Let me guess: Just like millions of other people around the world, you've already been out to your local multiplex to see "Despicable Me 2." Which would explain why this Universal Pictures release has already racked up an estimated $59.5 million in domestic ticket sales. More importantly, why industry insiders are now projecting that this Illumination Entertainment production will earn $140 million in North America alone before the long Fourth of July weekend is over.
Copyright Universal Studios. All rights reserved
What's that you say? You so enjoyed seeing this sequel to "Despicable Me" that you're now suffering from minion withdrawal? Well, I guess there's always "The Minion Movie." Which Universal Pictures is releasing to theaters on December 19, 2014. And just like the original "Despicable Me " & "Despicable Me 2," this Illumination Entertainment production will be helmed by Chris Renaud & Pierre Coffin and produced by Chris Meledandri & Janet Healy.
Okay. I know. That's over 430 days from now. Which is an awfully long time to go without a little minion madness in your life. So what if I were to tell you that -- out ahead of the theatrical release of "Despicable Me 2" -- Universal Partnerships & Licensing got together with Basic Fun, Hasbro and Thinkway Toys to create a series of "Despicable Me" -inspired toys. Many of which Nancy and I got to see back in February at a "Despicable Me 2" preview event, which was held at the Crosby Street Hotel in NYC's SoHo section in conjunction with the American International Toy Fair.
Photo by Nancy Stadler
And for a baby boomers like myself, half the fun of attending this "Despicable Me 2" preview event was seeing how many of the games & toys from my childhood had received minion makeovers. Take -- for example -- OPERATION .
Only in the "Despicable Me 2" version of this beloved Hasbro game, you have to carefully remove things like Unicorn Fluff & Banana Belly from Stuart the Minion.
Or how about this old favorite: A View Master ...
... Which is just like that old Fisher-Price toy that you used to have when you were a kid. Only with a 50% larger & brighter image. Best of all, when you hold this developed-by-Basic-Fun item up to your face, it then makes you look like a minion.
Of course, if you're looking to channel your inner super-villain and have some family members that you wish to torture over what's left of the long Fourth of July weekend, you could always pick up a copy of this "Despicable Me 2" jigsaw puzzle.
Okay. I know. This Ceaco puzzle only has 500 pieces. But given how many of them are mostly yellow and have an eyeball in them, I'd imagine that this "Despicable Me 2" puzzle will still take a number of hours to assemble and would be considered cruel-and-unusual punishment by anyone with a short attention span.
If -- on the other hand -- you have family members that you want to amuse rather than abuse, may I suggest Dancing Dave ?
This 8-inch talking action figure from Thinkway talks, sings and dances. And as you can see by the above video, Dancing Dave is a very hands-on toy. So the more you squish & manipulate this bright yellow action figure, the more Dancing Dave giggles & talks.
If you're looking for interaction, Thinkway has also produced a collector's edition series of "Despicable Me 2" action figures ...
This trio (i.e. the 14-inch Gru , the 11-inch Agnes and the 9-inch minion Dave) all feature moving heads, mouths and eyes. What's more, these action figures talk to you in the real voices from the movie and feature more than 30 sayings.
And speaking of things that talk, wait 'til you see the Agnes' Fluffy Unicorn that Thinkway put together. Not only does this plush have a magical light-up horn, but as the video demonstrates ...
... when you touch this unicorn's hoof, you get to hear Agnes talk as well as sing her "I Love Unicorns" song from the original "Despicable Me" movie.
Is that a little too cute for you? Okay, then. How about a genuine official "Despicable Me 2" Fart Gun ?
Don't worry. This minion gadget only fires off banana-scented blasts. Though that said, Thinkway Toy does feature a timer function. Which means that you can leave your Fart Gun behind so that it will then act as kind of an electronic Whoopie Cushion for some unsuspecting victim.
What's that you say? You don't want any talking Grus or Agneses or Fart Guns or Unicorn plush. You're the one who's now suffering from minion withdrawal, so you want more minions. Well, how about some minion action figures?
This Thinkway-produced toy line reproduces some of the more memorable minions from "Despicable Me" & "Despicable Me 2." Of course, if you're a bit of a risk taker, you may want to consider trying the Minion Surprise Figures.
Photo by Nancy Stadler
These highly detailed 2-inch collectible figures (which -- surprise, surprise -- come from Thinkway) come with their very own display stands. And you can collect everyone in the "Despicable Me" universe from Minions Dave, Tom, Stuart, Tim and Carl to Dr. Nefario. This series even includes a miniature version of Agnes' fluffy unicorn.
So there are lots of ways that you can deal with minion withdrawal this summer. With the most obvious way being to go back to the theater and catch another showing of "Despicable Me 2." Or you could do what a lot of other folks seem to be doing these days. Which is pre-ordering a Blu-ray of "Despicable Me" over at Amazon.com.
Copyright Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved
According to the nice folks over at HDRoom:
... Despicable Me 2 is already tearing up the Blu-ray charts at Amazon.com. The Blu-ray 3D combo pack went up for pre-order nearly a week ago and just today not only cracked into Amazon's top 10 Blu-ray bestsellers chart, but ran right up into the second position. Amazon has it priced at $34.99, 30% off the $49.98 list price, and that seems to be doing the trick.
So as you can see, if you really are suffering from minion withdrawal this Summer, there are ways to deal with this "Despicable Me 2" -related issue. So there's really no reason that your every waking thought should be monopolized by this new Universal Pictures release ...
... unless -- of course -- you're in the mood to play that "Despicable Me 2" edition of MONOPOLY that Hasbro just put on the market.