The Golden Monkey from Golden CompassYou’ve got to check out two pages, especially if you’re as big a fan of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials books as I am, and especially if you’re waiting excitedly for the Golden Compass movie, which opens Dec. 7, as I also am. The famous toy store F.A.O. Schwarz has a “Golden Compass Boutique” on its Web site. Do you ever wish you had a daemon of your own to cuddle? Well, now you can buy stuffed figures of the daemons of the major characters in the upcoming movie. (Or even a figure of the armored polar bear Iorek, or action figures of Lyra, Mrs. Coulter, and Lord Asriel.) Ain’t marketing great? Shown is the golden monkey, Mrs. Coulter’s daemon.

I’ve been exploring the main fanboy (and -girl) site for the movie, HisDarkMaterials.org, which has some interesting articles and discussions about the upcoming movie as well as the series. If you’re a fan, pay a visit. I learned, for example, that the film will not include the last three chapters of the book, using them instead as the beginning of the second movie, The Subtle Knife. (This, of course, supposes that Golden Compass will be a huge box office hit and there will be a movie of The Subtle Knife.) But Pullman says that he approves of the change:

Every film has to make changes to the story that the original book tells – not to change the outcome, but to make it fit the dimensions and the medium of film. I’m very happy with the work the filmmakers have done…”

Which, given all the controversy over the theology of the books, and the rumors of the “watering-down” of the movie, is a relief to read.

LATER: Oh no! Look at this – I just found, on HisDarkMaterials.org, a new press release from Corgi toys, announcing a much more complete set of Golden Compass action figures and a toy alethiometer. The alethiometer contains a “digi-daemon” of your own. Check them out!

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