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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Again, too much cool to count.

Hello again...It's been one hell of a summer.  Baby's growing, moved with a week to plan it during the only heatwave of the season, major change in monetary situation, sold everything off except my Joe's and Star Wars, got a second teaching license, waiting on word for another Social Studies job, went back to FedEx where I never thought I'd set foot again and luckily came to my senses and quit hastily.  Quit a bit happened sufficed to say.   Anyway...this isn't the life according to Mr. R's blog...this is about toys, movies and other inane things that a select few of us value.

Besides all that...quit a few nice developments in the realm of collectibles and figures occurred over the course of Q3.  Some disappointing as well.  Let's have at it.

The only figure I want from this whole line...

Hasbro...what the hell are you thinking...So black series is quite the literal mess as our favorite love-hate-hate toy company who loves shilling us another 10 bucks for the same guys on different cardbacks decided to not put proper glue on said cardbacks and we now have these crappy mostly reissues laying all over the floors of Targets and TRUs and Wal-Mar....oh wait...due to Hasbro deluging the market with the Phantom Menace Vintage Line that sat for 2 years, most Wal-Mart's aren't even carring Star Wars this year!  There's only one figure I want out of three waves of this series and I bet he'll be hard as hell to locate since he's wave three of a seemingly poorly selling collection...A yet unmade Nikto guard named Vizam...Finally a new OTC figure from Jabba's palace...c'mon Brock Starsher and Cane Adiss!  Remember the old BAD line when they went nuts making every random Cantina Patron they could find???  How in the name of Holy Hell can we still not be able to recreate the skiff crews from the Sarlaac Battle still?  These would be action figures who actually saw some action in the films too!  Even an update of Yak Face, Pote Snitkin, or Squid Head would be very welcome.

 Jabba-wise, also from Lego was a redesign of the Sail Barge with Ree-Yees, Weequay and Max Rebo included...not too bad.  For OTC lego fans, besides the upcoming Ewok Village this Christmas...you're in for a disappointment as there's only one troop builder set of Death Star Troopers for the Winter 2014 lineup...seems like a cool little Death Star Turbo Laser Station with 2 Royal Guards and 2 Death Squad Commanders. (no Imperial Gunner Lego-style yet, surprisingly) A real sketchy catalog leak was up a week ago but I think Lego corporate put the Kibosh on it.

I'd be so freaking pissed if this was on my doorstep

Then you had the Amazon debacle of the Vintage Collection Slave-1!  From being shipped without packing boxes, to missing pieces we saw quite a few unhappy campers but apparently Amazon was very cool about exchanges, credits and returns so all good?  Amazon also has an exclusive T.I.E. Interceptor out there as well.  There's a TRU exclusive Bigg's X-Wing fighter floating around as well as an upcoming Ewok Catapult K-Mart Exclusive packed with two more yet unmade ewoks (can't find out their names...I looked up and down and they apparently are based on 2 unnamed ewoks who were loading the catapult in the scene from Jedi) as well as a Vintage packed ROTJ AT-AT vehicle priced at a reasonable 130.00.

Preordered him within minutes!
Love this guy! (Why did Kenner never make these fellas? or Rebel Troopers? or Grand Moff Tarkin?)

Beyond some flubs, I laud the new 6 inch Black Series as I look at my awesome Sandtrooper on my desk.  I pre-ordered the wave two Boba Fett as well (who jumped to the number 4 top selling toy on Amazon in a day!...he's at 95 now, boo)...debated moving for the Han or Luke or if I'll just stick with Imperials.  Nice poseablility, great paint applique and detail I very much enjoy studying on a grander scale. Apparently they are developing a Scout and Speeder Bike for this line for Q2 2014...Something to very much look forward to.  Made me look at the vintage 12" Boba Fett for a while on ebay.  Speaking of, tried my damnedest to snag the Boba/Han SDCC exclusive off Hasbro Toy Shop.com but didn't even come close before the vultures snagged em all and put em up at 100+ a pop.

Looks great with my other favorites!

Never though Fort Max could be outsized...

One SDCC exclusive I did snag (at a great price on top of a great price) was the TRU exclusive Masterpiece Soundwave with 5 cassettes including Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage, Buzzsaw and Laserbeak (easily worth 100 just for the cassettes)...Too much value to count compiled on a 15% off promotion put him at 108 bucks even for the whole sha-bang.  I was able to find this quick-to-sell-out beauty on the last day of the sale after letting on pass me by earlier in the week...gotta say, I love these Masterpieces and may be only looking at these guys, third parties and gestalts from now on.  Stuff I can buy current without having to kitbash vintage stuff.  Already ordered a KO MP SideSwipe for 37 bucks...Can't go wrong for that price and am looking forward to the "Afterhours" as I dubbed him, MP-10 KO Prime in the works later this month.  

Even for KO, they don't come cheap...this guy is listed at 230 and the combiners are 100 a piece.

On top of this I'm seeing the price on anime Devastator dropping to 67 bucks on Amazon, Fort Max Encore to less than 310 and you have that amazing Titan Class Metroplex hitting stores and on-line retailers on top of the too good a deal to pass on of Platinum Predaking Reissue Amazon / BigBadToyStore Exclusive (watch Amazon since they are apparently pullling the Slave-1 shipping switcharoo on buyers...order as a gift to ensure a packing box) .   Referring to KO's, if your in the market and missed out on some later G1 Series biggies Zhong Jin has released this trio of Scorponok, Abonimus and Computron, all have been floating around ioffer lately.  Can't stress enough how much I want the Fans-Toys 03 Quake Wave (Shockwave masterpiece figure)...looks absolutely great and a perfect high quality G1 rendition.

Icing on this cake is the late late late release of the original Kenner Alien action figures which have surfaced on entertainment earth and bbts from Super7 toy company.  If you are a fan of Alien(s) particularly Space Marines, slated for release in November is a helmeted Hicks vs exploding xenomorph 2 pack from Neca. 

If you missed out on the original vintage G.I. Joe Tomahawk (A pinnacle vehicle from the collection)  you can get the re-release for about 40 or so bucks in a teeny-tiny box...seriously different from the old-school ARAH boxes. Now it's the Eaglehawk and man, there are some real differences...HUD and control panels in the cockpit, a crank for the wench, removable engine panels, more detail on the door guns, rotors and propellers (which also fold back for easier storage)...Gotta hand it to Hasbro on this one!

For all you Vintage Turtle fans, announced today was the news that the classic collection was snagged as a TRU exclusive with more to come along the lines of the 1990 likenesses from the movie as well as a new Retro collection included Don, Mike, Leo, Raph, Shedder, Splinter, Foot Soldier and Kraang along with the Party Wagon...at 2013 prices alas.  They are up for 12.99 each pre-order on TRU's website along with a steeeeply priced 59.99 Party Wagon which excites the retro fan in me but infuriates the consumer in me simultaneously.  Honest to God, I sold a carded 1988 Donatello on ebay for 20.00  and a set of the first four years of complete figures with cardbacks for 150.00 so if you are in the market for vintage you may want to go with actual vintage.  I remember seeing them on K-Mart's clearance rack in the 90's for 1.99 a figure!  How times have changed and I call bullshit on the fact they know they are shilling collectors like us  who are the target market in buying the same stuff we had as kids... Christ, I could get a ACTUAL retro Party Wagon from 1989 for that price and since the pretty much exact same modern Shellraiser goes for 22.99 at Target today, I wonder what the whole 40 dollar mark up is about.

So, any readers share my interest in any of this? What's on your wish lists this holiday season?  Think the Party Wagon ISN'T overpriced?  Sound off in the comments!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

League Assignment: Bring it Back!

Hmmm. modern reboot? I thought about this a few separate times this week and kept hitting a wall.  80's properties and even those of the 90's have a certain flavor and feel to them that can't be duplicated...the decade they were imagined in is just a strong theme in their execution as the show's characters and plots.   I wondered if something like Visionaries or Inhumanoids could be rekindled today, how successful could they be?   I kept running into a "Poochie effect" thinking these things taken into a contemporary setting with "modern" vernacular would be more unbearable than anything.   Take something today like Regular Show or Adventure Time and those plots, scripts and characters work because they are aware of the time they exist in and are certainly products of the 21st century.  
Arab Spring hit early at the Twin Pines Mall

Very rarely do reboots work in my mind and more often than not I feel these things strive to impossibly achieve a paradox by appealing to a new, young audience raised on smartphones, Obamacare and Gangam Style and still trying to hit the nostalgia mark for the 30 something, disposable income, toy buying demographic raised on WWF, Just Say No, and Peter Jennings.   You can't really hit a reboot on the head like that...Take the 2012 Ninja Turtles...I really like some of the directions they took the series but correct me if I'm wrong that every time you hear Raph talk you think "Why is Donatello's voice coming out of him?"  or when you saw Baxter Stockman, you were thinking..."so is he EVER going to turn into a fly?" or "what is with the mech suit" (honestly, who doesn't have mech suits anymore?) Christ, think of if they did this with Back to the Future! It would never work now.  2015 is 2 years away...do we even have a far off optimistic view of any future in our modern sense of time?  Who really cares what 2055 would look like?  Does anyone think its going to be anything worth looking forward to at all besides insane inflation, mass unemployment, more war and bankruptcy?  Probably a lot less people than those watching BTF2 in 1989.  Oi.

so...much...wrongness, I wanted a ninja turltle badguy not a character from Shadow Complex.

So what old property would I like to see with a 2013 spin?
Like the intro to the movie...as a series...that never stopped ruling.

Original G.I. Joe (series with look and feel of the pre 1990 episodes)... with the ridiculous plots, awesome characters and vehicles and terrific voice acting.  Something like Resolute without the obligatory Japanime feel to it (and without Dial Tone being a 20 something girl) and the Bad Dudes version of Ronnie Reagan being the commander-in-chief.

Robocop...live action, animated, it don't matter.  With some really triple A production muscle behind it, Delta City would never be so relevant, I'd buy that for a dollar!  Plus a modern Robocop tie-in video game would always be nice.

Surf Nazis Must Die or the the Toxic Avenger...If there's one thing Hobo with a Shotgun or Dead Snow taught me, it is that campy, super violent, trash film really goes underserved to a film watching population very hungry for it.  The thing is, as jaded and "super cool" audiences think they are, those movies have stuff in them that make ratings boards and focus groups still squirm in their chairs.  I say MORE heads run over by cars.

Bucky O'Hare - cuz we don't have nearly enough high-quality anthropomorphized space rabbits and quad-armed ducks on the airwaves! Speaking of ducks...

Count-God-damned-Duckula! Chocky-Bickies...need I say more???

InfiniteHollywoodTime - Exo Squad (very much agree!)
Cool & Collected - Buck Rogers
AEIOU&WHY - Land of the Lost

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Everything Must go Sale!

Selling a ton of my collection to downsize, create space and generate some scratch for the summer.  Check my ebay profile or the sidebar for some nice vintage and modern items.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day: Fun with Joes

Hooah!  Having some pictorial fun with my Tomahawk and some of the more realistically reputable Joe members.  Hope you had a great weekend!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

League Assignment: Comics!

I'm sure many a league member has much  more in depth, continuity driven and detail oriented posts about specific comics, graphic novels and superheroes.  I only dabbled in comics and even unearthed in my "geek confessions" that I never owned a true Superhero comic book ever if you don't count Spawn or Rob Lefield garbage.  Instead, I'd like to talk more about the phenomenon that is comics and comic culture. What is it about comics that have gained them such universal notoriety?  You really have to live under a rock to not know even the basics...Movies, games, television have all moved into bringing the world of comics into our popular conscientiousness.  Moms, Dads, Girls, Guys...it doesn't matter, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who never heard that Batman fights the Joker or that Superman is from Krypton.   Why is that?  When did these seemingly dubbed children's characters entered into the universal monomyth to quote James Joyce and become true world-wide archetypes who reflect the full spectrum of the human condition and the timeless struggle between good and evil?

Come to think of it, how do I know what I do about comics when I have not bought any comic since 2004?  How do I know about the Suicide Squad, the "new 52", the Court of Owls, Angela's re-emergence into the world of DC, Free Comic Book day??? Come to think of it, how does my wife know not only who Wolverine is, but that his name is Logan and his skeleton is made of adamantium!?!  I never told her this either, I swear to God and she never picked up a comic in her life!  Comic and Comic news is simply inescapable even if you aren't directly looking for it...it goes to show; if you are even slightly interested in pop culture, comics will find their way to you.   That really says something about the amazing occurrence and popular notoriety of what was long overlooked as trivial "kids stuff". 

That's one thing I loved about comic culture...you could never pick up an issue of Batman and still gather so many secondary details in all other entertainment formats which all take up realms of their own.  You have Mask of the Phantasm, the animated series, amazing video games from Sunsoft to Rocksteady, the Tim Burton and Chris Nolan renditions giving the Dark Knight a total flavor all their own...or maybe you're an Adam West fan...I'm not here to judge.  Clark Kent goes synonymously with George Reeves,  Christopher Reeve or Dean Cain!  Take your pick.

As opposed to Marvel and DC, I was first exposed to comics through the newer company of the 90's; image comics.  I remember finding an issue of Spawn number 11 and it just blowing my 10 year old mind...blood? guns? Super-detailed futuristic soldiers?  Glossy pages and bright colors? I couldn't believe it!  Granted, the series itself was nothing like this random-ass issue...I know, I collected 1-100.  But this really got me head-on into comics...I dabbled in all the image stock under the misguided idea that Image was somehow this adult format that had characters who swore, had scantily clad women and blood...you know adult the way we thought "Mortal Kombat" was the thinking man's game when we were 11.   I looked into Shadowhawk, Youngblood, Wetworks, Gen 13, and Team 7...I know a bunch of garbage but out of the trash came a real gem and that was the Maxx by Sam Keith... what a transcendentally amazing book with great content and even better art...the biggest shame was how the book fizzled out and how the MTV Oddities Cartoon left the series hanging right as the page-for-page cartoon was warming up.

Mainstream superheroes not your style?  Don't worry!  The world of underground comics, Zines and alternative press like Optic Nerve, Scud: The Disposable Assassin,  Iron West,  Jimmy Corrigan, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and  Lenore are all there for the picking!  What about the offensively hilarious works like Milk and Cheese or Hate Magazine?  You could traverse Japanese anime and manga  by reading the expertly crafted stories like the cyber-punk noir tales of Ghost in the Shell or Akira or visit the post-apocalyptic world of Tank Girl from the U.K. All of these classic books where the things I looked into...I loved the painterly and crafted styles of Dave McKean and Ashley Wood, the painstakingly detailed look of Geof Darrow or Ulysses Farinas, and the graphical styles of Rob Schrab, Doug Tennaple and Jim Mahfood.  Allen Moore revolutionized the anti-hero to a whole new level with the Watchmen.  We then had the modern sagas that also snowballed into their own sub-genre's like Walking Dead and Scott Pilgrim, both of which stand out much better as graphic novels than the live-action translations they spun off into.

Some comics broke new ground winning numerous accolades and achieving acclaim within the highest echelons of academia like the epic works of Art Spiegelman's Maus, Joe Sacco's "Footnotes from Gaza", the coming of age tale of the Iranian Revolution "Persepolis", the adolescent story of coming out of the closet in "Likewise" or the online politically drenched what-if saga "Shooting War" by Anthony Lappe.  This all came from a genre that was potentially banned by the insanely anti-communist/anti-"subversive" congress of the 1950's who created the totalitarian Code Authority banning everything from the world "Zombie" to the existence of an "inter-racial relationship"...and go figure...because of that, we owe comics as we know them today to Mad Magazine...what a saga.

Retro Toy Safari takes comics to the furniture!

Kal at the Kave of Kool highlights some majorly impressive comic memories!

Fortune and Glory Days takes us around the block with the Man of Steel!http://myvintagetoybox.blogspot.com/2013/04/league-of-extraordinary-bloggers-comic.html

Monday, April 29, 2013

League Assignment: Slumber Party!

The League poses the question from last week; what pop culture home would you want to spend the night in?

Some of these seem like no brainers but I didn't want to be too obvious....I already talked about vacationing in Dark City and the Deitz House but that would be for simple sightseeing...I wouldn't necessarily be comfortable staying there...I mean really...Pee Wee's playhouse is fun but like, where would you go to the bathroom? Wayne Manor would kick ass just to hang out but does this imply that Bruce would just let me into the Batcave?  Is he home? Is Alfred my butler too?

Freaking Awesome!

The place I'd love to stay the night for comfort sake and to take it all in would be from two Wes Anderson films.  Steve Zissou's Ship, the S.S. Belafonte and the Tenenbaum mansion are neck and neck.  The Belafonte reminds me of drawings that smart (well, at least imaginative) kids did in art class packed with amazing details and almost neurotic intricacies.  The ships design weaves a tapestry that one could get enjoyable lost in and you would never be short of good company...strange how I love this movie and I absolutely hate pirate radio.

The Tenenbaum house weaves another lovely tapestry of gorgeous detail and encompasses everything one could want in a house.  I've gone through viewings of this movie to just look at the architecture and catch the plethora of detail festooned about this literal "storybook" of a home.  The question is, what room would I stay in?  You actually could take a look at the real out of doors setting of the Tenenbaum House on 339 Convent Ave. in NY as opposed to 111 Archer Avenue in the NY of Holden Caufield or whereever Wes Anderson lives in his head.

League Assignment: First Impressions

I had a couple ideas for strong first impressions but I'm about a month late and alas, Unicron, the opening Star Destroyer Crawl in New Hope and Mario 3's intro in the wizard were all taken...you snooze, you lose, right?

I consistently gravitate toward video games so quite a few introductions came to mind since (especially now) as games become more cinematic they need to draw their audiences in with a strong introduction.  Some instances come from my high school years and the playstation era with your classics like Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid and later God of War and Shadow of the Colossus. But for a true pop culture introduction and first impression, I'll hearken back to the good old SNES and the Final Fantasy Series. 

Both Final Fantasy II (IV) and III (VI) absolutely blew my 10 and 12 year old mind when I was first exposed to these masterpieces with amazingly epic soundtracks that pumped you up like "Rise of the Redwings" in II and the dramatic, slow and deliberate trek through the snow in III on the way to Narshe village.  These both set the mood expertly and gave games with simple (great for the respective system) graphics the ability to show exactly what the console could do and do something that was unheard of in a old school game...create a true atmosphere.  There was something bigger about these games.  Something that made them seem adult or that this wasn't a story for children, like one's first novel or classic piece of composition they are exposed to at a young age.

Can't ask for anything more from this masterpiece.

Unfortunately, I feel like the limitations of the earlier systems are where this game was truly able to shine and once the seemingly limitless capacity for technical flare and graphical bells and whistles kind of blows the lid of and endlessly flows the paint saturating the canvas.  Final Fantasy worked best when it had technical limits so the non-graphical things could shine like character development and story.  I may not enjoy where the series has since gone over the past 25 years but boy, did I love its beginnings.


League Assignment: HATED IT!

Hmmm...I really had to think about crazes, toys and pop culture to think about the stuff I didn't like to think about as a child.  As with most things, I always kinda came around to give everything at least a chance but there were some things that just never got a pass with me.

someone enjoyed this enough to make a movie, eh?

1.  Garbage Pail Kids.  The stuff out of nightmares and not the good kind you have fun talking about the next day or drawing in art class.  These abominations were just awful in every respect.  I hated the art style, the stupid, gross out humor and the unfunny write-ups along with the possibly most offensive and vile movie ever made that I would choose kidney stones over. I know the point was to be icky and I dug the whole slime craze and the Dr. Dreadful/Creepy Crawlers angle but there was absoltuley no redeemable quality in these things nor did I like the Cabbage Patch Kids they were supposed to not-so-covertly lampoon.

STDs are easier to get rid of than these things.

2. Pogs.  I thought these were a waste of money even as a 12 year old and this was from a kid who liked the "Food Fighters" and "Barnyard Commandos".  Really cheesy, unoriginal stock art? Check. No place to put them? Check.  No one who cares after a week? Check.

Fetching prices of 5 whole dollars a figure today, how wouldn't feel good about collecting these things???

3. Starting Lineup.  I bought a few of these guys to try to convince myself that I gave a shit about sports which I didn't.  They didn't do anything.  Barely articulation.  Generic faces.  The only "toy" the cool kids would be seen with...Kenner, how could you??? Whatever. Go to hell, Starting Lineup.