Comics merchandise section!

star wars cosplay

STAR WARS COSPLAY OUTFITS – R2-D2, STORMTROOPER, YODA, CHEWBACCA AND EWOK OUTFITS

We’re stocking some incredible EMP exclusives in our Star Wars merchandise section, including hoodies that leave you a zip away from being being R2-D2 (A), a Stormtrooper (B), Yoda (C) or an Ewok (E)!

Or how about transforming into everybody’s favourite Wookiee with this Chewbacca onesie (G)? Staying in character all day will be easy; respond to anything with a WUUAAAAAHHHHHH and you’re set!

If you just want to jazz up an everyday outfit with a few Star Wars-themed items to make you feel 100% Comic Con ready, no problem – we’ve got hundreds of Star Wars accessories, including this Yoda beanie (D), an adorable Ewok handbag (F) this Chewbecca furry cap (H) and more!

What are you cosplaying as at an upcoming Comic Con? Which Comic Cons and other conventions are you heading to this summer? Let us know – and if you’re heading to the MCM London Comic Con (May 26-28), come say hi to the EMP crew! Our interactive stand will be at booth 4732 in the North Hall – we’ll be meeting customers, handing out catalogues and freebies, selling some of our hottest merch, and more – see you there!

Salva

TV

Looking Back at “The Walking Dead” Season Seven

Season 7’s done and we’re feeling pretty low about it. Let’s reflect on an epic series and assess the post-S7 landscape…

First of all: WOW! Last night’s episode was intense! In the afterglow of an epic finale, I’ve been reading and hearing various opinions about the season, in particular its deliberately drawn-out buildup to the much-anticipated battle between Rick and his group and Negan and the Saviours.

It seems that two schools of thought currently divide TWD fandom. Firstly, there are those that loved the season and appreciated the build-up to the battle shown in “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”, loving the emotional path the group went thought in the process to RISE UP against Negan once and for all.

Then there are those unhappy with the long wait and the ‘slow’ episodes, who think that the first battle of this ‘new’ war against Negan and the Saviours could have been stretched out over two episodes – they stretched the preamble to fifteen after all!

Take two The Walking Dead fans, one in camp A and one in camp B, however, and you can guarantee that they’re sure to have one thing in common – love for NEGAN!

Even if we all resent him for killing Glenn and Abraham (I do! Glenn has been my favourite character ever since he called Rick ‘dumbass’ on the tank’s radio 😂) we love his character ‘cause it’s brought so much charisma, humour, charm and entertainment to the table! Let’s face it, Negan is (for now) the new star of the show, dethroning Rick and even Daryl; viewers can’t wait to see him in action, even if they know it probably means that one of their favourite characters is going to die brutally.

 

“The First Day of the Rest of Your Life” kept us guessing ‘til the very last minute. My thoughts were jumping from “Yeah, they’re going to make it this time!” to “Oh no, they’re all going to die…” to “HELL YEAH, kill them all, big fluffy cat!”

 

Rick and Negan’s exchange as Negan threatened to kill Carl with Lucille left me breathless. Andrew Lincoln’s performance was flawless; check out the rage in his eyes below! As much as it has built up to an all-out war between the Saviours and Rick’s group, the season has also built up to Rick and Negan going nose-to-nose and I think it was worth the wait!

The final scenes of the episode, with Maggie talking about how they all got there thanks to Glenn saving Rick at the very start, got me pretty bad. RIP Glenn 🙁

BUT enough with the sentimentality, it’s time to go to war!

I personally liked this season and appreciated the ‘slow’ build. Without it, we couldn’t have enjoyed all of the emotional scenes that led each character to join the battle. Daryl and Carol, all Morgan’s crazy stuff, Daryl and Maggie, Sasha and Rosita, Sasha and Eugene, Rick and Michonne…their combined histories and emotional baggage leading them all to declare war on the Saviours is what made the last episode so intense and moving for me. Sasha’s sacrifice and Glenn and Abraham’s tribute were just the perfect way to close that big chapter of emotions and grieving that accompanied season seven; now let’s get ready to kick some ass in season eight!

Negan and the Saviours retreated thanks to the combined intervention of King Ezekiel (plus his tiger) and the Kingdom and Maggie and the Hilltop. But they’re not certainly defeated and they’re sure to come back stronger – but how soon into the next season will it happen?

What are your expectations for season eight? Is Eugene going to find some courage and do something to help the others? Is Dwight really going to help Rick and Daryl in taking Negan (and all the other ‘Negans’) down?

Comment below with your opinions on season seven overall and the season finale, and let us know your wishlist and predictions for the next season – in a few months we can see who was closest 😉

Elena x

Season seven may be over, but we’ll never stop bringing you the very best The Walking Dead merchandise! In our range, you’ll find Glenn resurrected in Funko Pop! form, exclusive TWD t-shirts and Hoodies and plenty more – check it out!

Salva

TV

EMP’s “WrestleMania 33” Predictions

Who’s walking out of Orlando with gold? Who’s having a “WrestleMania moment”? EMP’s predictions are right this way…

It’s that time of year again! WWE’s annual celebration of all things rasslin’ has arrived, as around 70,000 rabid fans are predicted to pack the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida for WrestleMania 33. Anybody with the slightest interest is sure to find something to enjoy – there won’t be a dry eye amongst old-school fans as Kurt Angle finally takes his rightful place in the Hall of Fame after having to endure years of wrestling in a theme park. NXT TakeOver will showcase the company’s future stars, having arguably topped its big brother last year. Aaaand of course, there’s the granddaddy of them all, WrestleMania itself, an epic five hour (seven if you count the pre-show)-long extravaganza showcasing every major star in the company in thirteen epic battles. A lot’s at stake – championship gold in some cases, pride in others, and in one case, a big gold André the Giant. Who’s winning? Here’s what we think…

Intercontinental Championship: Baron Corbin vs. Dean Ambrose (champion)
These two need to pay off a buildup which has featured an above-average amount of forklift action by having a wild vehicular hardcore brawl. Baron’s the future, and I’m picking him to put Dean down.

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Naomi vs. Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss (champion)
Who’s got the edge? I think we’re due a surprise due to WWE’s insistence on billing this match as “Alexa defending against every available woman” – Asuka? Eva Marie? Paige? Beth Phoenix? Regardless, I’m going with the mighty Carmella – she’s formed a cracking double act with 2016’s least likely breakout star, James Ellsworth, who’s going to throw everything he’s got (which doesn’t amount to a lot, admittedly) at making sure his “friend who’s a girl” walks out with the strap. F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.

Ladder Match for the Raw Tag Team Championship: Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Sheamus & Cesaro vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (champions)
Enzo’s already got his WrestleMania moment sewn up – hearing the best part of 100,000 fans chanting along to his pre-match schtick is going to be unlike anything witnessed before at the event. But is that going to be enough to carry them to the titles? I’m going with yes.

John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
It’s down to some sterling work from all involved that this doesn’t feel small-time in comparison to the Cena/Undertaker match we were rumoured to be getting. Miz is approaching godly status on the microphone and, by virtue of actually getting booed consistently, is probably the top bad guy on the roster. That’s why he and Maryse are taking the win via some rule-breaking shenanigans.

Fatal Four-Way Elimination Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley (champion)
If we don’t get fifty 100ft tall wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men, then it’s an absolute travesty. As for the match itself, it’s a tough call – but because it’s WrestleMania, home of the feel-good wrestling moment, my money’s on Bayley.

Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker
Whether you’re vocally anti-Reigns, or you think a lot of the boo-boys in the crowd are joyless basement-dwellers who would’ve turned on Hulk Hogan in the ‘80s and Steve Austin in the ‘90s if today’s internet had been around then, there’s no denying that last year’s sight of Reigns lifting the WWE Championship amid glorious victory fireworks, rabid announcer praise and 100,000 people loudly booing wasn’t the ideal end to the biggest show of the year. Which makes the E’s choice to go with Roman as Undi’s opponent this year rather than the more obvious John Cena a puzzling one. Roman wins, he gets booed out of the building; Undi wins, and the young buck set to carry the company for the next decade has just gone down to a bloke in his 50s. But there is a third way (and perhaps I’m going with heart over head over this): unconscious ref – low blow – Roman thwacks Undi with a chair – new ref – 1, 2, 3, EVIL REIGNS STANDS TALL, LAPPING UP THE BOOS. Make it happen.

United States Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho (champion)
Jeri-KO’s bromance gone bad comes to a head here, and though I would consider myself a “friend of Jericho” and think Y2J’s renaissance has been great viewing, the logical conclusion is for the dastardly KO to put his former best friend down here.

AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon
Shane takes a beating like nobody else and after the year he’s had, there’s no way AJ isn’t a) walking out the victor and b) having the match of the night. Strap yourselves in, this one’s going to be phenomenal.

Non-Sanctioned Match: Triple H vs. Seth Rollins
You’ve got to admire Seth’s gumption for showing up, but – come on, mate. Hunter’s going to tear that gammy leg off and beat you around the head with it. And if Samoa Joe shows up to give daddy a hand…well, it was nice knowing you, Rollins.

Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg (champion)
Goldberg was the biggest star in the company from the moment he walked out on the October 17 episode of Raw, and that’s broadly who a show’s top belt should always be on, regardless of whether they show up every week to trade near-falls with Cesaro. But he’s had his comeback story now, and though every second of it has been wonderful, it’s time for Brock to wrestle top spot back from his old rival.

WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt (champion)
Six months ago, I assumed we were in for another four weeks of Bray bothering another fan favourite, talking vaguely mystically about how “it was always meant to be this way” or some other gubbins before staring at the lights for said fan favourite on a secondary pay-per-view. But no, the six-month build to get here has been perfect sports-entertainment, and proof that storylines are what’s needed to create a buzz, rather than endless 45-minute technical clinics between two men in pants who respect each other but want to find out who the better man is (as some dark corners of the internet would have you believe). Hopefully Bray takes the victory here – Randy doesn’t need it – and the end-of-Mania fireworks budget goes on some weird festival of darkness where he uses his new magic powers to bring on a thunderstorm and hundreds of sheep-masked extras dance and sacrifice a viper. Hopefully.

Are you looking forward to WrestleMania? Who’s walking out with a victory, and who’s not walking out at all? Will there be any surprises? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on our Facebook page, and check out our WWE merchandise page to score some kick-ass wrestling merch! See you Sunday!

Salva